Saturday, June 28, 2008

When Helicopters Whisper

there were trees growing in our gutters
one good rain and the weight could bring them all down
those funny helicopter seeds I used to love as a kid
falling wherever the wind carried them
if left unattended, could grow into a disaster
so with an hour of don't look down
faith in rope and harness precaution
fashioned by the man I love
who watches my every move
holding the ladder and his breath
and I find some moments of peace in my crunchy roof world
under a canopy of the beauty I could blame
and with each bucket full of gunk
You were planting your own helicopter seeds of truth
I can feel You preparing me for this next calling
it's time to
clear out the gunk
don't look down
and trust in the harness
fashioned by You
because helicopters will fall
the rain will come
there's work to be done
and Your watching my every move.

"Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:15

"I learned this proverb while I was in the middle East: 'Trust Allah but tether your camel.' It means you should trust God to take care of things, but you should also do what you can to ensure a good outcome ... we are coworkers with God in the situation of our lives. We are invited to pray about all things, but we are also called to do what we can." Valerie Hess, Spiritual Disciplines Devotional

"There is no event so commonplace but that God is present within it, always hiddenly, always leaving you room to recognize him or to not recognize him, but all the more fascinatingly because of all that, all the more compellingly and hauntingly . . . Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is . . . touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace." Frederick Buechner, Now and Then

"Unless I listen to my life, I have no hope of developing my own authentic and unique voice. It is out of the stuff of seemingly ordinary, every day moments I encounter that I hear the whispers of the Holy Spirit . . . and make connections that God can use to breath life and understanding into the lives of others." Nancy Beach, Gifted to Lead

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


I went jogging and this buzzing mutant bee kept circling me
I could not lose this guy for at least a mile
and he was driving me insane, head-butting my shoulder and hissing in my ear,
I just wanted to chill with You in the march on the pavement
but we kept getting interrupted by his incessant buzzing
finally I just sprinted as fast as I could, waved my arms like an idiot
and lost him. Ha!
and that's when You started doing all the talking. . .

compliments give me a gag reflex
I remember a time when I was little
I would get a hand on my chubby cheek
a flick of my pigtail or a squeeze of my plump fingers
along with a piece of Bubble Yum bubble gum and grinning flattery,
perfumed and cologned with scent of Sunday mornings
and I would smile and enjoy them all.
Now it's more of a mona lisa smile
formed from years of acting training
like those rushed curtain calls of nausia
where I just wanted to hide in the green room
I don't know who wrote that part of the story
but I'm beginning to understand it wasn't You
I guess I always pictured the black and white simplicity
of the ying and yang of me
You get credit for all the light and goodness
I get guilt for all the dark and shadows
Everyone's clear on the who and what
and I rest in my bad-news-is-better-than-no-news
world of answered questions even if the answers are lies
in the silky comfort of better-than-good-it's-done complacency
But You're slowly teaching me to see in color
so I can answer that frightening call
that word that seems beyond little me
who still feels like that little pigtailed girl
looking up at everyone else
and staying safe by mommy's purse and daddy's knees
Can she really pull this off?
But here we are again,
me surprised by your love,
and You, knudging me, then pushing me
as I drag my fearful heels and leave a trail of mud
Because only You could write this chapter
And I think I know now
I finally know
that it's time to start walking tall,
even if it means sprinting, waving my arms like an idiot
and making a fool of myself
so I can lose that stupid bee
and start being the You in me.

"For a long time, I thought humility meant continually discounting one's gifts, making sure to attribute everything to God or walking through life with a low opinion of oneself. However, this is not a biblical picture of humility. Humility is essentially seeing oneself with sober eyes, and not being so self-absorbed that we overlook the role of the sovereign Lord as well as the incredible worth and contributions of others . . . Many women leaders find themselves apologizing for their passion and goals, coming across as uncertain and tentative in their decision making . . . we must stop apologizing for our gifts and opportunities! We are not taking up too much room if we are seeking to fufill a God-ordained calling--a calling which may just require us to get over ourselves, take a deep breath and simply start leading . . . Being true to how God made us makes leadership less of a burden and more of a natural outpouring of how we function best . . . I had to learn what it meant to be fully myself, comfortable in my own skin, and willing to express myself authentically as a woman of faith . . . I urge you to listen to the quiet voice of the Spirit and allow our God to help you design your own path . . . No one can write the script for you--your story will be entirely your own." Nancy Beach, Gifted to Lead

