31 July 2013

things July taught me

Another month ends today, almost as quickly as it began.  I am joining Emily Freeman of Chatting at the Sky in choosing to mark moments of learning, however random.

During the month of July, in no particular order, I learned : 
I need to surrender daily in laying it down again
who I belong to in I am His
I still can't love mosquitoes in don't scratch the itch
I found the source of my energy in photosynthesis
life follows life in the cycle continues
it is hard to live in the moment in right here, right now
how to ask for more grace in pain on the prairie


linking up with Emily 

 

30 July 2013

saxy songs

I never knew the way
to Baker Street or
San Jose or any of those 
too hip to show your hand
hang outs

captured by the wail
down paths wide 
and slow
or up narrow, fast 

calling me home and
pulling me back
to dark streets
alleys, drawn
with magnet force
to the wild side

sax cries hot sweat, 
passion drips
into veins throbbing to
live here now

hanging out with the poets today

also adding to the poetic strains of rock and roll at tweetspeak poetry

 

27 July 2013

only in silence

In reality, 
only in silence 
can man succeed in listening, 
in the intimacy of his conscience, 
to the voice of God, 
which truly makes him free.
John Paul II

looking for a silence spot with Sandy

24 July 2013

pain on the prairie

July will soon depart
prairie summer here and fleeting
we have faced an over abundance of rain,
mosquitoes, dangerous winds

the unpredictable weather
leaves my back weak, brittle
as pain takes my breath

yet there is much to be done
peas, beans, zucchini 
growing full, lush
berries turning dark, 
ripe with juices

I press on, stretch slow
inquire of and lean into my Lord
my petition simple, aching
remove this thorn
or pour out more grace
as You will
that I might best serve You
and the one you chose as my partner

pain, pain go away
don't come back another day

Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 2 Corinthians 12:8-9 NLT

 
walking with Emily and the broken yet redeemed
 

23 July 2013

art of becoming

reaching long
tension strains
to break free
the art of 
becoming
each movement a step
into the unknown
but promised glory
of now

hanging out at the bar, rubbing shoulders with the other poets
 

22 July 2013

Traffic in July

It is Rock and Roll month at Tweetspeak Poetry.
The prompt last week was Blue Suede Shoes
"Pick a shoe and put it in a poem, with a little music on the side. 
Black heels. Brown loafers. Red sneakers. 
Okay, or those blue suede shoes. Rock us."

This is what poured forth:

Traffic in July

steam of summer
sizzled on concrete
sun kissed skin
sweat slicked hair
music throbbing
through open windows
bare feet tapping
rock jazz fusion
low spark of high
heeled boys
never too hot
to be cool

Go ahead and have a listen, the strains transport me back to the early 1970's, in a good way!


20 July 2013

truth to rest in

But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.

in this truth,
in this powerful promise from my Lord
I will sink in and find a place to rest

seeking the stillness with Sandy 

 
and singing with the Sunday choir at Deidra's

 

19 July 2013

I am His

My heart beat heavy and stiff this morning
I left an online message for a friend
Once again I ask for prayers that the feeling of being left out of the loop would flee. I know nothing in this world is about "me" anyway.  At times I feel connected and that I actually belong with the group of writers and poets that gather here in cyber space - and then God reminds me that I belong only to Him.
I did not know the word for today is belong
but I'm certain that He did!

He has called to me 
in the night seasons
in the brightness of day
on the breath defying heights
and in the valleys of despair

until I cry out my desperation

and He answers
Here Am I

when I strive to belong
to anything or anyone else
I lose sight of Him
and cannot find solid ground

and yes, perhaps He allows the loss of balance
the teetering
knowing I will fall
into His arms

Five Minute Friday linking up at Lisa-Jo's where the word today is belong

 

