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 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!