"I wanna feel something sweeter than this
Cover me in leaves and roll me over again
I've been everybody else and now I want to be
something closer to myself."
Kendall Payne "Closer to Myself" song

"But me he caught—reached all the way from sky to sea;
he pulled me out Of that ocean of hate, that enemy chaos,
the void in which I was drowning.
They hit me when I was down, but God stuck by me.
He stood me up on a wide-open field;
I stood there saved—surprised to be loved!
God made my life complete when I placed all the pieces before him.
When I got my act together, he gave me a fresh start.
Now I'm alert to God's ways; I don't take God for granted.
Every day I review the ways he works; I try not to miss a trick.
I feel put back together, and I'm watching my step.
God rewrote the text of my life
when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes."
Psalm 18:16-24 (Msg)

"Dress down your pretty faith. Give me something real.
Leave out the thee and thou and speak to me now.
Speak to my pain and confusion.
Speak through my fears and my pride.
Speak to the part of me that knows I'm something deep down inside.
I know that I am not perfect, but compare me to most,
In a world of hurt and a world of anger I think I'm holding my own.
And I know that you said there is more to life.
And I know I am not satisfied.
But there are mornings I wake up and I'm just thankful to be alive.
I've known now, for quite a while, that I am not whole.
I've remembered the body and the mind,
But disected my soul.
Now something inside is awakening,
Like a dream I once had and forgot.
And it's something I'm scared of
And something I don't want to stop.
And I woke up this morning and realized that Jesus is not a portait.
Where stained glass windows or hymns or the tradition that surrounds us.
And I thought it would be hard to believe in
But it's not hard at all.
To believe I've sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God.
And He's not asking me to change in my joy for martyrdom
He's asking to take my place.
To stand in the gap that I have formed
With His real, and His sweet, and His real amazing grace.
And it's not just a sign or a sacrament.
It's not just a metaphor for love.
The blood is real and it's not just a symbol of your faith.
So leave out the thee and thou and speak now."
Sara Groves, "Awakening" song

Friday, June 13, 2008

Fighting Gravity

"I see the pen and the lips. Artists should know how to use them well. Empty speech is vain repetition. It's time to ask ourselves if we draw away from the truth of God's word by the laziness of our own. God's word itself is a work of art." Dr. Richard Allen Farmer

i talk too much,
so for three days i just listened
and learned the secrets to defying gravity
as You called me and a crowd of artists to

P.S. Thanks for the awesome guys I get to work with who are teaching me what growing up with brothers was really supposed to be like

Wednesday, Session One: Nancy Beach
"We are called to be faithful, not to produce results.
True worship should always result in a fresh surrender to God.
We need to stay so attuned to the holy spirit that we come away with a new song. We aren't creating enough new songs these days.
Don't paint a partial picture of who God is. Are you telling the whole story?
God loves the church more than we do, and he wants his bride to be beautiful."
Nancy Beach

"If we are not careful, you and I will begin to do ministry more and more out of memory than imagination." Mark Batterson

Session Two: Cirque Du Soleil, Giles Ste-Croix
"Sometimes it's our job is to slow you down and sometimes to put a fire under your butt, so be prepared.
It's a very fragile process that depends on people working together . . . also a very organic process, a maelstrom of ideas. After 25 years, we kind of know what doesn't work, but it's fun to discover what does.
Fighting gravity is a form of art." Giles Ste-Croix

Session Three: Brian McLaren
"The gospel just comes bubbling up when good art happens." Robbie Seay
"Where you live should not determine whether you live." Bono

"Religious leaders love to use religion to legitimize the status quo. The church was not meant to steal people away from the world to play our own intramural sports like some game of theological football. I line up my verses. You line up yours. We say 'hut!' and watch to see who wins. We need to be careful not to let our theology be held captive to any one's ideology."
Brian McLaren

"We vote every single day by how we use our wallets." Trade as One and Paralta reps.

