Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Jeweled gates, transparent gold streets, ivory palace--dazzling light
Riveting river streams, a throne where glory gleams--never night.
Exalted angel symphony, perfect sync and harmony,
Praise, worshiped, adored, Center or it all--Jesus Christ, the Lord.

For in the beginning, when the spheres took shape, galaxies flung,
planets, suns, hung suspended on nothing but air--He was there!
Co-Creator, He liked taking our insignificant earth
to make something of worth--home for the man He'd designed and planned.

No automation, crowning creation--God's own image rose,
able to receive and return His awesome love--if he chose.
Man gambled intimacy with Deity, temporary
gratification of curiosity over trusting

Truth, lasting Love, authority of his Creator.  We lost.
Downward, diseased sin spiral began.  The cost?  Cut off from God
Who loved us still but wouldn't violate the will He'd given.
Yet God longed for us, sent His Son, our ransom, from heaven.

So in the fullness of time, the Mighty, Majestic One stepped  
down from His throne to become tiny seed in His very own
creation, a young virgin called Mary, starting formation
as human son of man so that we could become sons of God.

In nine months, He burst forth to trod the world His word gave substance,
Infinite/infant, dependent for His very sustenance!
Broken gates, disorderly streets, smelly stable--noisy night
Blood and water streams, dirty manger, tiny screams--Holy Light!

No room for Him then, no room for Him now, rejected, ignored.
Slapped and betrayed, dying as He prayed forgiveness for you and
me, rising the third day to show He's the Only Way to be
saved from God separation, actually come to know Him Who
can fill the void in your hungry heart and offer a fresh start--
      God's Gift from Above
      Incarnated Love!

Please read this through once more and receive God's Christmas gift to you personally.  Is there room in your heart for Jesus?  Has bitterness or cynicism crowded him out of your mind and emotions?  Your spirit still longs for communion with Him just as He wanted communion with us, and you will never know completeness without it.  You don't have to analyze and understand everything; just decide to believe what He has put into the spirit of every human being.  Say, "Lord Jesus, I open my heart to receive You as my only Savior for my sin of unbelief and going my own way.  Reveal Yourself to me as Lord, help me to know You, to be delivered and protected from all deception.  I renounce all that would keep me from that.  Thank You for loving me, for coming as a babe, experiencing life here, dying and rising from the dead to save me.  I want You to guide my life until You come for me."
Read your Bible (you could start with the gospel of John) and talk to Him every day.  Find other true believers, and fellowship with them.  (Don't judge Jesus by those who call themselves Christians but act nothing like Him, but don't judge them either:)  Just seek to know and follow Him yourself; but do try to find a group that sincerely wants to know Him, make Him known to others, and follow the truth of the Bible, His Word to us.  I would like to explain to you more--about the importance of water baptism and the work of the Holy Spirit--but the most vital thing eternally is receiving Jesus:) Let me know if you need further help understanding, and thank you for visiting and reading my post!  You may be hurting in ways I can only imagine, but you are never alone now.  "Emmanuel", one of the names given to Jesus, the Messiah, means "God with us".  The One Who knows you best, loves you most, and is most willing and able to help you, lives with you and is now in you!:)  And I believe this same Jesus will soon return for those who are His.  May that hope excite and sustain you until then.  Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

He Came To Us Helpless

Cousin Kim New Born Baby Boy
Image credit Jon Ovington on Flickr
He came to us helpless, crying--
couldn't walk, talk, feed himself or
control basic body functions.

But his mind?  Clearly superior--
nothing about him inferior--
unless compared to former state.

He willingly stripped himself of
dignity and power so that he
could relate to our dependence.

Dressed in human limitations,
he endured humiliations
of being knowingly helpless.

He nursed his mother, and I think
he knew when she changed his diaper,
too--part of the price he paid for you

and me to see God's face and know
the rest of the Christmas story:
We Can Know HIM In His Glory!

Because He Who twirled the worlds
came into ours--not as a king
but as Son of God, son of man.

Felt helpless lately?  What a debilitating feeling!  I can only imagine the mortifying blow to personal pride & human dignity of being dependent on others for physical care.  Forced to request & accept help when one has known ability and independence must require grace to keep from screaming.  My own brother, like many others, does this daily--with gratefulness and humor.  Yet I'm certain he chafes at his limitations, feels concerns for his wife and loved ones, longs for a miracle of former independence even while he knows present peace.  

Our Savior, The "Word" Who was with God in the beginning, when He said, "Let there be" and "Let Us make man in Our own image..." without Whom "nothing was made that was made" ..."became flesh & dwelt among us".   He knew perfect oneness and communion with the Father and Holy Spirit, the adoration of angels crying, "holy, holy, holy", perfect order and unimaginable beauty, total power and authority.  He knew that to fulfill God's plan for redemption He would have to suffer pain, rejection, our sin, and curse of the cross before being resurrected to glory.  But He also knew that He would dwell among the lowly (a peasant home, not even earthly royalty) and begin the journey into humanity as a helpless babe.

Men scrap scruples in their greedy grasp for position and power.  Anger flames against those in authority when injustice is perceived.  Some fight for change for their own benefit or personal agenda; others, for those they see as helpless victims.  Before Jesus' birth, the cry of the very people to whom He would identify as His own was for a
mighty deliverer who would free them from oppression.  He did amazingly fulfill all the prophecies for Messiah, but somehow their mind set was on His final return as Conquering King rather than His first coming as the Lamb born in Bethlehem to a young virgin--and the kingdom He wanted to first establish in hearts.

