31 January 2013

Saying yes to the light

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; 
on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. 

I knew the light was there, bright and burning hot
there was colour, life in the light
but snuggled into darkness I felt safe, protected
all my imperfections hidden
their heaviness pressed hard upon me
almost like an embrace
I had grown accustomed to the weight of them
added bit by bit, slow so I wouldn't even notice
I could hardly breathe

I could not have seen the darkness
without the light
growing stronger
the shadows deepened, gripping
comfort vanished

I surrendered to the pull
to the warm
and saying yes to the light
found the heavy lift
yes to the light
yes to light
yes

sharing the light with the imperfect and redeemed at Emily's

and jamming about yes with Bonnie

 

30 January 2013

all of me

At the end of Chapter 2 of The Furious Longing of God Brennan Manning posed the following challenge:
There is the “you” that people see and then there is the “rest of you.” Take some time and craft a picture of the “rest of you.” This could be a drawing, in words, even a song. Just remember that the chances are good it will be full of paradox and contradictions.
Here is my response:

I am layer upon layer
stripping to reveal 
only to find more that remains hidden
urban born and raised 
I found refuge and my heart 
on the Canadian prairies
yet city scepticism lingers
I see the way staircases lead down 
more often than as a way to climb up
even though my mind knows I can find rest in my Lord
I often find my thoughts churning, thrashing, 
whirlpools of waves that refuse to be stilled
I choose to focus on the road before me 
and the promises of morning
not dwelling long on all that lies behind
burning with the passion seeded in me
chosen, broken, no longer my own
a new creation learning to abide
to reflect His glory and bear good fruit

and in all my imperfection His love burns bright, unending, as Manning writes:
For His love is never, never, never based on our performance, never conditioned by our moods—of elation or depression. The furious love of God knows no shadow of alteration or change. It is reliable. And always tender.
It may yet take all of my remaining days to truly understand such a love.
Joining Sarah, Jason and others reading Brennan Manning's Furious Longing of God.  Come on over to Jason's to read more posts

 

29 January 2013

Resurfacing

Snow falls gentle, the winds, silent
clouds block the sun, muffle light
I feel embraced, warm in fleece
yet fog closes in, visibility blurs
too easy to get lost
in the soft

I have practised breathing
have mastered the in, out
so that even stale will sustain
but a small voice nudges

What kind of life is this?

so this is me
kicking against normal
fighting my way up
to break the surface
gulping fresh

Linking at the Pub today, come on over here to read works by others
 

26 January 2013

Surrounded


You hold my every moment
You calm my raging seas
You walk with me through fire
and heal all my disease

I trust in You
I trust in You
I believe You're my healer
I believe You are all I need
I believe You're my portion
I believe You're more than enough for me
Jesus, You're all I need

I was able to bring music with me for my treatment Thursday.  
This song and more surrounded me in the gamma knife radiation machine 
as I sought a still place in His presence.


Trying to be still with Sandy

abiding with Cheryl

 

24 January 2013

Clutter to praise

Clutter is the word we're looking at for this week's Faith Jam.

I'm breathing deep, seeking clean, almost empty.
Trying to be clear of the voices in my head that whisper, snicker, shout,
never speaking truth

Now I can cast out the clutter of thoughts about the gamma knife radiation treatment I just went through this week.  With it behind me there is space for new things, positive things, His things!

The clutter of white noise, tinnitus that roars in my head will not go away, all the treatment can do is perhaps prevent things from getting worse.  I'd like to believe that I'll find a way to transform the noise into a type of worship.  From clutter to praise, for His glory.

 
Jamming with Bonnie

 

23 January 2013

Moving down the road

The road stretches out before me
clouds and blue
in this winter cold

tomorrow is another step
another mile
but never am I alone

 

21 January 2013

Tent in heaven


God has made a tent in heaven for the sun. 
The sun is like a groom coming out of his honeymoon suite; 
like a warrior, it thrills at running its course. 
It rises in one end of the sky; 
its circuit is complete at the other. 
Nothing escapes its heat.  


I have joined Jon Swanson challenge Every Monday This Year choosing two things to do each and every Monday in 2013.  First I will ask God for wisdom for the decisions I have to make for the week and I am also reading Psalm 19.  I know that a few weeks of January have already passed, but its not too late for you to jump in also.