"I don't think we'll make poverty history until we make poverty personal . . . so we seek ways to stir human emotion that leads to inconvenient thought that leads to stirring action. You've all made the church better because of your art. Maybe it's time for the church to realize its responsibility for a better world because of your church."
Brian McLaren

Thursday: Theatre Breakouts
"In drama, there's more than one right answer, so just try the next one."
Rod Armentrout
"We're not here to get a message across, it's to connect to each other so the audience connects to Christ."
Mark Demmel

Friday: Session One: Richard Allen Farmer
"I've been everybody else but now I want to be something closer to myself."
Kendall Payne
"I've never had to pray for clarity, what I pray for is trust." Mother Theresa

"What I love about us artists is our insatiable curiosity. We won't take 'yes' for an answer. If curiosity is a disease, I'm not interested in being cured. If you look inside the heads of artists, you'll find questions that hang like tapestries.
Welcome the friction. Pair odd bedfellows until they work. Friction is not merely tolerated; it's encouraged. It's invited to take off its shoes and sit a spell.
We are not religious! It's better than that! We are lovers of God in Christ!"
Richard Allen Farmer

Friday: Final Session: Francis Chan
"It's sin if we don't give God something excellent by the end of the day.
After every service I have to ask myself was it really God showing up or just manipulation? I don't want people to walk away in awe of me; they need to be in awe of Him. I'm bored with what I know I can do. Do you think everyone walked away from Pentecost saying 'Man, that John guy is awesome!' I'm not up here by myself right now. Don't you want people to leave your church and say 'there's no way that was them!'?
Do you ever see butterflies rolling around in the mud like their caterpillar days? Me either, because they don't. You're a different person now because of God's holy spirit living inside you. Don't be a butterfly crawling in the mud."

"I waited and waited and waited for God.
At last he looked; finally he listened.
He lifted me out of the ditch,
pulled me from deep mud.
He stood me up on a solid rock
to make sure I wouldn't slip.
He taught me how to sing the latest God-song,
a praise-song to our God . . .
So I answered, "I'm coming.
I read in your letter what you wrote about me,
And I'm coming to the party you're throwing for me.
That's when God's Word entered my life,
became part of my very being.
I've preached you to the whole congregation,
I've kept back nothing, God—you know that.
I didn't keep the news of your ways a secret, didn't keep it to myself.
I told it all, how dependable you are, how thorough.
I didn't hold back pieces of love and truth
For myself alone. I told it all,
let the congregation know the whole story."
Psalm 40: 1-2, 7-10 (Msg)

Monday, June 09, 2008

Nike Theology

you're a great coach
three months of
leaning on You for will power
hearing you cheer me on
as the numbers on the scale went down
always pushing me to
keep moving even when it hurts
stop complaining
and just do it
rewarding me with smaller sizes
longer gazes from my husband
more energy to chase my little girl
and twenty five pounds less in three months
But now on to the bigger challenge
as you coach me
and a great group of women
in the training, toning and strengthening
of our souls
as we lean on You for will power
hear you cheer us and push us to
keep moving even when it hurts
stop complaining
and just do it

"[Spiritual] disciplines are not meant to be one more thing for us to fail at in our relationship with God. They are meant to help us untie knots of bondage and break old, bad habits that make life more difficult. The disciplines are meant to breathe life into the dead places of our souls." Valerie Hess, Spiritual Disciplines Devotional

"We all live in this tension between here's who I am and there's who I want to be . . . God sees us before we see ourselves . . . This isn't just about us. It's about what God wants to do with us." D.C. Curry, "Designing a Transformation" sermon 5/22/08

'And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." 2 Corinthians 3:18

"Some people regard discipline as a chore. For me, it is a kind of order that sets me free to fly." Julie Andrews