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!  :) 

Monday, May 23, 2011


Dreamers 36

Daring to dream, I delighted in discovery;
Anticipation raised my smile, singing energy.
Repeat disappointments, no control, sickened my soul,
leaving only a shattered part of my whole being.
Disillusioned from dancing with flirting, deferred hopes,
 I bowed low to defeat, vowed to retreat from dreaming
A still, small voice inside heart and head,
whispered instead...

Better to die dreaming
and fully live
than let the dream die
and live dead inside.

There's death to visible development of the dream,
a time when dreamer is being developed.
Derailers of the dream, who dislike dream and dreamer,
but its Designer will deliver its destiny.
No mistaken identity of His creation;
brings implanted life to fullness of time fruition.

So, singing victory's song
I will dream on!
Knowing God will perform
what He has begun!

What recurring desire fills your heart when you contemplate your life purpose?  Is it in accordance with God's Word and something you are comfortable with when you sense God's nearness?  If so, I believe He birthed it into your spirit, for He works in us "to will and to do His pleasure" when we belong to Him.  Sometimes, it takes preparation on our part, a willingness to wait for His working and timing in other people or situations, even what may seem to others a bit foolhardy risk of faith and trust obedience.  We may have to let go of the good to grasp the better; the better, to lay hold of the best.  "Where there is no vision, the people live carelessly."  (other translations:  "cast off restraint", "coast with brakes off", "perish")   Suffice it to say, we crash or cave in to substandard living without a dream beyond ourselves to anticipate.  We must see our part in God's overall plan.

Why settle for mediocrity?  Why give up, resign ourselves to a mindset impregnated with hopelessness and unbelief?  Hope, joy, strength accompany believing.  Sadness and despair keep company with negativity.  A personal undiscovered answer does not nullify its existence.  Even when the dream seems dead, God can rebirth something in us, in others through us.   

Yes, there is the balancing side.  Presumption, pride, denial, irresponsibility, and/or laziness, while "pursuing" a dream, can surely end in bitter disillusionment.   But hey!  We're nearing the finish line.  Let's check again with our Personal Trainer, get our eyes on the goal, be diligent in personal discipline, and run this last lap with determination, daring, and expectation of winning the prize!   We can't afford to veer off course with distractions or disappointments.  At best, life is precious and brief.  We serve a Magnificent, Miraculous, Great Big God.  We dare not live for a small thing!

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Take apart your computer,

all the intricate bytes of motherboard.
Take it aboard a spaceship,

beyond the gravity of Mother Earth.

Fling it into orbit and

 watch it reassemble itself into
perfect precision.  Then, and

 only then, tell me there's no Father God! 

Are you a thinking person, my friend?  Think it takes too much faith to believe that God is?
Many books, written by persons much more learned and capable than I give valid arguments for God's existence--that would take more "faith" to refute than to accept.  I came to my own personal line of reasoning years ago.  Perhaps, sometime I'll share more of that.
     Know what, though?  I talk to God; He communes with me.  I feel His love; I am complete in His presence.  I'm very flawed; yet His very nature dwells in my humanness in an awesome way that fills the "God-shaped vacuum" inside each of us, that fulfills the cry of my spirit.  If you will draw near to Him--even though you may be full of questions and doubts--He will draw near to you.  "You will seek Me and find Me," He promised, "when you search for Me with all your heart."  Not just your intellect--your heart.  

     But there's only One Way, One Door, One Shepherd, One Mediator of the better covenant between God and man--the God-man, Christ Jesus.  There have been many admirable men,; but He was the ONLY sinless One, and the Only One Who died for you and me, in our place, to pay the penalty of our sin and rejection of God's authority, the Only One with an empty tomb!   He made it possible for us to approach God directly because of His love.  If  you confess Him with your mouth and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you WILL be saved.  You don't have to understand it all; you may just want to pray something like this:

     "O, God, if there is a God, I need You.  I don't want to accept some fallacy or emotional crutch just because I'm empty inside; but if You're real, please reveal Yourself to my heart and help me to believe."  Now, get a Bible and read the Gospel of John.  Just allow Him to shine His light into your spirit, then pray, "Lord Jesus, I want to receive You as my Savior and Lord.  Please forgive all my sin; make me new; I believe You died on the cross for me and that God raised You from the dead.  I want to live for You while I'm here on earth and be ready when you return for me.  Help me to know You more.  In Your name, I pray...amen."

