Thursday, April 28, 2011

Airborne Above the Storm

Image credit yooperann on Flickr
Blow Your breath into my emptiness, Holy Spirit, 
   filling deflated hopes and energy, lifting me
      Airborne above the storm.

"I wait patiently for You," sang the Psalmist David.
I can't yet say the same; I cry for change in the game--
     Now, please, not tomorrow!

 Still, when I am still in Your presence, Your Wind begins
     taking precedence over my mind; I lock my wings
    to soar the upward climb.

  Truth of Your Word steadies me; Your Spirit, life renews;
Wings of prayer and praise help me hide in You, rise to You
Gliding into Glory!

I will come down on the other side to share Your story
of Good News, with Your views:  Abiding in You, we win--
    Riding upon Your Wind!

For a writing assignment in college, we went to the library to view a deflated globe and write an essay about it.  Ever feel that energy and air have been sucked out of your whole world?  As a young girl, I loved the little chorus, "Let it breathe on me; let it breathe on me; let the breath of God now breathe on me..."  Somehow, the idea of His being close enough for me to feel His breath seemed comforting, intimate, and empowering.  We also sang, "Filled with God, yes, filled with God--pardoned and cleansed and filled with God...empty of self and filled with God."  I never tried inflating a globe, but I had lots of practice blowing my breath into balloons.  On one occasion, a neighbor asked me over to blow up more than a dozen balloons for a party!  (She must have thought me a "windy" little girl!:)

     Ever feel just weary of it all?  Growing up in church, I heard lots of sermons about eagles, the favorite text, "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary..."  (Isa. 40:31)  In Mexico, I heard a speaker refer to the "wings" as being prayer and praise, and our inability to fly far using only one or the other. 

     Early in 1981, I bought a copy of Jaime Buckingham's book Where Eagles Soar.  I'm not sure what happened to it, but I never forgot his specific analogy which included air balloons and eagles.  Actually, I don't even remember exactly how he applied it; but on something of a flat day over a year ago, all these thoughts returned and converged together.  It became my prayer--then and often since.  So, I wanted to give credit where due and remind you that all we see and hear can return to bless us or battle against us.

     This I know:  Our own understanding, abilities and resources are limited, but God's are not.  We need Him.  Overwhelmed?  Call out to Him!  He's there; He's listening: He cares.  And His power can lift you up above circumstance.
     I've always thought it would be exhilarating to ride in a hot air balloon; someday I might get to try it! Okay, one of those shivery, quivery thrills, maybe, but I'd love to be aloft, looking down from above!  I think maybe I was just meant to fly!  But every day, if I take the time, He lifts me up in His Spirit to see things from His perspective, to soar above present storms.  He'll do it for you, too.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Resurrection Reality--Faith's Validity

Sorrow shattered her soul till she felt she would implode,
profound pain, nauseating hollowness to her bones.
Irreplaceable loss, inconceivable senselessness.
Constricting confusion clutched her throat, smothering senses.

She tried to stop crying, to comprehend His dying.
Why would they want to kill Him?  Why would His Father let them?
How could He bear the brutalization, degradation?
And where was God now?  Must muddle thru' nightmare somehow.

Disillusionment mocked their dream of Deliverer;
molasses depression mucked dragging steps of despair.
We had trusted Him to be promised Messiah, The One
Who would rescue Israel--us--from our cruel oppression!

Downcast doubts drummed thoughts, drove talk.  "Should have known better than
to believe, too good to be true; but he wasn't your
ordinary man, miracle worker, teacher prophet...
Each word, expression, his very essence warmed one's spirit..."

Then He appeared to her, to them, Resurrected LORD! 
Tho' they did not recognize Him, He did not chide them.
As only He could, He gently spoke her name,  "Mary!"
She knew she'd never be the same; she, too, would live again.

He explained the truth of Scripture to those two who thought
they knew it well.  When He blessed the bread and disappeared,
they said, "Did not our hearts burn within us as He spoke to us?"
Dying coals of faith blazed with fire and hope was reborn.

Eclipse in afternoon, many sightings, empty tomb
Disciples hiding, later dying for Risen Lord.
They had seen Him touched Him, knew His power to be true
Nor have we believed in vain; Jesus is coming again!

"Had trusted."    Ever feel like you've tried to trust with all the faith you could muster, that you prayed, believed, confessed, only to have been disappointed, perhaps disillusioned, a little angry and bitter, or maybe just confused?  Hey, even John the Baptist wasn't so positive about trusting when he was in prison about to get his head cut off!  He, who had boldly proclaimed, "Behold the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world!" sent word, asking, "Are you He Who was to come, or should we look for another?"