When do you think He became cognizant of His Divinity/humanity?  Many seem to accept that He suddenly knew He was the Son of God at 12 years of age in the temple; others think it may have been a growing awareness.  Who can actually be sure?  Now, I may be totally off, and I'm not trying to "add to" the Bible my personal interpretation.  But, it is my opinion that Jesus was aware of the entire process of the human experience.  How humbling to think that He willingly subjected Himself to the limitations of being knowingly helpless, pre-limiting Himself to communication without words and to having His bottom wiped! That should comfort and confirm to any in like state, or to the elderly who may fear that possibility, that "He was in all points temped such as we..." and that "We have not a High Priest Who cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmity". 

Perhaps you are physically whole but feel the frustration of overwhelming helplessness at a situation not of your choosing that you feel powerless to change.  I 
just want to remind you that The Supreme Being became helpless--messy diapers and all!--so that you would know He knows how you feel--but also so that we could have access to His ability to accomplish any change He wills through us.  He wants to shine His glory, His hope in the darkness of hopeless despair & destruction, His difference in us and through us to our world--yes, even in you, in your present messy setting!  Know that He relinquished His power so we could humbly partake of His Divine Nature and authority!  Let's use what He has given and give Him the glory.  And next time you hear a baby cry, thank Jesus for coming to us--not as an intimidating ruler but as an innocent, helpless newborn--so we could be reborn--beloved children of The King!   Emmanuel, "God With Us", a "present help in time of need".  That's God's grace! 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


He beholds me while I sleep as
once I did my little ones--though
infinitely more tenderly--
sees the potential, but frailty
of frame as He whispers my name.

He gently kisses tired sighs,
cuddles, cradles, comforts my cries.
Traces my lips with fingertips
that paint the glory of sunrise,
watches me yawn and stretch and rise.

He sits close to me at breakfast
as I read His Word, call Him Lord.
Squeezing hands across my table,
He tells me He's more than able
to lift the loads I can't handle.

We laugh, sing, dance, and talk awhile;
memories and dreams make us both smile.
He smiles with eyes undistracted,
no turning glance to side of head,
understanding just what I said.

We discuss lots for I can trust
Him not to tell nor ever yell.
He says to do what I enjoy;
I never fear I will annoy
Him with the truth of being me.

I'm never alone, for you see
God Himself keeps me company!

For all my sweet widow friends who "live alone", this is for you.  Our choir used to sing a song, "I'll Never Be Lonely Again" --beautiful melody and sweet words, but hardly true as I see it!  Actually, I rather enjoy occasional solitude; how I would feel if it were forced on me, I cannot say.  I rather think it would indeed get lonely from time to time.  But how wonderful to be able to enjoy the company of none other than the King of Kings--the God Who says Himself that He is Love!  Sweet dears, you can pray and change the course of a thousand lives in a hundred different countries!  You can enjoy the Lord's nearness in a way those with other people obligations cannot do as easily.  You are important.  You are loved.  You are NEVER alone! :)


Thank You, God!  Oh, thank you so, so much!
You see my smile?  How I love Your touch!
I hate the flat gruel of dark despair
when it tastes like You don't really care.

Of course, Theology says You do;
You're Unchanging; Your Word always true.

But sometimes when my sighs and heart cries
seem unheard; circumstances arise
king size, tackling me down to the ground--
flattening me--pounding pain, threatening
to steal what faith's arm stretched high to catch,

I need to know that my Coach believes
I can hold on, break free, run touchdown!

And thanks for team players who defend--
intercept, intercede, act as friend.
I think one of them just prayed for me;
I've crossed the end zone in victory!

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Light after Darkness
Image credit JD I Photography on Flickr

Lady of Light, you found a way to squeeze sunlight
'round corners, under cracks in doors closed to others,
banishing shadows--and who knows how many times
your candlelight warmed the cold night of someone's soul!

Your spotlight searched for wisdom, understanding, truth,
found worth many miss, beamed wonder at God's splendor.
You were a lighthouse of prayer, saving straying ships.
Your smile lit steps on the trip we strolled together.

You've gone to the Source of the Pure Light you reflected,
sooner than expected, an evening star at twilight.
Though in lonely night seasons weeping will surely come,
Joy will break thru' in rainbow hues, sparkling morning sun! 

A year ago today, my sweet Mama moved to heaven.  (I wrote another poem called "Moving Day" which I've not yet shared on here, but you can read a little more about her in "Memories of You, Mom" --an earlier post).  She was wonderful and unique in many ways; one would be hard pressed to find anyone who loved God more and longed for others to know Him, too.

She smiled with her eyes, and that light of love crept into many hardened hearts because it was real.  Know how you hate to have someone shine a light in your eyes when you're trying to sleep?  She kept her flashlight with her at night, but it was to prevent stumbling in the dark if she needed it.  She never meant to blast you in the eyes with her light of truth; she shone to point the pathway when one needed direction, to protect from danger, to bring cheer into a gloomy day--like opening heavy, dreary drapery to allow sunshine in.  Her life was a lighted window, hope in the darkness.  Radiant warmth of a bonfire from the chill of life--because she cared.  We shared understanding, laughter, love; I miss her far more than I even thought I would, ache for her at times--but rejoice when I picture her with Jesus--in the city where He, the Lamb of God, shines as the Light that banishes darkness forever!