     If you do this, seek fellowship with other believers.  And I would be absolutely thrilled to learn of your decision, if you should want to let me know.  Welcome to a brand new life!  You may sometimes feel lonely again, but you will never, ever be alone.  He made you for Himself, and He knows you and loves you more than anyone, anywhere. 

Friday, May 20, 2011


Spectacular sun, as she rises and sets,
A molten majesty, changing her dress.
Towering mountains, snow waterfalls,
Lighted night skies and windows that call--
Thank God for sight.

Smell of wood fire on chilled, outdoor air;
Fresh balsam scent of rain almost there,
Polish dogs and funnel cakes at the fair;Fresh cut flowers, my granddaughter's hair Thank God for smell.
Music that makes me sing, dance, or sigh.
Laughter of children, I do or don't know;
First declarations of love, whispered low--
Thank God for hearing.

Potatoes and gravy, Mom's roast or chicken,
Cold taste of snow-cream in warm, cozy kitchen; 
Corn and green beans, fresh from the garden,
Dark chocolate and coffee, iced watermelon--
Thank God for taste.

The touch of a loved one's lips on your own,
The feel of comfort in just coming home;
Clean sheets on bare legs, warm feel of a hug;
Eyelash tickle of a cute ladybug--
Thank God for touch.

Grant me inner sense to see injustice,
Scent signs of abuse, hear soft cries for help,
Delicious taste of another's success,
Touch to express to those beyond myself--
Your awesome love!

Actually, I'd planned to save this particular poem for later, but I just decided I wanted to remind us to savor what we've been freely given.  Awhile back, I posted "Spirit-Conducted Symphony" in which I emphasized the wisdom of not allowing our feelings to rule our lives.  I still believe that to be sound advice, but here's the balancing part; thank God for the senses He gives to so richly enjoy life!  How boring it would be to be robotic zombies!:)  (And often, when we get what some call a "gut feeling", it could be our spirit prompting us).  We're not disembodied spirits, after all; we're not all intellect and will; we're not all emotions; we're more than just physical.  God wants to bring all parts into balance to make us one whole person--as in complete, as in well!  He loves you!


Practice smiling when all is going wrong.
Sing a song--if it chokes you--smile and sing!
Take a nap, take a stroll in the sunshine.
Take time; marvel at a butterfly's wing.

Laugh, praise, raise your head and give thanks always
for all things large or small you can recall
feeling grateful for.  Remember all those
along life's way who brightened a dull day.

Express appreciation to one who
doesn't expect it.  Or give someway to
him who can't repay.  Don't wait; just do it!
Enjoy sky's canopy of hope--starlit--

or the fading of darkness into dawn,
majestic magic of a brand new morn.
Exercise, eat right, clear conscience and clutter;
Establish schedule, budget, personal order.

Trust in Him above Who made all and calls
you who are weary to rest in His love.

Someone said that this was "depression awareness" week.  The above poem isn't poetic in its imagery--just full of practical reminders for myself I thought I'd share:)  Of course, there are other issues, like guilt and blame, to deal with.  But if you're a Christian and feeling down, please walk up my suggestion steps.  :)

Even as I jot this, I realize some struggle with clinical depression that requires medical help like a diabetic needing insulin.  So, I'm not downplaying that.  Others, like my precious brother, can't take a stroll anywhere.  Yet, he does all he possibly can for and by himself and keeps a winner's attitude always--refusing to focus inward.

Let's look around us and look upward.  Worship is the only sure antidote I know of for grief; and appreciation--for all God is and has made, for all that's good in others, all the gifts we've been given--blows away bog fog.   And happiness sure gets a vitamin shot when we contribute in some way to another's well being.  Life isn't always ideal, but there's plenty of actual to enjoy!  :)   Be very glad that you are alive, that your forever life will never end, that both now and then can be full of love.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


piano music as you've never seen it!

Making music massages the soul,
releases tensions, makes me feel whole.

As fingers touch keys, tingling song frees
pent melancholy to harmony.

Attitude is adjusted today;
angst anger knots are kneaded away.

Muscles of resentment sigh, relaxed;
ligaments of patience, gently stretched.

Discontented discs, healed in the spine;
whole being restored; hope, realigned.

So hit the fortissimo before you explode!
Or play pianissimo--more tender than bold.

Whatever your mood, make melody ring
through voice, fingers, and musical strings! 

