05 December 2017

my thorn

don’t call me courageous
that title belongs to those 
who make a choice
to move, or take action

brave? not me
there is nothing I have done
but breathe, or gasp
eyes briefly shut
till the worst of it passes 

dauntless? no
I have simply survived
another moment
another day

 so I wouldn’t get a big head, 
I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. 
Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. 
No danger then of walking around high and mighty! 
At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. 
Three times I did that, and then he told me,
My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.

05 October 2017

no digging

I have been distant, yes
somewhere down deep
following the Light

words scattered into 
places hidden

but His voice reminds 
He has called me
as His pen

I must not dig for words
but embrace them
as they come
refreshment in this
the driest of seasons

14 July 2017

ministry morning

I was excited to once again be gathering with the women at the community widow’s centre, ready to worship with them and share words of encouragement.  We had not been there for quite some time, but they welcomed us warmly, remembering us.

I spoke about how big our God is, beyond our wildest imagination; His thoughts higher than ours, able to do all things. I wanted them to understand, I want myself to understand, how that same God, vast as He Is, has chosen to dwell in us. How can we not be humbled, brought low in wonder and praise?

My words were met with smiles, nods and “amens.” I was not expecting the words spoken after mine. One of the centre leaders explained to the women that this was a special day ordained by God, a day to open their hearts and share their struggles Why wait until they are alone at night to pour out tears on their pillows? We had come, and we would listen, we would care and we would pray.

One by one, the women came, trusting God to speak to us. One by one, with my heart broken, I held their trembling hands and listened, to them and to the Holy Spirit. Each one had a tale of frustration; with family, finances, health and more.  The kingdom of darkness is running wild, kicking hard, and creating disorder that was stealing the peace of all. We declared health, wholeness and victory. We asked in faith “Lord, glorify Your name.”

Our first home visit revealed the deeply embedded lack of proper medical care. We were greeted by a young mother, tightly holding a small girl child who looked no older than two. Her eyes would not focus and she didn’t respond to claps or whistles. She just passed her sixth birthday! Doctors at clinics and the hospital have examined her and have claimed that she is well, no problems. No exams are needed for us to recognise that this child is not well at all, indeed likely suffering with a variety of problems; not the least of these is her failure to develop normally. We prayed and suggested a consultation with a local ministry to the disabled. Perhaps working hand in hand the life of this little one and her mother will begin to thrive.

Just another Zambian morning, like so many others, filled with unanswered questions; but also drenched in an ever growing reliance on the only One Who answers all. Leaning hard on Him, is, I believe, the very best place to be.

10 July 2017

what my spirit hears

can you hear
the sound of a mother’s tears or
the wail of a young wife left homeless
her husband newly dedicated to the ground?

can you hear
the stretch and strain of nations 
as they attempt to birth themselves
raging against the darkness?

can you hear
the flap of wings not fully formed
desperately unable to fly
breathing thunder
in a silent roar?

have you listened?
can you hear?

09 July 2017

morning words

some early morning words from my Father
as I sat in silence this morning

it was never about you anyway
so what you can
or cannot do
matters not at all

it is only in the willingness
the sacrifice
the giving over
that I rule and reign
and have My way

worry not, little one
just remain close
heart open

I know you are broken
but also wholly Mine
that is what I use

03 July 2017

not enough tears

there comes a time
when there are not
words enough
when there are not
tears enough
when my heart forgets to beat
and my lungs don't remember
how to breathe

standing or falling
in silent prayers
to save a life
to see the end
of other lives needlessly
ending too soon

living here, in a place
where a hospital
is considered a place to die
not a place to heal

and in my aching
in my weak and trembling flesh
the Lord is speaking 
something new
an urging, a summons
a call to action

wake up Zambia
arise in the shining light
grab hold hard
to these lives too precious
to simply slip away

please pray for our dear friend
balanced on the edge of here and gone
pray harder for the others
the multitudes
who lay dying in beds of neglect

ask our God
to be God
in ways only He can
believe that our friend will declare:

The strong right arm of the Lord is raised in triumph.
    The strong right arm of the Lord has done glorious things!
 I will not die; instead, I will live
    to tell what the Lord has done.
Psalm 118:16-17 NLT

26 June 2017

living like a lizard

downside up becomes 
normal, here
winter settles in
and my flesh, now accustomed
to African heat, balks
shivering against the cold

I learn to live
like the lizards, seeking
the sun, stretching 
into the warm, 
never able to retain enough
heat, I withdraw 
as light fades
sheltered in fleece
waiting till the next
mid-day absorption

14 June 2017

daily choice

a daily option, easy 
unto death
hard, into life
where freedom waits

I daily choose
the narrow way
pressed close
to my Master's heart

 “Enter by the narrow gate; 
for the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, 
and those who enter by it are many. 
For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, 
that leads to life, 
and those who find it are few."

09 June 2017

such fruit

backyard banana flower

all my eyes can see
is beyond extraordinary
how He creates with love
skill and humour
that which pleases and delights

my desire is to be such fruit
in His hands

21 May 2017

Who is a woman of God?