Jesus replied, "The blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the Gospel preached to them...and blessed is he who is not offended because of Me."  The answer must have reassured John, whom Jesus did not condemn but rather hailed as the greatest prophet of all time.

There are many reasons prayers are not answered the way we expect--unbelief, asking "amiss" for selfish motive, unforgiveness, not discerning why Jesus died or His gift thru' other members of His body of believers, wrong timing for what He's wanting to simultaneously work in and through others, a higher purpose than our immediate request.  But sometimes, nothing seems to make sense.  It didn't to the disciples, even though Jesus tried to prepare them.  They couldn't understand that He would rise again, only that He was dead.

Just know that He IS The Resurrection!  Any impartial true seeker can validate that He arose.  If so,  His promises are true!  We don't have all the facts about everything or perfect understanding, but He is Totally Trustworthy!  He loves you so tenderly, so unfathomably,  knows you to the depths of your being, all the spots in your soul you could not share with another.   He offers forgiveness and wholeness.  He has all power and ultimate control.  This is the temporary world, not the real one!   But even now, He is working for you, not against you.  Believe it! 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Pig

Image credit locket479 on Flickr

"Don't stop; give me more slop--please!
And now I'll take my ease
some soft, smelly, squalid mud!

Ah, how lucky to have landed with such
generous, genteel folk who make me feel
so good and cater to my tastes in food!

Is it cruel fate or
kind, that he enjoys getting
fat for the slaughter?

A break from routine, rest for mind and body, a "feel good" treat or purchase can all work for us--even benefit those around us! Being kind to yourself is not a sin:)

But self-indulgence--no matter how good it feels for the moment--simply isn't worth the cost of self-destruction. We should ask, "Does this work for or against me? Will this give more short-term pleasure than it costs in permanent pain?"

Any pursuit, position, person, pleasure that destroys something valuable should be regarded as an enemy, not a friend. And all of us live or die to more than just ourselves. We may not believe we have much of an influence, but we do. The company we keep and consequences of choices we make certainly affect us but also touch those around us.

Choose Life--that you and your children may live! Choose life-giving words and deeds--because you were made to enjoy life to the full, not regret it. Choose Life--because your Creator crafted you with love and great care, made you for a particular purpose here and eternity with Him. You don't really own your life anyway.

On the lighter side, well...maybe we shouldn't make too many soft choices--lest we get soft and fat ourselves, eh?!:)  Guess I better learn to pass up those yummy donuts!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

cockamamie Style

Image credit Hunter-Desportes on Flickr
Who sets the Standard for
what is In--                   or
What Royal Roost cocks his head
            to introduce
what must be                      said

Image credit alexperuso on Flickr

Harem chickens comply
      for accolade eggs of
                   gold or fame.
I belong to a Higher order;
     must I play the game?

Both the secular and church worlds seem to have their own unseen fashion gurus who decide what is or is not acceptable, even "in"--
in dress, hair styles, spoken expression, music,
movies, writing style, home decor and color, and more.

Our effectiveness, in this time-bound world, is
linked to this, like it or not.  But, don't you ever just wonder who decides these things-- and feel like doing what looks/feels good or seems right to you?
(Not to mention what matches your purse and personality)!

Just a reminder that we are, after all, eternal beings.   Millions of people worldwide-- as "in" in their Creator's eyes as any of us--speak differently, and feel grateful if they have anything to eat and wear at all.  They may not even know how to read or write, let alone worry about style!  Let's give each other a little space for individuality--and maybe reconsider what we reject.  Doesn't mean we have to agree with what's wrong, but disagree because of essence, not expression.  Each person is valuable.
We could be discarding treasures; the gift is more than the wrapping!  :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Image credit camaramanron on Flickr
I exalt You, Wonderful Lord...

Above my feelings and frustrations, pride and passions.
  Beyond anxious thoughts, self-awareness, aspirations;
    past failures, future fears, disappointments, present tears.
      Higher than human reasoning and understanding,
         more than tightly held offense, "justified" right to strife;
           I relinquish lofty claims for Your will in my life.

For You are Magnificent, Merciful, Mighty, True!
  All of my life, deep in my spirit, I've longed for You.
You are totally Trustworthy, Just, and Glorious!
  Made clean thru' Your blood, I now want nothing between us.
I offer my whole person without reservation,
  a channel for You to flow thru', Your habitation.