Started to close this, but must ask:  Are you walking in the Light?  Do you know Jesus?  Have you heard He loves you?  You can receive Him, and the glow of His presence will dwell inside so that you will never be alone again. His light is truth and love--the genuine, not the artificial.  Just say:  "Jesus, I open my heart to receive you as my Lord and Savior, to receive as personal truth your death and resurrection to save me.  Thank you for loving me enough to give me the gift of eternal life.  Shine in my heart, and let your light be seen by the world around me."    Read the Bible, His Word to you.  The gospel of John is a good place to start.  It talks about Him as The Light, too:)  Ask Him to lead you into all truth and to protect you from deception.  Step out of the shadow into the sunshine!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


coroa imperial
Image credit jaci VIII on Flickr

Ok, I have romantic poems I wanted to share with the young,  poems I thought some seniors might appreciate, thought-provoking ones I hoped you deep thinkers might enjoy:), even a few literary ones for those who appreciate the art of writing!  But all those can wait.  I want to give you words to ponder that could possibly change the course of your life.  Melodramatic?  Don't mean to be but going to risk any number of "kook" labels to share my feeling of urgency.

Driving home today in the heat (no a/c but no heat stroke either, I promise!:) words suddenly appeared out of nowhere into my mind, "Let no man steal your crown!"  No one in this world would confuse me with royalty, and it's been a long time since I played dress-up.  Yet the words were significant to me, for I recognized them from Scripture.  I knew to find their source in the Bible's prophetic last book.  Rev. 3:11 reads,  "Behold, I am coming quickly!  Hold fast what you have that no one may take your crown."  What crown might that be?  Lots of references, but here's the one that immediately came to mind from the Apostle Paul's writings as he faced martyrdom.  "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith(3 things we Christians need to get right:)  "Henceforth, there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness which the Lord, The Righteous Judge, shall give me on that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing." 

Do you love the thought of Christ's appearing?  Does the thought of seeing Him face to face thrill you--or leave you feeling a bit anxious, annoyed, afraid, or ashamed?  Do you even still believe Jesus is coming again--or are you like those who have cast away that confidence as foolish, churchy superstition, saying, "We've heard that all our lives, and He's never come, not likely to now?  Since our forefathers lived and died, all things have continued as they were..."  Or, do you believe the church teachings that at some foggy, futuristic date, Christ will indeed return in some nebulous form and time will be replaced by eternity--just not likely in our lifetime.  We're also told to "beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy or vain deceit."  We dare not be like those..."professing themselves wise, they became fools."  

Have you allowed some intellectual or social mindset to steal the crown of your belief system in Jesus and His Word and replace it with its own fake value system?  Oh, please, I urge you, buy the whole truth of God's Word, and don't sell out!   Everything that can be shaken will be shaken; but if we build on Christ, The Solid Rock, as our foundation, our lives will stand, not fall apart and crumble--as they will built on bits of truth--grains of sand--what looks, feels or sounds good.  We were intended to "reign in life by One, Christ Jesus"--but we must think His thoughts to do so. "Don't be conformed to this world's mold, but be renewed in the spirit of your mind."

Lots of goofy "prophets" in past years, inventing sensational stuff, but the real remains.  Jesus is coming!  That should comfort--even excite--us, not scare us!  But it should stir us out of pettiness and lethargy, too.  Who knows for sure when?  No one--no cop out; we're just supposed to be ready.  We don't know the day or hour, but we should be able to discern the "times and seasons". Regardless of skeptics' sayings, multitudes of signs and prophecies are taking place that never have before. And His Holy Spirit within us is speaking, pure magnet hope of His appearing drawing us upward to be conformed to His image.  I believe He could come this year.  Do I expect Him to?  (Well, maybe not, but I want to love the thought that He might!)  If He does not, I think it highly likely something major will happen. Don't we all sense it?  Are we ready? Is our family? Are we sounding the trumpet for others to hear?  

Anything--reasoning, religion, relationship, riches-- that would cause us to miss His appearing, to cast off our costly crown for cheap acceptance--is a tawdry, flimsy, imitation--simply NOT worth it.  Hold onto your crown!  Seek first the advancement of His kingdom!  The Real King (by Whose authority we conquer) is coming!  Have you left your "First Love?"  Return to Him.  Don't be left behind!  He loves you!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

M i S f I T s

Hollow heart made of puzzle pieces
Image credit Horia Varlan on Flickr

We were the kids from across the tracks
about whom the town kids made cruel cracks
funny to them, and we would pretend
they mattered nothing to us.

 Wrong clothes, wrong shoes, no small talk filler
not enough money to buy acceptance
could change rules but lacked the confidence
Never Having Been Enjoyed.  *

Couldn't seem to excel in sports or
reach the level of expectation for
any acclaim.  Leftover pieces--
Cut from the Puzzle of Life.

Kindergarten.  Morning class.  Seven blocks to school, walking with my older sister & brother.  Not always sure where to go, what to do, sometimes pieces of cardboard or soft cut-out leather in my shoes to keep out the rain, often holes in the back of my little socks.  Still, it was fun.  My one "show-off" accomplishment, doing the splits:), got me in trouble one day though (along with two or three watchers) when I wasn't at my desk when the bell rang.  I had to sit out for awhile--oh, the shame of it!  And Miss Kay, who sometimes helped in our classroom came in and saw me--Miss Kay, whom I idolized and fantasized I was!  Magnified mortification!  I told my mother I was sick and didn't want to go back to school. 