Who is a woman of God?
His daughter, Jesus sister, temple
of the Holy Spirit
she is a walking, breathing container
of the mysterious Trinity
worth so much more than jewels

Who is a woman of God?
she works hard, cries harder
and loves with all of her being
she is filled with prayer, power
and praise
she is chosen, called and set apart
she is friend, wife and mother

Who is a woman of God?
she was pulled from the flesh of Adam
carrying the breath of her Creator
she is both fragile and strong
roots growing deep
love growing deeper
she is reliable, dependable
she laughs loud and weeps in silence

Who is a woman of God?
she is ready to serve, sacrifice
carry the burdens of nations
a woman of wisdom
a woman of worship
a creature so valuable
that Jesus shed His blood to save her

Who is a woman of God?
she is behind you, before you
right beside you and inside you
it takes only minutes to meet her
and a lifetime to know her
and all that God has birthed within her
she is you, she is me
she is your daughter, your auntie
your sister, your cousin

Who is a woman of God?
she is the old one who lives down the road
the young one that wanders the streets
the one who gives her last crumb to feed you
while she aches with a hunger she will never confess
she is from the north, south, east or west
Asian, Latin, African
skin of white, olive or black

Who is a woman of God?
she is clothed in rags or splendour
while she awaits her robe of righteousness
pure, spotless, no more wrinkles
she is the apple of His eye,
from before time until eternity
holding on to the mysterious promise
of the One Who claims her as His bride
beloved forever
with Him, she was, she is, and ever will be
blessed to be a blessing

Who is a woman of God?
you, and you, and you
and me.

one voice for One

I stand before you, a sample
of the power
of The Creator
to shape from nothing
what He chooses, for His pleasure
I stand before you
hand painted
sealed, stamped with His name
like you, and you, and you
marked with intricate detail
arms, legs, hearts beating wild
perfect in our imperfections
eyes, ears, voice
His voice, is in you, is in me
but the rhythm, the tempo, the tune
mid-air suspended, was not intended
to sound the same, no
don’t sell yourself
don’t sell Him short
the One Who’s designs
are never duplicated, replicated
or mass produced
no instant replays, reruns or counterfeits 
no simulations, imitations or forgeries
but unique, set apart, only one
for the Only One

25 April 2017

From Ashes to Glory

You have journeyed with me
through the span of time
from Ash Wednesday
to Resurrection Sunday

I have compiled the daily psalms
into one volume, now available as 
From Ashes to Glory

come find the holy with me

16 April 2017

psalm 47

psalm 47

so this is it, all the prayers
worries, waiting, over
finished, rivers of tears
mingled with praise
bowing low, hands raised
awestruck again
He has risen, just as He said
one act, never seen before
changes everything forever
love unharnessed, profound
takes me deeper, lost
in Jesus, the only way
to be found

15 April 2017

psalm 46

psalm 46

the silence of waiting 
is deafening, here
in the in-between
almost afraid to breathe
are You Who You said You Are?
will I stand alone now, forever
the loss of Your presence, fresh
raw, my heart torn wide
the future veiled, I see
only memories, grasping nothing
hope slips fast away
morning will come
the promise of Your glory
but for now, faith trembles

14 April 2017

psalm 45

psalm 45

so dark this day
we feel the weight
thousands of years
and each year new
the gift given 
from despair 
and abounding love

an impossible choice 
was set before You
and You selected death
to give us life

so dark this day
where glory dwells

13 April 2017

psalm 44

psalm 44

this world is upside-down Lord
deaf to Your Word, blind 
to Your mysterious ways
and I, a stranger here
choose to see with Your eyes
hear with Your ears
feel with Your heart
carrying Your pain
and theirs as I come humbly
into Your loving embrace

12 April 2017

psalm 43

psalm 43

You set me on a high place
solid, stable, sure
my feet, heart, my mind
so prone to wander fixed 
where no enemy
can move me, Your hand
open, awaiting my grasp
all else may crumble
everyone else may turn away
reject me, despise me
push me toward dismay
or faltering faith
while You wait, hand open still
to move me higher
where the air grows thin
but thick with Your presence
inhaling deeply all that is You
and all that I need

11 April 2017

psalm 42

psalm 42

all creation exists
by You, for You
and I as well
to honour and adore
to sing with the stars
the wind, the waves
hymns of mysterious joy
choruses of endless praise

10 April 2017

psalm 41

psalm 41

You have planted seeds
where it pleased You
and all variety of life springs forth
some for food, many more
for beauty, splendor
to glorify Your name
and we too, first imagined
before time as reflections
of the One the Only
Creator of all

09 April 2017

psalm 40

psalm 40

Thou shall have no Gods before Me
I read, I heard, I know
so I bow to only one God
(with a capital G) and yet…
how many little gods
have I worshipped
giving away time, focus, and my heart
chasing money, comfort, health
power, position and praise
forgive me again, forgive
this foolish child’s wandering
straining against the very chains
that set me free
draw me closer, Lord I come

