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    Monday
    Oct122015

    Reflections on my Birthday

    I am constantly amazed by the faithful love of Jesus.He champions the threshold of my beginnings and endings. He initiated the relationship and never lets go. I am still overwhelmed, surprised, consumed by His love. He is trustworthy, when I am sick. When I struggle with sin, he refuses to write me off. He is the friend of sinners. 

    He is faithfully consistent. Truly there is no shifting shadow in the deep love of Jesus. When I cast my gaze across the horizon... the October breeze that refreshes the land after the long summer, I know that every falling leaf, every blade of grass, every bird and cloud is a reminder of His creative hand. They all were conceived first in the imagination of the Artisan of the cosmos. 

    And as I reflect on the past 52 years I’ve lived here, mostly fearful of everything, I realize that I never, EVER had anything to fear. He has been and always will be, relentlessly faithful, continuously sufficient, and absolutely available. I am still captivated by this lowly carpenter and faithful redeemer- I'm still struggling awkwardly to construct the right syntax and composition of words to describe the One who is truly indescribable. I will continue to try until the book is closed and my time comes.

    King Jesus, your presence is palpable and your depth is dependable.

    Tuesday
    Aug112015

    Grace and Recompense

    This Fire of Love 
    unquenched by Eden's wreck
    and flowing seemingly in perpetuity 
    toward all that soon will be
    in all its violent beauty
    He shall hold all hell's poison and heaven's glory.
    Small beginning, love's grandest story
    from the heartbeat in a virgin's womb
    til one Sunday rising from the tomb
    One
    for all...
    Once 
    for all...
    This is the salvation from garrulous platitudes and languorous days
    Advent... in slightest breath, in manger lay.
    Ten-thousand kingdoms would bow through ages. 
    The cause of grace and recompense 
    From distant past to future tense:
    Jesus

    Tuesday
    Aug042015

    dreams 

    When asleep, dreams represent our deepest uncertainties 

    sleep uncovers the holes in our confidence.

    we untangle the complexities of our lives and acknowledge the ironies and pardoxes.

    Listen to your dreams but realize that they do not define what happens when you are truly awake. 

    Remember them but keep them hidden. They are yours and only yours. 

    Monday
    Aug032015

    40 Fantastic Prayers for the Coming School Year

    40 Fantastic Prayers for the New School Year

     

    Father God, would you….

     1.     Strengthen my kids’ resolve to follow You.

    2.     Protect them from worldviews that will challenge their faith.

    3.     Allow my children to be influenced by godly men and women within our school.

    4.     Protect my student from bullies and others that would shame and destroy self-confidence and joy.

    5.     Make my child bold and brave when it comes to expressing their faith.

    6.     Give teachers a deep, mysterious understanding of how to best teach my son or daughter.

    7.     Help me to know when to step in and when to leave room for You to work.

    8.     Remind me of the power of prayer everyday and also remind me that I need to pray EVERY DAY for my child.

    9.     During times they are being transported before, during and after school please protect them.

    10. Bring revival in the high school campuses in our city.

    11. Reaffirm your promises to me as I do my best to influence the children in my home and their friends.

    12. Help me to recall scriptures to share with my kids before they ever leave the house.

    13. Give wisdom to my children about how many activities they will commit to doing.

    14. Supply financially for the needs of the poor in our midst and allow me to be a source of that financial provision.

    15. Disallow our government to restrict our rights to share our Christian faith within the schools and in our community.

    16. Help us as we make decisions about food during school. We are so often careless with our food and our kids pick up on that!

    17. Add steps to my child’s day and help him to travel with good companions and have a direct influence on students who are off the path.

    18. Give my pastor the right words to say on Sunday which will ultimately prepare our kids for Monday.

    19. Help us never forget to be thankful for all we have from buildings to pencils and then also to pray and find ways to help those who do not have.