First grade, change of schools, only four blocks away.  I walked with a girl from down the block, whose dad was an alcoholic and whose mom pinned a handkerchief to her dress each morning.  On the way, we often took a short cut across a vacant lot where our vivid imaginations concocted tales of a giant so realistic that we scared ourselves silly!   A red-haired "patrol"  waited for us at the crosswalk, teasingly insisting I could not cross until I did the splits for him.  One day, returning home after a rare school party,  in an effort to run across without appeasing him, I dropped the dixie ice-cream cup I'd stashed in the back of my desk to keep for my beautiful baby sister.  What bitter grief when the deliciousness I'd craved but saved spilled, cancelling the joy of sacrifice!

Actually, I remember little about first grade other than a few classmates seated near my desk.  I don't know the teacher's name; the kids all called her "Miss Crab Apple."  We memorized the Pledge of Allegiance and Lord's Prayer and recited them each morning.  I do recall one of the naughtier boys bending and peeking to see the girls' panties beneath the dresses we wore--hot sin:) that blushed my face!--not because of his bold  and wicked daring so much as because my panties were not frilly, pretty like the little blonde's, a bit rag-tag, less than snowy white.  (And why did I just share that, I wonder?...seems I felt the light laughter of those little 5 or 6 yr olds more than I thought for that incident to come to mind).

I know of many who have felt it even more than I--the desire to reach "the measure" that feels dismally unattainable, to belong, to have others affirm us as part of the accepted, wanted group.  We all seek a place--even at a table in the school cafeteria.  We all want to count as more than a dork, to contribute to a conversation even when we don't know how, to find someone who cares about our feelings, listens to our thoughts...likes us.

In my heart, I really believe it's that longing that motivates many to get snared in society's ills, including drugs and immorality.  What can we do to change that?  As parents and grandparents, first of all, let US focus individual attention and enjoy each child's personality and unique expressions, encourage their interests, help develop their talents.  Being enjoyed instills confidence!  Never belittle them or speak derisively to or about them.  Sometimes, we can love distractedly without communicating pleasure and affection in a way that builds confidence in being desired and valued.  Loving can include seeking available help in any weak areas. 

But, of course, we're limited and should teach children foremost how much they matter to their Creator God. Teach them that His approval and acceptance are the most important, more than that of any other person or "in" group.  "Yes, Jesus loves me" is still valid.  Receiving Him as Savior and very real Friend protects from many temptations, and we should train them how to stand alone--with His strength--in difficult situations.  Making Christ the center of our home, and living out His character--by honoring one another--helps His peace to reign over resentment, anger, and insecurity. Try to keep home a happy, hospitable haven with lots of laughter:)  (No absolute guarantees against wrong choices, just safeguards)

Finally, we should teach those little ones under us to value and respect themselves and every other person--to never allow anyone to hurt or violate them without reporting to a respected authority--never laugh at or leave out anyone because of something they cannot help or change.  We can condemn bad behavior without being hateful to the one doing it, and we should stand up for others who are being hurt, bullied, or berated.  We should pray for the bullies--for often they carry their own dark, sad secrets--but speak up for anyone being victimized. Talk and exemplify kindness and consideration--never ever be part of a group--no matter how popular--that demeans others.  

That would, of course, include church cliques--all ages--which would probably get the same X rating from Jesus as the Pharisees of His day!  He shed His blood for the whole world and receive all who come to Him.  He even brought me to His banqueting table, not as though ashamed, but proudly proclaiming, "She's mine!" :) "His banner over me is love!"  He has a niche for every misfit, no throwaways.  Dare we disdain those He welcomes?

* Speaking for others besides us, would never, in any way, "dis" my precious parents:)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Make me a channel of Your Life Water,
fresh flowing, revitalizing river.
Not a sad, stale, stagnant swamp without banks,
seeping sludge in too many directions,
feeding ground for a million mosquitoes,
mushy habitat for alligators
lying in wait to grind time to pieces!

Help me know You as my Source, hear Your voice
showing me my course of the most important.
Not that Your supply would ever run dry;
but when I try to rush by on my own,
thirst-quenching refreshing becomes trickling
dead streams cut off from fresh water current,
a splash of salt water no one can drink.

So may I think Your thoughts: trust, not worry--nor hurry through the day going my way
trying to cover too much ground without
sound of Your Words in my heart and mouth,
quieting my mind, guiding me to find
the still peace of Your present, perfect will--
the freeing purpose of my whole being.

When we used to make frequent trips to Coatazcoalcos and Southern Mexico years ago, I could smell the marshy swamp lands as we neared the gulf. The enchanting sea allured me, but I found nothing attractive about the mosquito-ridden, mushy-squishy swamps where other dangerous creatures slithered and lurked.

For any city to thrive, it must have a fresh water supply nearby. As Christians, not only are we collectively the "city of God" but carriers of the life-giving Water of His Spirit. We are not that Water, but we should each be able to quench the inner thirst of souls in our path. In a larger sense, we should be a channel through which the River of God can flow. (I have to smile as I recall a chorus heard years ago that went like this: "I want to be a channel for the River of God...so dig me deep (ha--as in understand you?) and dig me wide (double ha-ha because so many church people fit that outwardly!:)...Anyway, I do think I understand the songwriter's intent. May we allow our Lord to prepare us, direct us, remove all the debris that would block the powerful, free flow of His life through us so that a dying, dehydrating world can drink.