If music can tame even the savage beast, it should surely help its subduer(?:) to subdue his own emotions, don't you think?!:)  Really, music is one of our Creator's greatest gifts for expression.  What a wonderful outlet!  Personally, I like a blend of classical; sacred hymns; some praise and worship choruses; a smattering of gospel songs, a few sentimental love songs; happy, fun music; and a bit of bluegrass with a great 5-string banjo thrown in for my beloved brother!

Your taste may be completely different, of course; I suppose I'm a bit of an oddity.  I like joyful sounds, but not just noise.  However, as in food, what one finds delicious seems inconceivable that others wouldn't like; what one detests, one wonders how another could enjoy!  Don't worry.  I think God appreciates variety, too.  But music should uplift and raise your thoughts higher--not sink them into a pit of despair or depravity!  Nor should we find delight and pleasure in hearing about infidelity and sick scenes.  It may be real life, but we see enough of that on a daily basis, don't you think; why engrave it into our minds more?  We are to think of whatever is pure, lovely, true, virtuous, of good report...please watch the lyrics.  And as a "gift", God really didn't mean for your music to deafen you:), tempt you into wrong choices, or leave you downcast. 
Of course, I think music, like so many things, is best if you can participate.  I bless the day the old player piano from the church campground was brought to our house to keep it from the weather.  What marvelous memories were made around it!  I learned to play by ear, because of it.  Countless hours of joy (and release of sadness), nostalgic moments, and pure worship have come from my heart and soul through my fingers.  For the past 11 years, I've enjoyed the honor of ministering as the church organist.  Thank you, Lord, for music! :)  And let everything that has breath praise the Lord!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


side stepping
manure trails

slippery slopes
squish-caked shoes
squash hopes for
coming out
in clearing
smelling clean.

Certain paths should be
could be the lead horse.
Of course, I didn't
have to swallow what
he said and follow.

But how do I find
ground to turn around
center cow pasture?
Just do it!  The trail
in leads out again.
Back track thru' doo-doo

and wash in the stream
of clear conscience and
whole truth confidence.

Ever feel like you stepped in "it" big time?  You didn't set out to walk into a stinking mess, but maybe someone led you there--either physically or in conversation.  Hey, at some time or another, we've all been there--at least most of us!  That's why it's a good idea to pray at the beginning of each day...

"Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O LORD, my Strength and my Redeemer."  And of course, the prayer Jesus taught His disciples..."Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil..."  His Word, a "lamp to our feet and light to our path" steers  us right, too.

But if (or when:) you blow it, don't think it's too late to turn around and find your way back; it's not!  If you need a guide, I recommend One called the Holy Spirit.  He's as Gentle as a dove and Powerful as a mighty River, Wind, or Fire--never destructive to anything but bondage and sin, as healing as miraculous Oil, giving laughter like Wine in exchange for despair.  Turn around; He's waiting for you! 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Memories of you, Mom

A tender-eyed smile, silky-soft hands,
A warm heart that always understands.
Comfort and kindness, song and laughter,
Cherished memories, now and hereafter. 

Rocking me gently to sleep on your lap,
Rubbing my back as I took my nap.
Talking to me, listening patiently,
Always believing the best of me.

Quick to praise others, slow to complain,
Silent about your own tiredness and pain.
For us to have more, you did without much;
Quieted quarrels, soothed hurts with your touch.

Seven of us kids for you to raise;
How'd you get through those difficult days?
Often your Bible lay open to a Psalm;
Guess that's where you got your magic calm!

You scrubbed and hung out clothes in the cold,
Cooked our meals on that fussy woodstove,
Helped us draw hopscotch, watched us climb trees,
Found jars to catch butterflies and bees.

When we came home, you always were there
in the kitchen or back room in prayer.
Once you were gone; my heart lurched in Fear;
You'd flown in the "Rapture"; I'd been left here!

We played house, church, school--kick the can in warm weather--
Gathered to sing 'round the piano together.
I remember treats from those happy days...
Popcorn and fudge, and ice cream--on paydays!

And when I grew older and felt so mature,
You sensed every pull of the enemy's lure.
You taught me trust when I wondered, "Why?"
Shared a soft shoulder when I would cry.

You've made my life so richly blessed;
When it comes to mothers, I've got the best!

My sweet Mama's parents came from the "old country", met and married in the eastern part of the United States, then settled in the Midwest, in a section of town where immigrants congregated.  Life was quite rough and scary at times; but as in the Brooklyn Bridge sitcom of several years back, it was full of rich family and friend heritage, too--old-fashioned decency and morals.