08 April 2017

psalm 39

psalm 39

we are never alone
You go before us, circle
round us, our rear guard
warrior, protector
wings stretch wide 
Your shadow over us
shade from the heat 
of the African sun
cover from icy stings 
of Canadian snow
here, there, all places
all times, You Are
and we stand, awestruck
in worship, helpless for words
to honour You

07 April 2017

psalm 38

psalm 38

it is a simple question
two words only
hardly a breath span
“may I?”
hardly a breath span
two words only
and my world stops
the request trembles
my heart bowing to holy fear
hardly a breath span
two words only
a simple answer
“use me”

06 April 2017

psalm 37

psalm 37

nowhere can I turn
run or hide, around every corner
I find You again
and my soul is stirred

You surround me
I am sheltered, shadowed
still, softened in Your presence
even as I often strain the leash

to think I would find freedom
anywhere but with You, in You
is foolishness, now
even Your laugh comforts me

05 April 2017

psalm 36

psalm 36

You asked of me
expand, spread-out
amplify, but to do so
I need reach the end of 
my self, the box that 
holds me, step out 
of me and in to You
where there are no borders
no limits, just bridges
that magnify Your glory

04 April 2017

psalm 35

psalm 35

so much time adrift
leaves my heart breathless
in the least predictable of winds
sails shape shifting
losing ground, dizzy

I have an anchor
held close and tight
my rock, strength
all that is solid and safe
but useless in my hand

I must let it go, release
the full weight of it
so it may sink deep and hold
in all that is true
all that Is You

03 April 2017

psalm 34

psalm 34

I cannot tell a story more profound 
than stars, a single blade of grass
a lilac breasted roller
painted by Your hand
all designed in perfection
for Your pleasure

I ponder bones, flesh, blood 
coursing through vessel highways
mechanics beyond human ability
eyes of sea green, topaz
aquamarine, variety for beauty’s sake
and glory shines

02 April 2017

psalm 33

psalm 33

nothing in my hands
in my head, in my heart
is good or worthy or true
I am crumpled, broken
fallen from the start
my eyes so often blinded
to my helplessness
forgetting to run back to You
I stagger, lurch and tumble
on ice too thin to hold
what was lost, then found
still foolishly seeks to stand alone
when only by Your grace
do I still breathe to praise Your name

01 April 2017

psalm 32

psalm 32

I am content no longer
to tarry in the outer courts
or even linger long
within the inner courts, no
take me deeper still
to the holy of holies
the chambers of Your heart
where I may dwell
shaken, but still
in the secret place

31 March 2017

psalm 31

psalm 31

branches lifted, shifting
dancing in the breeze
dogs staccato barking
chase beneath the trees

cattle calling lowly
soon the birds join in
choruses of worship
where the air is thin

I, in silent wonder
need not make a sound
while all else that has breath
let’s His praise abound

30 March 2017

psalm 30

psalm 30

there is a direct line, connection 
between my hand and heart
when I lift one, the other elevates 
there is a direct line, connection
between thanksgiving and contentment
when I drop one, the other falls

but shall I bless Your name
for selfish gain
forgive me when praise
has been for reasons
other than Your worth-ship
please receive me 
with no false intent, that I may be
awestruck by holiness
silenced by glory

29 March 2017

psalm 29

psalm 29

the morning sun
the evening stars
mid-day rain refreshing
You are
all I can imagine
and beyond
You have shattered every box
we ever thought could hold You
higher, wider, deeper
I come knocking, devastate me
with Your beauty
consume me with Your glory
leave me broken
and yet whole, in You

28 March 2017

psalm 28

psalm 28

all that I have, piles of nothing
all that I am, dust
all that I need, You
as You I magnify
and You I glorify
You will satisfy
all that I am

27 March 2017

psalm 27

psalm 27

why do I hesitate to linger
in Your presence, the place of fullness
where submitted, surrendered
I am surrounded, filled
with peace, contentment
joy unspeakable
why would I choose to turn
in any other direction?
teach me, my Lord, Master
to run only to You

26 March 2017

psalm 26

psalm 26

rejoice for the sun rises
and here am I while many
did not awake to see this day
broken wide open in glory
the safety of Your promises
sheltering me, driving me
comforting me, filling me 
with courage to shout 
Your name, proclaim 
Your majesty
and walk again 
into the newness 
of life in The Light

25 March 2017

psalm 25

psalm 25

I have known too well
the darkness, deep pools
that beckon, lies convincing
sharp edges hidden 
in the appearance of softness
muting all sensibility
“come down lower
come quick come”
I have known too well
the tricks, skilled at a game 
I thought I was winning

while You waited, patient
knowing You created me for light
Your voice ringing clear, clean, true
“come up higher
come away with Me”
only by Your Spirit
did I choose the better way

24 March 2017

psalm 24

psalm 24

when I stop, breathe
cast a glance, up
down, around
there You are
beauty, power, glory
inescapable and undeniable
only a fool contests

23 March 2017

psalm 23

psalm 23

this world down here, Lord?
is filled with clutter and chatter
people struggling to be heard
sound building upon sound
until I hear everything and
nothing but the endless noise

I want to know the sweet song
of my shepherd, the voice that is true
that leads me to the silence
to safety, abundance and peace
where I will feast on Your presence