 

20 January 2013

New every morning


The faithful love of the Lord never ends! 
His mercies never cease. 
Great is his faithfulness; 
his mercies begin afresh each morning.


Singing His praise with the Sunday choir at Deidra's

 

19 January 2013

Winter poem/Poema de Inverno


dVerse ~ Poets Pub posted today about Foreign Tongues 
and suggested we add other languages
 (real or imagined) to our work --

Here then is a new seasonal poem:

snow falls 
silent victim 
to howling winds
caught in the frenzy
drifting
seeking solid ground

just as I seek shelter
cupped gently 
against your chest
love poured into love
watching the ice freeze
crystal hearts 
upon the windows

and here, the same in Portuguese

quedas de neve 
vítima silenciosa 
a ventos uivantes
pegado no frenesi
ir à deriva
busca de terra sólida

tão como busco a coberta
em forma de xícara suavemente 
contra o seu peito
o amor fluiu no amor
observação da geada de gelo
corações cristalinos 
sobre as janelas

To let your poetic spirit absorb more even if your mind can't quite understand, 

His embrace

I have lived for decades with chronic back pain and never know what will set it off.  I think this week I pushed my workouts a little too hard and have been paying the price.

Yesterday morning, I curled up beneath the blankets, enjoying extra minutes of rest while Rick was showering to prepare for work, trying to discern just how bad my back problem was.

The next moment, I sensed arms around me, holding me, much the way Rick snuggles his entire body up to me, but I knew he was in the other room.  Peace fell softly.  I knew that I knew that I was in God's embrace.

Later, sitting with my journal and coffee Jesus confirmed with His words:

Yes, I wrap Myself around you, happy when I know that you notice My embrace.
I will take your burdens and your pain
in Me you are whole and healed when you are wholly Mine
What some would call imagination I call divine sensitivity
Continue to lean into My arms, little one.
Your healing place, resting place, the secret place with Me.

clinging to the vine with Cheryl

 

Not lonely

All human beings are alone. 
No other person will completely feel like we do, 
think like we do, act like we do. 
Each of us is unique, 
and our aloneness is the other side of our uniqueness. 
The question is whether we let our aloneness become loneliness 
or whether we allow it to lead us into solitude. 
Loneliness is painful; solitude is peaceful. 
Loneliness makes us cling to others in desperation; 
solitude allows us to respect others in their uniqueness 
and create community.

Letting our aloneness grow into solitude 
and not into loneliness is a lifelong struggle. 
It requires conscious choices about whom to be with, 
what to study, how to pray, and when to ask for counsel. 
But wise choices will help us to find the solitude 
where our hearts can grow in love.
Henri Nouwen

Breathing slow with Sandy

  

17 January 2013

New name - beloved

names, labels with permanent glue
stick through years
alone
betrayed
lazy useless unwanted
nails carve half moons in palms
gripping so tight to the lies

all He asks for
is our yes
open hands to release
receive, believe
His gift of a new name
beloved

You will no longer be called Abandoned, and your land will no longer be called Deserted. Instead, you will be called My Delight Is in Her, and your land, Married. Because the Lord delights in you, your land will be cared for once again. Isaiah 62:4

 
Accepting the name beloved with Bonnie


 

The River by Michael Neale

Andy Andrews, the best selling author said of Michael Neale's first novel "The River is a story that will transform how you see yourself and the world" setting me up to expect a story larger than life.

Gabriel Clarke was born by the river, and for the river just as his grandfather and father were.  When his father John loses his life to the river attempting to save another man, young Gabriel is relocated from the majesty of the river canyons to Cairo, Kansas to live with his mother.  I was hungry for more information.  Why had his parents separated years before?

With my questions unanswered I continued on, watching Gabriel struggle to deal with memories, fears and a darkness that would overtake him.  But as we had been told, he was made for the river and to the river he returned.

There is adventure in these pages and romance.  There is raw emotion.  The story was quick to read, but I never experienced the depth I was promised.

