31 May 2012

What erasing leaves behind...

At just the perfect time, when I needed to lighten up, my dear Snady a.k.a. Sandra Heska King posted about a site called Erasures after Kimberlee Conway Ireton pointed the way at Tweetspeak Poetry. 

Instaed of me trying to tell you about it, please click on the links above where others have already done a great job of explaining this novel form of poetry play.

I spent a bit of time this morning erasing and saving.  I was surprisingly pleased with this result:

Fair is
sometimes amusing
one talks intellectual

Poor correspondent
she is throwing different
toward Mecca

Focus of light
nonsense talked in thy name
in her way, strange

Travelling all over alone
she looks at everything
with clear eyes wide open
the edge, abysses

Pushing through
knowing suspicions
holding her course, fearless

In the right point of view
is something rather
striking

I will surely return to Erasures to play again.  Why don't you meet me there?
 

30 May 2012

Grounded

The following words Paul wrote to the Colossians are hidden in my heart and burst forth frequently from my lips:

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things Colossians 3:1-2 NIV

My spirit takes wing to abide with my Lord
yet still here
I live in a suit of flesh
flawed, imperfect
inflamed
a weight that anchors me

While I await the results of yesterday's MRI that might explain my hearing issues
I shall move on to new adventures in health

tomorrow I see the surgeon about a fatty tumor on my backside
the lump that bruises from my recumbent cycle seat
the lump that feels discomfort when I lie down
the lump that has been a part of me for most of my adult life...

don't imagine a pea
or an egg
we're talking softball size here

I'm not sure what the next step is
must trust that God will give wisdom
to the hands He has trained to heal

I breathe deep
trying to take in faith
and release apprehension

Tomorrow I will know, perhaps
if and when surgery is scheduled
but I am willing
more than willing
to allow myself to serve
as a sign and wonder
to be His miracle if that is His desire
a signpost pointing
from my imperfection
to Him
perfect in glory

 Gathering here with Jennifer





and Emily where you can read more about her new book Chasing Silhouettes: How to Help a Loved One Battling an Eating Disorder, available for pre-order.


 

28 May 2012

Missing...

I thought I'd write tomorrow's blog post this afternoon, for tomorrow I shall be away, not at home, not near a computer, missing...

I remembered that tomorrow should be the One Word At A Time Carnival, so I clicked over to Peter's to see what word was scheduled -

missing

Yet again, I love God's timing and sense of humor.

I will be a few hours from here, booked for magnetic resonance imaging of my brain, which I know is surely not missing but perhaps altered in some way that may be responsible for the nerve damage that is causing the rather severe hearing loss in my left ear.

There is much I do not hear, much that I am missing when I grow weary of asking "what?" for the third or fourth time.  Sounds are jumbled, foggy, muted and the roaring in my head often leaves me tired indeed.

I am missing quiet, missing nuance, missing connections...

but in all this, He Is, always, and never missing at all.


Joining the crowd at Peter's place talking about missing

 

Hiking Through by Paul Stutzman


The publisher's information page about Hiking Through: One Man's Journey to Peace and Freedom on the Appalachian Trail by Paul Stutzman left me curious enough to want to read the book:
A life-changing journey begins with a single step.

After Paul Stutzman lost his wife to breast cancer, he sensed a tug on his heart--the call to a challenge, the call to pursue a dream. With a mixture of dread and determination, Paul left his job, traveled to Georgia, and took his first steps on the Appalachian Trail.

In Hiking Through, you'll join Paul on his remarkable 2,176-mile trip through fourteen states in search of peace and a renewed sense of purpose.
I was surprised and delighted by Paul's sense of humor, his keen eye, his humility and his love for the Lord.  He was able to share his doubts, fears and sometimes shaky faith in a way that moved and inspired me.

Paul invites us into the heart of his experience, so much so that I almost thought I felt the rain drenching me, the pains in my legs and the glorious breezes.  I almost wished I had the stamina and conditioning to join the adventure!

Even if you've never thought of hiking or other endurance adventures you will find much to enjoy in Paul's account of his time spent Hiking Through.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

The opinions I have expressed are my own.
 

Without ceasing...

Yesterday was Sunday, yes.  And it was Pentecost Sunday, yes.  And it was the Global Day of Prayer, again.  For many years I have organized and led prayers gatherings for this day that the whole world prays, so I was not surprised to be asked to give leadership to yesterday morning's time of worship.  I was also asked to share a short message, a meditation of sorts.