Though raised in church, Mama never felt she knew God in a personal way till after she and Daddy were married.  He came from a different church background but was not relating to God either.  They met at a tavern where he had gone to play music; she, to dance.  Then one night, they went to a church service that impacted their lives forever; they both received Jesus as their personal Savior and Lord.

The newlyweds began and ended each day with prayer and Bible reading--and hugs and kisses!  We seven kids knew nothing else and are all still seeking to know God more today--each of us with our original marriage partner.  We were raised in a three-room shack with no hot water or indoor bath, an old warm-morning, pot-bellied stove and a wood stove in the kitchen.  No TV--not even a car!  Yet, they gave us the rich heritage of a good name, great values, faith and faithfulness, and love.

What kind of legacy are we leaving our children and grandchildren?  What do they see as the center of our lives?  Somehow, despite so many luxuries and things, it seems to me that this generation is to be more pitied for its poverty.  May God help us to recover the concept of true riches so we leave our posterity an inheritance that lasts and pays eternal dividends.


Image credit me and the sysop on Flickr

Almighty God of more than enough,
I never seem to be quite enough!

I seem to fall just short of the mark;
yet within me shines Your Divine spark.

Can't reach the measure tho' on tiptoe;
stretched thin from the pull, can't patch the hole!

Help me compare myself with only
the love child you fashioned me to be.

Pour abundance into my weakness,
that my short supply never run dry...

of all I need to glorify You!

Messed up lately?  Feel you never quite measure up?  Most of us feel that way, much of the time, it seems--probably because we're only too aware of our own shortcomings--and/or because we tend to "compare ourselves among ourselves" --which God's Word says is not really wise.  You see, He created just one of you.  He understands exactly who you are now, how you came to be that way, all of your potential and limitations, your experiences, temperament, motivation.  No matter how you began, He wanted YOU!  He knew He could redeem your life, receive pleasure from it, and give you fulfillment--else He would never have given you life and preserved it till now.  Made "for the praise of His glory!"

It's not too late!  He knew all the choices you and others would make that would bring you to your present place.  You may have veered off the path of His perfect purpose, but nothing has taken Him by surprise; He has altered redemption for you accordingly.  I believe the end of all things is near at hand; whether or not that is correct, life is very fragile.  Make it count for eternity today; change direction if you need to.  Remember, His abundance can make up for any lack if we abide in Him and allow His Word to abide in us.  "You are complete (nothing lacking:) in Him."   Feel cherished! :)

Monday, May 16, 2011


Image credit hcplebranch on Flickr
Hey, Listen!  Stop the traffic!
Come away from the noise of
strife and everyday life--for
Jehovah God is singing!

Can it be?  He sings of me!
Bumbling, forgetful, sidetracked,
"What's wrong with you, dumb driver?"
--Me!  Only not those lyrics--

He calls me His work of art,
His painting, sculpture, poem--
Birthed in His heart and enjoyed
when I let Him--imagine!

His love song is for you, too.
You are beautiful, unique;
He speaks your name with great pride;
He seeks what He placed inside.

Someone scribbled on His drawing,
carelessly spilled ink on His poem,
scrapped His sculpture with clumsy hands,
but He stands, ready to redeem--

Buy back again the masterpiece
He paid for with His life and then
make it new.  With original
design in mind, God sings over...

"The Lord, Thy God, in the midst of thee, is Mighty...He will joy over you with singing..."May you listen with the ears of your spirit and hear His serenade, especially for you today:)  No impatient disgust in His voice, just reassuring, recreating love.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


It's easy to impress those who know you less
Made-up face and form--of speech--above the norm
Hardly a hint or hue of the real you--
Posed glamour-shots!

It's harder to impress those who know you best,
hang onto good humor and pretense of sense
in pickely, prickly predicaments--
Unposed snapshots.

What world wonders might be wrought if the shutter
behind our shutters sought and caught live scenes of
us treating family as company?

Picture Perfect!

Families are forever part of us.  God "sets the solitary in families" for a reason.  No other setting offers such rich possibilities of nurturing, growing, developing character qualities.  Why not take a challenge to treat, listen intently to, forgive, smile at and try to favorably impress your family members as you would a VIP "important" stranger for the next week?  Could work miracles!:)

Portrait of Peace

Bald Rock National Park  12042009 954

Lightning bounced its bolt across the shifty, scudded sky,
Thunder's muffled bass beat drummed its echo in the air;
Wild wind whistled by with wanton fury in his eye,
People huddled in their homes and mumbled worried prayer.