God has a purpose for you and me--not just public performers or chosen super-spiritual superstars. Don't you long to fulfill it? I do.

"Oh, God, help me to get it right! I can't afford to waste anymore time. I won't answer for what anyone else is or is not, does or does not do; however, I will soon stand before You, Awesome God, and give account for how I did or did not allow Your life to flow through mine. I see so many needs, so much I want to do. Often I feel overwhelmed, weak, inadequate--sometimes perplexed, frustrated. Yet You are not only adequate but Abundant. Without You, I'm a dusty drought ditch! Without Your direction, I'm a stinky swamp. I want to give You pleasure, not sadness. I'm not particular about who You want me to give drink--perhaps some parched soul who might not be offered a sip from others. See through my eyes; hear through my ears; smile and speak through my lips; touch, pray, praise, cook, clean, play, hug, hold though my fingers and hands; cause my feet to follow Your way. All I am, all I can be, all I can do, all You can do through me--that's what I truly want. Must connect with others who are part of Your channel throughout the earth and be one as You prayed, Jesus, for maximized flow of Life. Glorify Yourself; flow fresh, clear, sparkling with hope, free and unobstructed by pettiness, to all Who pant for You. In Your name, Amen."

(Sorry this  linked pic--then deleted it; will try to re-post. No use to get upset; I'll just give thanks I can communicate this way. Notice it did not print some encouraging comments either. Ah, well. Enjoy a refreshing day! If you have time, peruse some of my older posts--may feed into several or may have to click on "older posts". If you like/dislike, agree/disagree, I would welcome your comments:)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Image credit lotopspin on Flickr

She sketched the scene with bold markers,
her words permanent on air--
though she was not there.

Shaded strokes of innuendo,
colored details, slanted line
to fit her design.

Framed in pale pretense of concern,
on display for passersby,
and I wondered why.

 Had she no sensitivity,
word pictures for the heart, or
was this modern art?

Have you ever been badly caricatured by someone's words?  You knew what they said wasn't true--either in its entirety or implication--or was totally out of context or dramatized?  Perhaps the whole tone of conversation was changed or another participant's omitted or edited.  Or a happening was portrayed without adequate knowledge of background, motive, or other clarifying information.  Only a paragraph of the entire story was written--in ignorant ink!  How did it make you feel?  Sometimes an overheard criticism or some critic's cutting one-liner can destroy the confident heart of a developing talent or sow a seed of bitterness which produces a blighting crop of the same.

Words spoken can never be unsaid and leave a lasting impression for good or evil.  For that reason, we really must think before we speak.  While I'm never intentionally unkind, I've often blurted out something without benefit of due mental process!  Some may find gossip entertaining and attention getting, but it's never beneficial--to its subject, its spiller, its spellbound or uncomfortable listener.  It may be unconsciously gloated over as a means of glossing over the speaker's own faults, but it never makes anyone look good or feel good for long. Gossip is negative news about someone that we cannot change nor are in a position of authority over so that we need to know.  And we can pray just as well--even better--without ugly details about which God is already aware!  As for it being "true", is it a "good report" that we wouldn't mind being told about us if we were the subject?

God is just, merciful, redemptive.  Are we?  Jesus loved the scorned, rejected.  Do we?  How much mercy do we want?  Personally, I figure I need mercy too badly to pass judgment.  Our words are supposed to "give grace to the hearer".  They should build up, not tear down.  As a friend recently passed on, some news coverage "wouldn't edify me to say it and wouldn't edify you to hear it!"  

Gossip is a cobra disguised as a garter snake; its bite has proven deadly to many individuals, relationships--even churches. Shoot it down or run from it; don't pick it up!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

True Love

Love is everlasting
Image credit Tazmany on Flickr

His arms held me as I awoke; His hand ran gently up and down the length of my back.  His eyes looked into mine, and I have never felt so known, so accepted, so loved--never so complete.  His love was a multiplied compilation of all the cherished relationships in my entire life.  But then, of course, He IS love!  Don't leave me here; let me relate my dream.

It seemed that I was part of a rather large cast of actors in a play.  Some of the people I knew; many I did not.  Several of the people were double cast; I mean two different actors playing the same person in opposite character roles.  I supposed we were in some type of church play, though there seemed to be a lot of drinking going on.  While I was talking to a sister-in-law, the director said we should get ready for the last scene.  In it, I believe Jesus was going to appear.  I wondered aloud to her what it would be like in heaven when we actually saw Him, where we would live in proximity.

During this time, various actors and actresses were coming and going, replacing prototypes, saying they were the real person.  Many of them left the stage drunk, saying they didn't feel like playing anymore.  "I just can't do this!" lamented one lady, looking sick.  Some fell behind a table, perhaps just exhausted with care.

While we were chatting, a guy came up who I at first thought was an actor playing Jesus.  I turned to him; and when He looked at me, I knew it was the real Jesus.  "Oh, I love You!" I cried spontaneously.  And that's when He took me in His arms and let me know what true love was.  It was not sensual but even more intimate than the sexual union.  I felt so one with Him.  Unworthy?  Oh yes, of course, but that's not what came through the most at that time; I felt....so valued and cherished, so totally understood to the core of my being.  He was holy, but it wasn't a heavy holiness; never did I feel so "light".  I was in awe, but we were smiling at one another.  It was  inexpressible joy and perfect peace.