17 July 2013

laying it down again

Sunday morning I woke earlier than necessary
I lazed in bed while Rick slept, my mind wandering free
cycling through visions of my home, friends, comfortable life
and I pondered my decision to give it all up
for a faith based life on the mission field
"maybe I heard you wrong, Lord" my flesh whimpered
not quite willing to let go
the feeling lingered as we gathered with fellow believers
even into our time of corporate worship

I heard my voice joining in the following song:

A new song I will sing
An offering I bring
My life is for the glory of my King

My all I give to You
Lord do what You must do
My heart is Yours and Yours alone

All I have is Yours
Use me as You will
I lay my whole life down for You

and there, finding my way to my knees
I was broken, weeping
the words suddenly so very real, sharp, true
as again, I surrendered

walking with the broken redeemed at Emily's

 

16 July 2013

butterfly effect

a touch
so light
I would have missed

it had I not 
been looking

wings 
so fragile
beating into 

currents strong enough
to alter winds

may my words
so broken
fall soft upon tender

hearts ready to
change the world


hanging out at the pub today, where poets meet

 

15 July 2013

Activist Faith by Burroughs, Darling and King

I have long been moved, almost haunted by the words of James:

Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world. James 1:27 The Message

How can I claim to be a disciple of Christ and shut my ears to His call?

In their new book Activist Faith, From Him and For Him, Dillon Burroughs, Daniel Darling, and Dan King tackle the tough issues of our time:

Human Trafficking; Immigration; Poverty; Environmentalism; Disaster Relief; Homelessness; Defending the Unborn; War, Terror and Genocide; Religious Freedom; Parenthood and Sexuality: Crime and Urban Decay; the Orphan Crisis.

Using quotes as varied as the Word of God, modern theologians and others, the words hit the mark and convict the spirit.  For example:
Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not. —Dr. Seuss
All three authors share stories of people they have met and lives that have been changed, including their own. I wept through Dan King's telling of a mother in Kenya:
My biggest question is the same for everyone we meet: “How has the opportunity to run this business with the support of the micro-loans affected you and your family personally?” 
She responds simply, “Now I have some extra money to buy things for my kids.” She has three young children under the age of ten. 
This is a response that I can really relate to! I have a six-year-old son at home. As his dad, I love having a little extra money from time to time so I can buy something special for him, such as a handheld gaming system. But I don’t see many kids around there playing on their handheld gaming systems. In most parts of Kenya, the term “handheld gaming system” usually means “a stick.” Some of the more fortunate kids I see get to play with an old flat soccer ball.
So I ask her, “What kinds of things do you buy for your kids?” She shrugs a little bit and responds, “You know, meat and bread.” 
For the first time ever in my life, I am utterly speechless. Here I am thinking of all the luxuries I’m going to shower my son with when I return home, and she just told me that all of her hard work provided her the luxury of buying her kids food!
Activist Faith does much more than remind us of what God desires. The authors provide examples, resources and effective steps to take with sections in each chapter: How You Can Help;Think It Through; Helpful Tools and Resources - for Research and for Action.

I pray that this book changes each and every one of us.  May these ending words burn deep in our spirits:
As you pray for guidance, consider that Jesus might answer, “I’ve changed you so you can live out your faith where you currently live, work, and study. Begin right now.” Okay, so Jesus did not exactly say it like this in the Gospels, but it’s accurate realistic paraphrase. You might not like your job, your major, or your place in life at the moment. God might have some big plans for you in another part of the world someday. Until then, start where you are. That’s where He’s placed you for the moment. Live with Activist Faith.
Activist Faith isn't just a book, it is a way of life.  Be sure to check out the website which is intended to be an ongoing resource to support the movement.

I was privileged to receive an advanced reader copy of this important work by Navpress.  The opinions I have expressed are my own.

 

13 July 2013

Photosynthesis

I woke this morning with the word photosynthesis on my lips.  "How odd" I chuckled as I shared this with Rick.  I hadn't been thinking or dreaming of plants so it seemed strange indeed.

I sensed perhaps God was trying to tell me something and a Google search lead me to wikipedia where I read the following:
Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to convert light energy, normally from the sun, into chemical energy that can be used to fuel the organisms' activities
Normally from the sun?  What about the Son?