    20. Astound my child through science about your marvelous creation.

    21. When my child is bored in math, bring to his mind the scripture reference numbers that we’ve been memorizing.

    22. When conflict happens, give us wisdom and love enough to settle and bring reconciliation.

    23. Remind us of our great need for racial reconciliation and help us be reconcilers.

    24. Protect our children from disease and illness that often happens when kids gather on a daily basis.

    25. Settle us down when we are testy and irritable during the year.

    26. Use athletics to build character and humility.

    27. Help us to celebrate the little victories.

    28. Create relationships that are saturated in grace.

    29. Show us how to really listen to each other, not only with our ears but also our hearts.

    30. Help us make the most of every opportunity to encourage those who struggle.

    31. Give us a spirit of empathy and understanding when things get messy and emotional.

    32. Shield our children from sexual predators as well as any person who would chose to say or do anything that would sexualize our kids.

    33.  Prepare our kids for their future marriages.  It seems weird to pray this, but even years before they meet, they will both need your care today.

    34. Help my children to get rid of all mockery and sarcasm. And help me to not model this either.

    35. Fill in the gaps of my kids’ faith through the influence of other Christian leaders.

    36. Remind me to stop and take the opportunity to pray with my kids every day and not just at the dinner table.

    37. Make my faith so vibrant that my kids know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I believe You are real!

    38. As parents keep our heads on a swivel when it comes to being sensitive and alert to the needs of kids in our church.

    39. Keep us aware of the spiritual warfare that goes on in schools all over the world. Make me vigilant to keep up my guard and be on the offense for the sake of love.

    40. Help us to trust you throughout the year, because as hard as it is to believe, You love them even more than we do!

    Monday
    Aug032015

    of the highway

    what is this voice i hear in the malaise of this digital constellation?
    what is this sound of gentle lips ...of poignant words that compel me to leave?
    composing symphonies of serenity in the scatter-cast violence of silent skies
    what is this touch that I feel deep down in in capillaries of my spirit?
    who is calling me to something more beautiful than anything my eyes have beheld?
    o kind hesitation- o innocence
    you whisper, "come away." 

    you mold my heart
    you bequeath your joy and indeed your madness.  

    Friday
    Jul312015

    homeplace

    My grandfather lived

    in a rustic house near a sloping cool branch with slipery stones

    and verdant woods

    I broach the treeline where 

    mystery lay 

    and there in the shade of autumn's bough

    i see darkness rising 

    close of day.

    but death,

    a far 

    closer 

    angel visited then and will and again because 

    it is unchanged, like the virgin nest of the wip-poor-will

    though unwelcomed

    tender unforgiving visitor on the side of the hill

    where i last heard his voice.

    away

    Friday
    Jul312015

    The Belly of the Beast

    Everybody ends up
    in the belly of the beast.
    There are few exceptions
    from the greatest to the least.
    You stumble into quicksand.
    You’re weary of the world.
    Lies wreck your reputation.
    Insults, viciously, are hurled.
    Addiction lies in dormancy
    then rears it’s ugly head.
    Depression sinks in slowly,
    Like the whispers of the dead.
    A chronic, stubborn stronghold
    infiltrates your weakened mind
    Confidants betray you.
    Sometimes, friends are hard to find.
    Childless in your 40’s.
    “Will I ever be a mother?”
    Inside an unfamiliar place
    Near no sister or no brother.
    You’re in the doctor’s office
    And hear devastating news.
    You lose your hair to chemo.
    Indeed, no one gets to choose.
    Your marriage ends abruptly.
    He left you with no choice.
    And for others, it’s the silence.
    Separated from His Voice.
    Adversity just happens
    and no one gets a pass.
    But this- your devastation,
    is God’s Holy Master Class
    Yes, this strong Professor
    is bolder than the rest,
    His challenges are brutal
    and He’s silent in the test.
    He’s far above all reason
    ––mysterious is He.
    His text book is His Word.
    His school–– adversity.
    But in each fearful crisis,
    we’re cradled by the light
    There’s joy within the suffering,
    There’s peace amidst the fight
    Within our devastation
    ––the bleak, forbidding war
    God shakes us in our deadness,
    with His fearsome roar
    What we assumed would end us,
    And our melancholy tales
    speaks only of His grandeur,
    His timing never fails.
    And in our silent terror,
    He’s not worried in the least
    Despite how darkness lingers
    in the belly of the beast.