I awoke!  I wouldn't have minded never awakening, but the great thing is that I feel Him with me still.  I know we must live by faith, that feelings change, but I want always to sense this nearness, this real closeness.  Yes, I have felt this many times in His presence, but this was special.  I will not try to interpret my dream (tho' I did leave a comment:) Just please know that He is real, He is coming, and He loves you, too! 

Since it seems to fit, I am going to retype for you my poem from an older post, "Signature Fragrance".  You might also enjoy "Exaltation/Exultation", "Hold Me", "Portrait of Peace" and/or some of the other posts:)

In coolness of this Spring morning,      (Ha--in this month of 100+, that would be nice!:)
I heard Your whisper, felt Your touch,
sensed Your smile as You drew me close
to the scent of Your holiness.

I lay in awe of Your presence, 
feeling Your breath stir my spirit,
calling me to intimacy,
knowing You knew, yet valued me.

Surrendering my whole being,
I felt Your love making me new.
LORD, fill my pores with Your essence;
Let me wear the fragrance of You.

Friday, July 15, 2011

R u N a W a Y

Running into your arms... Day 54/365
Image credit Olivia Bell on Flickr


Long-Nosed Bandicoot
Image credit GregTheBusker on Flickr

Crawl out of your hole, you cute little coot!
Weary, and covered with doubt head to foot.
You want me to go away, leave you alone,
but young coots are closely watching your zone.

And you are not a real coot anyway;
you are a shining creature of the day!

You may dig a tunnel and curl up tight,
feel lonely and cold but safer to stay
huddled away from bright people and things
that make you squint and feel you're to blame for

the pain the night waves washed up on the shore,
the shame that Someone else already bore!

You couldn't hold back the force of the sea,
so relinquish right to know; let it be.
Don't try to figure out everything now;
let the One with you handle it somehow.

Don't burrow deeper into seclusion,
goaded by guilt or hopeless conclusion.

Find pearl of peace faith's struggle left behind,
rest, renewal for emotions and mind.
Crawl out of damp dark into morning light--
Smile at the sunrise; no more mourning night!

Has something sad happened to someone you love that you were helpless to prevent?  Part of your grief may include guilt, blame, confusion--or just a weariness of it all, a desire to retreat from life itself.  You know that others, no matter how well meaning, simply cannot possibly truly understand all that you're feeling.  You may silence the desire to scream at God or even the impulse to slap someone!:)  Or that may not be the case at all; you may not question God and may be grateful for family and friends, but wonder in despair what went wrong, feel you must have been at fault somehow, replay the dismal event, question any influencing decisions or why you were inadequate to stop it.

I know there are things we do need to understand and learn from; but I won't attempt to theorize now about the whys.  Anyway, some things we will not understand until eternity.  I simply felt that I must write this for you and tell you that "you are accepted in the Beloved".  Let the love of Jesus cleanse you and heal you; HE does understand, and your life is not over.  He and others need you.  Someday, He will use you to comfort others with the very comfort He wants you to feel now.   He's reaching for you; reach out to Him.

Friday, July 8, 2011


As I nuzzled the scented down of your soft forehead
under my chin, skin to skin, baby breath on my neck,
I cuddled the light bundle of you close to my breast,
your heartbeat and mine keeping time as I pat your back,
 and felt the heaviness in my chest lighten, too.

My cares slipped into momentary rest
as I hummed the songs we loved best
and tasted the sweet caress
of acceptance and trust anew.

Tell me, if you can, what is more peaceful than cuddling a sleeping, sweet-smelling infant--particularly your own grandchild!  So brand new, so much a part of you, reflecting your own child even as the personality of the beautiful babe's own unique person emerges.  So tiny, so perfect, so priceless a treasure!

"God has no grandchildren," someone once stated--meaning that a child isn't a Christian just because his parents may be; the decision to receive and follow Christ must be individual choosing. Yet, any child whose parent knows God, enjoys a covenant blessing--to your children and to "children's children".   Biblical Timothy's father was never mentioned, but the faith of both his mother and grandmother was lauded as having been instilled in him.

My own life is richer because of the deposits of delight, love, and insight of my "four adorables".  My slumbering wonder and thrill of discovery is awakened through theirs.  But as we play and "walk by the way", I want to, more than anything, somehow help them to know and love God a little more through me.  I think children learn and thrive best with a balanced routine of all that helps them grow and that they need to know; but that ordered schedule should include flexible times with grandparents, fun times of even "unplanned" adventure!:)  Perhaps they will remember those most. 

Some of you may be raising your grandchildren--a daunting task you may feel has been thrust upon you--without benefit of sufficient energy, funds, or ability to cope with current challenges.  I'm praying for you today and sending you special love.  Take time to pray for them, to hear God's words of wisdom to you for them.  You are acting as a "nanny" for God; the children are His heritage as well as yours!  He will reward you; He is well pleased with you.  He doesn't expect perfection.  He will supply all you need and make up for perceived lack and deficiency.  He knows and understands your hurt, tiredness, frustration, exasperation as well as your love.   Give it all to Him.  Let Him massage the ache out of your soul. Take a big breath and expel worry; breathe in His peace.  Claim His promises, protection, and deliverance for them; they belong to you.