Once more Jesus addressed the crowd. He said, I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me will not be walking in the dark, but will have the Light which is Life. John 8:12 Amplified

He Who Is light gives me the energy to do all that He asks of me.  I find great peace, rest and the freedom to be still in that simple and  profound truth.

 
needing to be still with Sandy

abiding with Cheryl

 

12 July 2013

Right here, right now

there is much I have left behind
shaken off like an extra layer of clothing
useless and heavy in the heat
I don't spend much time 
looking back

pressing forward, ever forward
like Paul urged us

Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; 
but this one thing I do: 
forgetting what lies behind 
and straining forward to what lies ahead, 
I press on toward the goal 
for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus 

yet that forward thrust
leaves me missing this moment
right here, right now
the gift of the present
a breath inhaled
then gone

we have answered God's call
agreeing as one
here we are Lord, send us
paperwork completed
we pray, we wait
attempts to silence the questions
fall short
as my mind grinds on
where? when?
feeling like those who wait for a child to adopt
checking email, again and again and yes, again
maybe the phone will ring
or something at the post office...

and today slips away again into yesterday
left behind

Five Minute Friday
joining Lisa-Jo where the prompt is present

 

10 July 2013

Firefly Island by Lisa Wingate


There are times when I want to disappear into someone else's life, stepping away from the "real-life" around me.  Lisa Wingate's tales set in Moses Lake have provided just such an escape in the past and her new novel Firefly Island took me down a familiar road.

The back cover teases:
Mallory Hale's life quickly veers off course when she falls hopelessly in love. After a whirlwind romance, Mallory finds herself leaving the bustle and action of Capitol Hill for the remote town of Moses Lake, Texas--with husband, stepson, and a U-Haul in tow. 
A sweet, mishap-filled journey into marriage, motherhood, and ranch living ensues, and Mallory is filled with both the wonderment of love and the insecurities of change.
This is not however just a sweet little romance.  There is mystery and intrigue that kept me turning pages long after I should have been sleeping.

If you have journeyed with Wingate to Moses Lake in the past you'll want to read this addition to the series. If you haven't yet stepped foot in Moses Lake Firefly Island is a great place to start.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House a division of Baker Publishing Group.  The opinions I have shared are my own.

 

don't scratch the itch


and on what day did God create mosquitoes?

here is a re-post from the 2010 archives 
because I'm too busy trying not to scratch 
to concentrate on writing at the moment:

My thoughts are scattered, I submit them to the Lord
I praise Him for this day as the sun burns its way through the clouds
just as I have praised Him through the rains that yet threaten to continue
But He is God, in all things, of all things, through all things.

All things.. yes, that must include the mosquitoes
inescapable in this the wettest season we've seen in years
seeming as large as the hummingbirds that hover
fighting for spots around the feeders we provide
I must coat myself in repellents or choose the safety of the indoors
where I watch as they seem to taunt me from the window screens
but.. He is God.. of all things, yes,
even when, particularly when, I cannot comprehend His reasoning.

Okay Lord, I'm not complaining, really,
it's not me You hear, it's the whine of the dreaded insect
as I slap it dead against my bare skin, awaiting the welt that will rise,
repeating to myself, "this is a test, this is only a test...."

At last, I have thought of one benefit of the noxious pests..
they make me forget about the wood ticks.

For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. 
[For all things originate with Him and come from Him; 
all things live through Him, 
and all things center in and tend to consummate and to end in Him.] 
To Him be glory forever! Amen (so be it). 


 

06 July 2013

in a flash

Listen, I tell you a mystery: 
We will not all sleep, 
but we will all be changed— 
in a flash, 
in the twinkling of an eye, 
at the last trumpet. 
For the trumpet will sound,
 the dead will be raised imperishable, 
and we will be changed.

 
singing in the Sunday chorus with Deidra
 
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