Here then, is what I shared:

The grounding scripture for The Global Day of Prayer has always been:

if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

The Lord gave me words to a poem or maybe it is a song without melody:

What we sow in tears
we shall reap in joy
if we humble ourselves and pray.
Casting out our fears
we are in Your hands
when we humble ourselves and pray.
We are quickened by the rhythms of Your heart
and strengthened by the power of Your love.
We are welcome to come boldly to Your throne
to hear the words that only You could say.
Freedom waits for us
in Your presence Lord
when we worship You day by day.
You will hear our cries
and will heal our land
if we humble ourselves and pray

I’ve known a lot of people however, who are not sure if they really know how to pray. The whole thing seems somehow mysterious and complicated. Sure, it’s not too hard to recite a prayer that has already been prepared, like what we’ve been doing this morning, and indeed the words are powerful, especially when millions of people join in the same prayer.

In the New Living Translation, Ephesians 3:12 says:

Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence

I really sense that our loving Lord wants us to know that praying is not so much about ritual and formula but all about relationship and time spent with Him. About boldly coming into His presence…

Brother Lawrence wrote the book called Practicing the Presence of God. He spoke about how he had chosen to spend every minute of every day aware of the Lord’s presence with him, whether he was worshipping, praying, or washing the dinner dishes. He said:
There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful than that of a continual conversation with God.
A continual conversation. I think that might be what Paul meant when he told us in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to Pray without ceasing

While I was spending quiet time with the Lord, asking Him what He wanted me to share today, He led me back to something He had told me a couple of years ago about prayer time…

Listen - less talking - more listening - even as the quiet waiting may feel strange or uncomfortable.
I sometimes find it hard to be heard in all of your chattering.
If you come to Me filled with your own understanding, how can I teach you?
If you already know what you're looking for, how can I show you something new?
Listen. Wait. Let My Spirit move you. Laugh. Weep. Pace. Dance. Release the words The Holy Spirit gives you - even if only the Spirit can understand. For I tell you, the Holy Spirit will interpret the mysteries of your prayers.
The Spirit works to both explain Me to you - and explain you to Me - a conduit working in both directions - a highway you can choose to travel straight to My heart.
Are you willing to come?

 Henri Nouwen said:
Why is it so important that you are with God and God alone on the mountain top? It's important because it's the place in which you can listen to the voice of the One who calls you the beloved. To pray is to listen to the One who calls you "my beloved daughter," "my beloved son," "my beloved child." To pray is to let that voice speak to the center of your being, to your guts, and let that voice resound in your whole being
Let’s take a moment then, right now, to come before Him, not only as a group, but as individuals, to listen to what His heart wants to share.

Lord, we love you and are always filled with wonder at the thought that You would desire to talk with us. I know that You know the things that are concerning us this day, the people we know that are hurting, or lost or sick. For now, we leave that list of needs and requests in Your capable hands and simply come, as You requested, to allow You to speak into the centre of our beings. As we take this time in silence, speak Lord, for indeed Your servants are listening.

Even though it was my own voice doing the speaking, my spirit heard...
So I'm joining with Michelle today, praying that I use what He chose to share

 

26 May 2012

True prayer

True prayer is measured by weight,
not by length.
A single groan before God
may have more fullness of prayer in it
than a fine oration of great length.
C. H. Spurgeon


 
In community with Deidra and the chorus of worship today

 

Only one thing...

If we could just be,
for a few minutes each day,
fully where we are,
we would indeed discover
that we are not alone
and that the One who is with us
wants only one thing:
to give us love. 
Henri Nouwen

 
Enjoying the stillness with Sandy today


 

25 May 2012

One learns to share

Images of Uganda haunt me,
call me back,
remind me of all we have,
all we call our own.
There, sharing was the order of the day.

 
Joining the artistic eyes looking at bicycle

 

Seasonal shuffle

Yesterday morning, several pair of Bohemian waxwings were hopping about among the blossoms on our crabapple tree.  A sure sign of Spring, they seem to make an appearance every year.  I'm not sure where they fly off to from here, but they never linger long.

This morning, the fragile white of the flowers was covered with fresh falling snow.

God sees.
God knows.
God laughs.

This, I believe.
He Is, as always, in control.

 

24 May 2012

Drink...