Whether you live nearby or far away, make it a priority to stay in touch with your grandchildren.  Your input makes an impact.  Letters, cards, small notes may be unanswered today but your message received and treasured tomorrow.  Learn to text if you have the courage:) or get on facebook if you can and haven't.  Most of all, mention your grandchildren daily to God, and mention Him to them.   Your investment will pay eternal dividends when your family circle in heaven is unbroken.  Never give up believing!  You rock, Grandma! :)


Apple Tree Swing
Image credit add1sun on Flickr

accusing of what we would rather forget.

We are family--and we need love, acceptance,
feedback, life-flowing forgiveness leaf to leaf,
low branch to toppers, connecting common roots
beneath us, never severing with loppers!

Beauty of our blending brings hope to others;
getting together offers shades of laughter.
Heritage oaks support strong rope swings, holding
young ones safe with memory cords as the wind sings.

We are family; let's sing and talk of old days,
tell of childhood dreams and schemes, replaying the
funny, faith-filled, nostalgic stories--investments
that link us together--keepsakes to treasure.

Family was God's idea.  From the beginning, He made them male and female and told them to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth.  Adam was incomplete without Eve, the mother of all living.  God designed the sexual union for both procreation and pleasure of becoming one flesh--later likening it to the mystical union of Christ and His church.  Children would be the cherished result, a continuing "seed" to carry on God's covenant with His people.

Despite deviation from God's design, the family is still His institution.  Though each generation must choose whether or not to walk in His way, His covenant to bless was to children & children's children. We who are blessed with a Christian heritage, however imperfect it may have been, should give thanks every day.  It is of the utmost importance that we faithfully transmit truth, practice God's presence with our children and grandchildren, and reflect as best we can the character of our Loving, Magnificent, Mighty, Holy, Incomparable God--to make Him the core of our own lives so that they will want to make Him the center of their own.

Perhaps some of you feel heartbroken because of the waywardness of your offspring.  You may blame yourself or others, but that produces only more pain.  We can repent of our own failing to instruct or exemplify the life God intended for us, then we can "stand in the gap" and intercede in the Holy Spirit for our children and grandchildren--as well as other relatives.

And now, ah, what about other relatives?  I dearly love all my siblings, but I hurt for many whom I know feel more uncomfortable obstacles of offense with theirs rather than family closeness!  Family reunions may be coming up for you this summer.  I urge you to do whatever it takes to make it a treasured time--for your own sake, for others, for the generation who follows.  Have fun, laugh, but not at the expense of  anyone else.  Hear your words through others' ears.  Sure, there are those you naturally enjoy and find it easy to relate to.  But take a little time to get to understand a little better those you might cringe from meeting.  Look them in the eye and smile at them!  You can do it!  And peer closely past any appearance of self-centered annoyance or disgusting degradation; try to see them as though looking at them through the eyes of Jesus.  If there should be a barrier between you, be the first to humble yourself and cross it.  The rewards of forgiveness are forgiveness for yourself, much better physical and emotional health, lasting benefits for those who witness the release, clear conscience confidence, and peace.  Ah, yes, and the blessing and favor of God--in this temporary life and the eternal one to come!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

IDEAL and Actual

Red stilts 1

Two brothers follow us along life's journey,
often a case of mistaken identity,
the first looking so like the other
one would think him a twin of his brother--
though they share little in common.

One, exceedingly handsome, clever, and witty;
the second, so twisted and dwarfed provokes pity.
Yet in certain lights, their images change places
along with their character, forms, and faces;
illusion becomes reality.

They show up everywhere, but rarely together;
yet one often assumes the role of the other...
The dwarf, on unseen stilts, masquerading as Ideal;
Ghostly ideal donning cloned form of Actual.
Beware the masked ball; it decides all!

Watch for their appearing at
Invited guest and imposter.

It is said one cannot chase Ideal without disillusionment--
nor embrace Actual without finding fulfillment.

Anyone out there remember the days of running, playing, fighting, imagining on stilts?  My older brothers made them with 2x4's and cut-off pieces of the block of wood to step onto.  (I think some fancy models made have boasted a strap).  Anyway, I loved the height they lent my shortness.  To be sure, a fall could hurt, but the interim play was fun.:)

And back in the "good, old days" (ha, who'd have ever thought that phrase would make me smile:) before we learned that Halloween had evil origins, we eagerly anticipated that holiday.  We were too poor to buy ready-made "costumes", but what a time we enjoyed construing a disguise that could not be easily diagnosed as being us.  The trick, of course, was to choose something totally out of character.

All, well, in so many ways, life, though more difficult in some aspects, was much simpler back then.
What about now?  As I encouraged in "Die Dreaming", we should never quit picturing a purposeful
goal.  But life is not the paperback novel I used to enjoy reading back then (and I would not suggest wasting time with "real life" fiction of any other kind:)   I think the balance is seeing the ideal already in the actual, enjoying that now, and working on our part of making the actual live up to our ideal. 
What might I decisively do to affect any desired change?

Dreams and ideals can alter with time; for all living, growing things change--and that means us, too!
(God, of course, is Unchanging because He Alone is in the ultimate state of Ideal Perfection).  The moral?  Neither settle for "dream death" nor live in the state of passive or unrealistic discontent. 
Let's reach unafraid, with non-cynical joy, for what lies before us--even expecting a miracle--but also embracing with thanksgiving each moment of today--and the miracle in our hands!  That means fully living.  Live alive! :)

Friday, June 3, 2011


summer breeze
Image credit rick020200 in Flickr

She blew in softly through a window,
A welcome breeze, no wicked, wild wind.
No doors were barred, no windows boarded;
I had my guard down; she was my friend.