I wish I had encountered this book before reading any of the hype.  I suspect I would have expected less and enjoyed it more for the simple story it is.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
 

16 January 2013

Surprised by dawn

Don't be surprised by the darkness 
come it will
and come again
heavy, thick with lying voices
that accuse, condemn
tell you you're the only one
that ever lost the light

Don't be surprised by tears
come they will
and come again
instead of running
let them wash you clean 

Allow the surprise
of rising dawn
to shake you, wake you
give yourself leave
to explode with joy
reach hard, grab hold
pulling down truth, 
light, life

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. 
In this world you will have trouble. 
But take heart! I have overcome the world 

Walking with Emily and the broken

 

15 January 2013

Jesus Pure and Simple by Wayne Cordeiro

There is a common theme in my prayers.  I ask the Lord for invisibility, that when people look at me they would see Him.  To cast the proper reflection I need to know Him.  Jesus Pure and Simple the new book by Wayne Cordeiro sounded like another step in that direction.  The book cover teased me with the following:

When you focus on Christ, everything else falls into place. Your relationships. Your job. Your church. Your mission. It's all placed in the hands of Jesus, pure and simple.

Here's something refreshing: a pure and simple devotion to Christ. Sounds wonderfully inviting, doesn't it?

And the good news is that it's not about doing more or doing less. Because God created you in His image, the more you become like Jesus, the more you become the person you were created to be.
Cordeiro again and again reminds us to correct ourselves back to Jesus knowing that he is speaking to hearts that are easily swayed and prone to stray.  Hearts like my own.

I was moved to tears and to prayer by many of the stories shared.  Aha moments abounded in these pages.  I was most moved by the following information I had never heard before:
In the Bedouin sheepherders' culture, they know that if the sheep are flocked around the shepherd, predators will not attack, because the shepherd is there.  But predators will be patient and wait for a lamb to stray. 
The shepherd will leave the ninety and nine in the open field and go after that one lamb and bring it back.  He will forgive it, love it and say, "Stay!  Because I know that if you stray again it may be the end of your life." 
Now if this lamb has a propensity to stray, and if the shepherd finds it straying one time...two times...ten times...then he knows that the future of this lamb is in grave jeopardy...When the shepherd realizes the fatal pattern, he will hold the lamb firmly and break its front leg.  A struggle ensues, but the shepherd will methodically splint the broken leg, wrap it, and return to the flock carrying the wayward lamb on his shoulders.  He continues to cradle the lame returnee in his arms until the healing is complete.  And when the prodigal is finally able to sustain its own weight once again, a transformation has taken place along the way.  A new propensity has replaced the old pattern.
The lamb stays intimately close to the shepherd.
I'm sure the lamb did not understand why things happened in that manner any more than we comprehend God's ways in our lives.  It takes faith to trust His work, but the rewards are more than worthwhile

Could your life use a bit of realignment?  I challenge you to read this book and learn to fall in love again with the One Who was, Is and always Will Be Jesus, Pure and Simple.

I was given a complimentary copy of the book by Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.  The opinions I have expressed are my own.

 

Working at home

for now
my work is here
within the walls
of a country bungalow

there is meter
rhythm and rhyme
in the folding of a towel
the stirring of thick purées

music born 
in the drip, drip, drip
of fresh coffee

dance of cinnamon
finding release
in the rising of sweet bread

there are those 
who work 
to make their house a home

while here
I am busy
crafting from house a poem

Joining with many at Tweetspeak Poetry celebrating poetry at work day

 

12 January 2013

At her master's feet

Only one thing is important [necessary; needed]. 
Mary has chosen the better thing, 
and it will never be taken away from her  

May today and all days 
find you taking time 
to sit at the feet of your Master

 
sighing  with the Sunday community at Deidra's

 

He will catch us


Trust is the basis of life. 
Without trust, no human being can live. 
Trapeze artists offer a beautiful image of this. 
Flyers have to trust their catchers. 
They can do the most spectacular doubles, 
triples, or quadruples, 
but what finally makes their performance spectacular 
are the catchers who are there for them 
at the right time in the right place.

Much of our lives is flying. 
It is wonderful to fly in the air free as a bird, 
but when God isn't there to catch us, 
all our flying comes to nothing. 
Let's trust in the Great Catcher.
Henri Nouwen


Soaring, surrendered to the wind of His Spirit, 
trusting His everlasting arms.


 
Soaking in stillness with Sandy

abiding with Cheryl

 
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