Out by the water, in the cleft of a boulder,
sheltered cozily, birds in a nest, unafraid
of the storm, were singing in harmony.

With all the atrocities perpetrated by hate-filled men on fellow creatures of the human race; with all the wars, unrest, anger, misunderstandings, desperation, deceit, greed, selfishness, lust, and wickedness, is peace a possibility or just an intangible illusion?  What is peace, anyway, and can we achieve it on a personal level, in our hearts and homes?

To me, peace is a quiet confidence that all will ultimately be well, that Someone with ability, in authority, cares enough about me to guard what is in my best interest and well being.  It is a rest from struggle, strife, and fear because of trust.

Do I always live in peace?  No.  Why?  Well, because I tend to worry about what I'm unable to fix, because I worry about what I'm afraid could be cause and effect consequence to those I love, because of failure to carry through my responsibility or trying to carry responsibility that doesn't belong to me, because of weariness and frustration......but most of all neglecting awareness of my awesome Prince of Peace.

If you are a church person, you've probably heard the illustration of the artists asked to paint a picture portraying peace.  One supposedly painted a serene, pastoral scene; another, maybe a sleeping baby (can't remember!:)  Anyhow, the winner reportedly painted an approaching storm and the scene I tried to capture with words.  Not an original idea, but a reminder that peace is NOT the absence of conflict, but a song of praise in the midst of it.  God is aware of you and all that surrounds you; may you sense His nearness and peace today.  You are loved; you are understood; you are always in His view:)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Spirit-Conducted Symphony

Image credit sduck409 on Flickr
The feelings are real enough to
affect all the major organs,
and they can create symphonic
sound waves of pathos and power.

Strings, carrying you on wings of
fantasy; cymbals, clashing you
back to reality, making
the child within you start to cry.

But the body that plays them must
bow to the spirit conductor
as he rises tall, else there can
be no true symphony at all--

merely melancholy medley
of disjointed, discordant strains,
musicians playing their refrains,
wrong rhythm, timing, melody--

just painful noise that hurts hearts
designed to hear peaceful pieces,
composed in order, soothing sounds
directed by the conductor.

"I give up!"  I know that's the wrong thing to confess, that no one should ever even think it, much less say it--especially if we claim to know God.  But I said it anyway and felt like I just didn't care!   So, if anyone should chance to read this that feels the same way, know that you're not alone:)

Know, too, that we don't have that option!:)  I could type a nice, neat little sermon about why we should never contemplate giving up.  Just let me remind you -- and myself, too-- that we cannot afford to give up on God, ourselves, others, or life in general.  Without God, nothing makes sense.  To think we and our ordered universe evolved is sheer lunacy.  His Word is true and works when it's practiced.  He is Totally Trustworthy, and His ways are as high above ours as the heavens are the earth.  He IS God, after all.

He never gives up on us; His mercies are new every morning and fresh every evening.  He is working in others the same as He is in us, and we don't know everything there is to know!  This life is only the temporary one to get us ready for the forever one, but it can be rather glorious at times.  At other times, it seems a bit too much to bear--mostly because of our own wrong choices or wrong choices of others to whom we relate--as well as unforeseen tragedy and difficulty. Sometimes, too, we forget that we have a very real enemy who is out to destroy us so that we can never fulfill God's purpose to reflect His image, reproduce a Godly seed, and reign over life's circumstances by His spirit in us.

There, then, is the key.  Abide in Him; allow His Word to take root in our hearts and abide in us.  Spend time in His presence feeding our spirit so that it is strong enough to withstand outward pressure and rule our feelings.  We are spirit beings with an intellect, will, and emotions; we live in a body.  Human nature makes the body king--and gets that same body (and sometimes other bodies!) in trouble that way. When we receive Jesus, His Spirit comes to dwell in the spirit part of us, making it alive.  Though our emotional thoughts and feelings still want control, we have new ability to renew our minds with His Word, choose to do His will, worship Him for Who He is.   And as we meditate on Him and His truth, our feelings come into line. 

We're not just pitiful survivors, but powerful children of the Almighty, more than conquerors through Him Who loved us and gave Himself for us!  May His unlimited strength and love rise up within us when our own is not enough!  Our "feelings" can grate on the ears of those who should be hearing the Good News from us, but we can become a true "symphony of worship" when our spirit conducts us.  Peaceful serenity and sounds of joy!