Sunlight speckles sparkled her fair hair,
Seductive scent swirled in the air.
She grasped my throat with sudden passion,
Choked off breath, left me barely gaspin!

And I thought her safe, innocent fun--
Not a toxic plant; I should have run!

Any severe allergy sufferers out there?  If so, you know to avoid certain foods, plants, trees that induce an attack and/or to protect yourself with alternate plans and medications.  Some allergies immediately react, others build up to accumulative negative reaction; children may outgrow some but have to guard against others for life--and for their very life.

Felt tempted lately?  And what comes to mind when I ask?  Adulterous affair?  Fencing flirtation?  Single sex?  Ah...it's no wonder if that be true in this day of sullied stories among politicians, preachers, and personal friends and family.  And, of course, I could certainly have titled this "Mr. Temptation".  (Ever wonder why most warnings are against the immoral woman?  Might the guy involved with the woman the pharisees threatened to stone been one of them?)  Anyway, public disgrace and private agony should certainly have taught us to be neither careless with our affections--nor judgmental with our attitude!  ("You who are "spiritual", restore...considering yourself, lest you also be tempted.")

A generation fed a continual diet of casual sex soon think it common course.  A few years ago, I was quite aghast to hear a university student's "christian" consensus that sexual compatibility was the most important consideration in a marriage partner!  I'm sadly alarmed at those who name Christ embracing sexual intimacy as the exciting climax of a dating experience.  (What happened to "let it not once be named among you?")  But we must also guard words from unwise bantering and innuendo, our hearts and thoughts from not-really-innocent affections and fantasies.  Strong bonds of "understanding" outside the marriage covenant, built with false expectations and limited vision, invariably weaken the strength of spousal unity, often unraveling it altogether.  Does true love destroy or protect?  Sacrifice for the loved one, or grasp for self?

Temptations other than romantic dalliances often visit us as delightful dares or familiar friends as well.  How sad when sheltered youth follow curiosity's lure into a noose of bondage and destruction!  The older are sometimes kept from God's best by counting other enemies as friends.  Regularly giving in to junk food and overeating hurts our health.  Getting mad at God, taking up another's offense, residing resentment erode our emotions, eating away the lining of our vessel so that we cannot be fit containers for God's love and joy.  "White" lies, getting back what is "rightfully" ours contaminates conscience.  Refusing to forgive clogs spiritual arteries from cleansing life flow.  Munching on worry, self-pity, discouragement, or "friendly" gossip, chokes off our esophagus so we cannot rightly digest the nourishment of God's Word.

Any of the above may seem harmless indulgence, even "delicious" at first--including those clever, caustic, barb retort bites--defending our "best" interest and "needs", huh?  But, as Joseph realized, the beauty may really be a beast.  "Submit to God; resist the devil". As he found, it's always better to flee than flirt! :)  We are told to "make no provision for the flesh to fulfill its lusts".   The Word of God and Wind of the Holy Spirit can usher "Temptation" right out the door when she unexpectedly enters; just don't entertain her!

Monday, May 30, 2011


Lovers embracing on the beach at sundown / sunset on Morro Strand State Beach 10 Jan 2010

Somewhere between earth and heaven,
I find a hide-away haven
when I'm held gently in your arms.

My ship sailed into safe harbor,
frayed and battered like a warrior.
Seasick, depleted, it needed

 only to be anchored, restored,
resting on shore before casting
off once more in murky water.

Time and tensions cease for awhile.
Inside peace embrace, I can face
stormy gales, sharks and whales--and smile!

Ah, the comfort of being cradled in arms of love!  Contented babies know the assurance of being cared for and enjoyed, not resented or ignored.  Touch is a primary need we never really outgrow.  I still remember my Mama's gentle hand on my hurting tummy, my daddy's strong embrace.  Being held by a friend who understands or a covenant life partner nourishes something inside us as needy as food to our physical bodies. 

Some so long for touch that they sell their morality for it.  I cry for young girls who offer their virginity in exchange for what they think is love, giving something so valuable for cheap, temporary imitations.  Nursing homes are filled with precious residents who languish with longing for a loving hug.  Even macho guys need embracing.  Tho' I can't recall who wrote it, I remember an article in an old Reader's Digest by some grown guy, going through a rough time, who made a trip home specifically for the comfort of being "tucked in" once more by his mother.  And what man doesn't benefit from a memory of his dad's arm thrown about his shoulders in approval and camaraderie?
Perhaps you could use a hug today.  Just a reminder that "underneath you are the everlasting arms."  God's arms are strong and mighty, but also tender and understanding.  They never tire, and He loves to hold you closely.  He won't go grab you or smother you with unwanted nearness, but His arms are always open to you.  Remember the illustration of the little guy afraid of the storm, told to go back to bed, that God was with him?  "I know," he said, "but I need someone with skin on!"   :)   Well, that's why Jesus came, of course, to show us God in human flesh.  He's not visible, but He's real.  Close your eyes and sense His embrace right now.  And if "someone (safe) with skin on" isn't available or willing to hold you, maybe you can think of someone else who could use a hug from you! :)  I know it works both ways; but if we decide to get our happiness from giving love rather than waiting till we receive it, chances are we'll know a lot more happiness!  Happy hugging!  :)