I want to stay up all night and dance with delight in
     joyful abandonment!
I want to sit still in awe, gaze into Your face in
     holy, hushed contentment!
For I was made for Your pleasure; oh, how I treasure
     intimacy with You!

I catch my breath, beholding the beauty You designed,
   creating from chaos the splendor You had in mind.
Unfolding rainbow hues of a melting, molten sun,
   trickling snow waterfalls, cascading down a mountain.
Clear soul clutter, shine in me till I yet reflect You:
   mirror Your light, life, and image, not just a mirage.

Humbling, amazing, reassuring, liberating
     is Your love for me!
My heart thrills and trills, sings and seems to burst with love
     at Your sensitivity!
You know me like no other; I long to discover
     more and more about You!

I exult in You, O my Love!

Sunday will be Palm Sunday, a time for remembering Christ's triumphal entry on the back of a colt that had never been broken.  An humble animal, not a magnificent steed.  Yet on that day, cheers, like "Hosanna!", "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!" rang out--cries from a crowd that would soon cry out, "Crucify him!"  Still, He fulfilled prophetic Scripture and received their praise.

We're fickle too, sometimes, aren't we?  Oh, never, ever would we say "Crucify Him", but we sometimes pledge our devotion only to ignore Him and any claims He would make--which He asks only for our own good, that of others, and His glory--what we would choose if we knew the whole story.

The Sunday I first jotted these words was one of those awesome times, following a great pastoral message and communion time when I felt as if I were in the very "holy of  holies".  First, in silent adoration, then praise exhilaration, I worshiped.  Recognizing my unworthiness, yet fully aware of His unconditional love and incomprehensible acceptance of me, I gave back all the love I could  express.  I grabbed a pencil to hastily scribble some of the words that tumbled out.  When they weren't enough, my love language to Him poured from my inner being.  This isn't the original; it's been added to and altered.  But I hope you can feel as cherished and complete, as thrilled with His Magnificence as I when I first wrote it.


Signature Fragrance

Image credit: williamcho on Flickr
In coolness of this Spring morning,
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.

Sometimes, I catch a whiff of my self-focused smell, and it stinks! Ah, but Jesus--what a Wonder He is! Fragrant Rose, Lily of the Valley, He's been called. I want to carry with me the scent of Him.  (Ever been hugged by someone whose expensive fragrance, cheap cologne, or body odor lingered?  Then you know what I mean!:)

Prior to His death, burial, and resurrection, a lady who had been forgiven much took costly perfume to pour out on His tired, aching feet, mingled with tears of grateful love. Stuffy, self-righteous onlooker disdained her gift, but Jesus treasured it so much He said mention would be made of it everywhere the Gospel was preached.

I like to think that this very expensive "real stuff" clung to Him as He washed his disciples' feet, was dragged from the garden, roughly handled, cruelly mocked; and as the bruised feet, caked with blood, trod the cobblestone path to the cross, perhaps, even then, He sniffed a hint of her devotion. He did tell his followers, after all, that she had anointed him for His burial. And that one grand vial cost about a year's salary.

Our love and worship is a sweet fragrance to Him that He cannot give Himself. Let's pour it out freely to Him Who offered us His very life. When, in His presence, we've been drenched in His very costly love gift to us, it should surely cling to us as we walk along our way through this world.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Image credit madaise on Flickr

What is it about kids and water?  Whether or not a baby enjoys his bath, I've never seen a child who did not delight in grabbing at water with outstretched hands, splashing in puddles or pools, thrilling to sight of  a waterfall, running thru' a sprinkler, squirting others with a hose.  Even as adults, unless we or someone we know suffered a tragedy in water, we seem to relax near it, in it.

     Growing up in town, I was a teenager before I got into a "body" of water--and that was a dirty country pond!  Imagine my wondrous excitement of seeing the ocean for the first time as a married woman; I fell under its spell of enchantment.  Only in recent years, when our family made a trip to Canada for a wedding, did I get to witness the powerful majesty of Niagara Falls.  As my son and I ran through its spray laughing, I felt the years melt away.  For those moments, I had no worries, no care, just sheer exhilaration.

     That's the way I believe God wants us to delight in Him.  "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart." (Ps. 37:4)  He created us for His pleasure.  Since He IS Love, He needed created beings in His image to love.  But robotic love is not love.  We had to be able to choose to love Him, hate Him, or ignore Him.  Man chose his own will & way, and sin plunged us into the Fall away from Him.  When we return and receive Him, we experience joy.  But even as Christians, we sometimes allow other things, good as well as bad, to crowd Him out till we're dry, stale, withering--rather than cleansed, refreshed carriers of the Water that quenches all thirst.