I waited for rain, day after day,
and while Environment Canada posted high probabilities,
the skies remained locked tight
hard as the steel colour of the slow moving clouds

With patience thin and brittle I found myself
as parched as the ground we walked upon
flurries of dust rising with each step

Lord, You alone know how much we need your rain
my prayer repeated
and a bit of misty moisture fell
Is this it?  There surely must be more
as dry remained and another day passed into history

More there has been, drip by drip
no deluge, but a steady leak
just enough to awken my thirst to new depths
and while I would wish for Him to drench me
pouring out lavish drinks of Himself
He instead asks me to seek, and to gather
to savour the smallest licks
of refreshing

Joy filled
I find it is enough...

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Look, I’m going to rain down food from heaven for you. Each day the people can go out and pick up as much food as they need for that day. Exodus 16:4a NLT



Joining Joan over at Emily's, walking with the broken, the imperfect, the redeemed...

 

22 May 2012

Waiting...

It is another day of waiting.
Waiting for words.
Waiting for rains to answer the pleading cry of our land.
Waiting for the unfurling of leaves as life reaches up into this new season.

Much is yet unseen...
but so close
taste almost touches the tongue

 

19 May 2012

Rooted

They'll rebuild their ruined cities.
They'll plant vineyards and drink good wine.
They'll work their gardens and eat fresh vegetables.
And I'll plant them, plant them on their own land.
They'll never again be uprooted from the land I've given them.
God, your God, says so.


 Taking a moment with Sandy
 

My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade

I love a book that makes me weep with wonder at how God can move in people's lives, so of course I was interested in reading My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade.  This is part of the back cover description of the story:
Upon her arrival in Redbud, Kate meets Matt Jarreau, the man hired to renovate the house. Kate can't help being attracted to him, drawn by both his good looks and something else she can't quite put her finger on. He's clearly wounded--hiding from people, from God, and from his past. Yet Kate sets her stubborn heart on bringing him out of the dark and back into the light... whether he likes it or not.
There are many lessons within the lines of My Stubborn Heart about asking, and listening and waiting to hear what God's choices for your life are.  It isn't easy to surrender your own will and desires; to set aside your own plans in obedience to God's voice, but it is indeed worth it.

Wade's pacing kept the pages turning, and though I found that this story held little that surprised me, I'm still happy that I went along for the ride.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

The opinions I have expressed are my own.
 

17 May 2012

Rust in the cracks

Rust fills in the cracks
the day seems too long and yet gone in an instant
my heart feels hard
but fragile
brittle enough to open far too easily
leaking passion

What do I do with a wheel fixed in place?

There is something calling to me
I can't sense the direction
the wind swirls and jumbles
but I know the Source
I have promised to listen
to follow
to obey

No I am not good at waiting
as my old wood splinters
wobbles and creaks
trying to find beauty there
as rust fills in the cracks



Walking an imperfect road with Emily and the broken but redeemed

 

15 May 2012

A wisdom rarely wise

Sitting in my morning chair, often called my "Jesus chair" I must have had today's one word in my mind as I opened my mind, spirit and journal to the Lord to see what He had to share:

Listen not to the voice of the world for it speaks from the logic of man
a wisdom rarely wise
empty of faith
declaring what it deems possible
and impossible

No, I say again, listen not

Your ears of faith will hear
a sweeter song
a melody of life
orchestrations of possibility

The world would box you in
shut you up
shrink you down
insisting there is less
much less than your spirit sees

Let your heart expand, resonate with Mine
as it sings out
more
there is more
there is more

When the servant of the man of God rose early and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was around the city. Elisha’s servant said to him, Alas, my master! What shall we do?
Elisha answered, Fear not; for those with us are more than those with them.
Then Elisha prayed, Lord, I pray You, open his eyes that he may see. And the Lord opened the young man’s eyes, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.
2 Kings 6:15-17 Amplified



Sharing with Peter and the rest where the word today is more

 

13 May 2012

Sunny Sunday afternoon

Light surrounds
creation simple
yet every detail perfect
nuance
so many shades of green

Paper gives us title
to this land
but it is His
as are we
His humble stewards

I wander slowly
soaking in the sun
heart fresh
with gratitude

Yes!

 

12 May 2012

Blessed among mothers

Thinking of Mary, the mother of our Lord and honoring my Mom and all mothers today!

And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary,
that the babe leaped in her womb;
and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said,
“Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb!


 
Joining Deidra on this Mother's Day Sunday

 

We are glad!


Then were our mouths filled with laughter,
and our tongues with singing.
Then they said among the nations,
The Lord has done great things for them. 
The Lord has done great things for us!
We are glad!

 
Waiting in the quiet, breathing in all that He is, with Sandy


 
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