     In 2005, I was asked to write a sonnet.  I'd never done that before--but soon heard my heart tell me it must be a love sonnet about my Lord.  Here's the simple result:
                       L O V E  S P R I N G
                                   Sonnet Number One 

Rejoice with me!  Let your soul sing!
Run, laughing, through Niagara's spray! 
I am in love; My Love is King!
He makes the old new, every day
His Words coax me out of life's brine
Into waterspouts of pleasure 
Like I knew in a simpler time,
Backyard memories I now treasure.
Squirts of hosed water on hot day,
Intake of breath, squeal of delight.
Drenching, trickling, refreshing play,
Making sleep more restful that night.
     LORD, You are so Timeless and True;
     All my springs of joy are in You!


Monday, April 4, 2011

Butter Comfort

Image credit on Flickr
Have you ever wished just one person in the world understood what you were feeling and cared? Does it repel your soul for someone to brush off your pain, heartache, or serious situation with some glib quote, a plastic band-aid for a deep wound? Or maybe you've wished you could comfort someone but felt awkward and so did nothing.

Pantry answers, even "superspiritual" ones are not a one-size fits all fix--when superficiality or superiority melts through. Solutions often seem simpler to those not needing the answer. A genuine expression of concern and gentle hug digests much better than artificial "word spread." (No criticism toward anyone who So Wonderfully reached out to me when my sweet Mama moved to heaven. Anyway, she would be the first to credit anyone with good intentions. "They meant well, Babe!)

However, I've known some whose loss, tragedy, or trial felt all the more painful because of some unthinking or critical comment from someone else who had little inkling of the entire story--merely a phrase or two. Love is sometimes best shown "not in word (alone) but "in deed and truth".


Do not pass me a pat answer
to butter my bread of sorrow
Whys and wherefores, thus and therefores,
"It will be better tomorrow."

How do you know?

Unlike the true taste of caring,
oleo quotes, fake-faith cliches,
glide on smoothly, leave an oily,
heartburn film of fat Pharisee!

Say what you feel
know to be real
nothing at all--

Just give me a hug!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Inexperienced Driver

Image credit Robert Couse-Baker on Flickr
     Remember the first time you drove?  The shivery, quivery sensation, delicious anticipation? Well, in a sense, that's what I'm feeling.  Here I am, driving an unfamiliar "rental" vehicle, not knowing where the gadgets are, along an unfamiliar highway!  In fact, it almost seems as if I'm in another country; I don't even know the language of some of the signs!

     Still, I'm excited about the prospect of the trip!  My confident, firstborn daughter (mom extraordinare to my four adorables) actually started the car and handed me the keys! (Ironic, huh?!)  What if I get a ticket for going too fast, get honked at from behind for going to slow, forget to check before changing lanes?  What if I incite road rage, or get run over for boredom?  What if I crash?  (Call my husband?)  Ah, well, I will at least have given it a spin.  Think I'll risk it!

     Want to come along?  Or follow from a safe distance?  Could be an interesting journey.  I'm all for adventure, too; I've logged enough miles in my time to appreciate the varied, panoramic beauty, haunting sights and smells, historic landmarks, of both the thoroughfare and back roads. (Ask my son about the time we ventured off the tourist path in Spain)! Or ask my middle daughter about my being directionally challenged!   Not sure just where I'll begin or end up; but some scene could capture your interest, recall previous nostalgic trip, or give you a view from a different angle. I want it to be memorable, after all.

   Writing has always been my friend and confidante.  I discovered poetry in a college class a few years ago, and it was love at first write!  I confess that some famous poets write dribble whose meaning escapes me; others I enjoy for the sheer imagery and magic of their word designs, but I see little meaning in it.  My own both thrills and dismays me.  Since I cannot seem to let it go, I propose to share it with you.  For a collection of family and many favored friends, I published a collection, Impressions,  in Nov of 2009.  From that, I will choose excerpts to share as part of a devotional--or perhaps share a story of what inspired it.

      I am unashamedly a Christian, but I like to call my collection "Selah Poetry--for Saint and Sinner"--because it's to "pause and think about that", and it relates to both.  Sometimes, we need to feel that at least one other person understands what we're feeling, or why.  If we've lost our way, we need someone to point the way.  Other times, we just need to smile or laugh.  Hope I can do some of that for some of you.

     No need to make it a silent excursion; I like respectful dialogue.:)  Keep me company.  Who knows what we might see together?!