Sunday, May 10, 2020

On the Veranda

On the veranda it is

almost normal ~ forgetting our isolation order

the birds singing their God given songs
the colors of the sky & trees, God created colors


just a gentle breeze Holy Spirit is that you come to visit

I feel an almost irresistible urge to pull out another chair for Jesus, move it away from the fire table, so he will have room for his legs

What are the birds singing I ask

Do you want some water? A glass of wine? Are you hungry? How long can you stay? (this is me ~  martha)

Why did God make the peacocks screech so?

I get no real answers,
but my heart is calmed ~ my anxiety at rest (this is me ~ mary)

He is with us. Father, Son, Holy Spirit, martha, mary ~ all are one


Friday, April 10, 2020

On this Good Friday

My life is poured out like water,
   and all my bones are out of joint.
-Psalm 22:14   (NLT)

I am usually called to verses for the God Speaks Daily Inspiration that are uplifting and hopeful. But not today. This verse spoke to me and just wouldn't let me go.

As I am reading the scriptures for today it is morning, but looks like evening; it is raining, dull outside, dreary, there is no sunlight, there is nothing but fog on the horizon, darkish clouds overhead. I am home, staying at home, "safer at home." The ache of Good Friday and the ache of our COVID-19 self-isolation is upon me. My life is poured out like water and all my bones are out of joint.

I could ignore the ache ~ but I am not going to ~ just for a while. This is a dark time. I recognize that I miss my "normal" days & routines. I am not going to wallow in the darkness, but I will acknowledge it. And sit with it for just a bit.

Then I think of Jesus. All that Jesus gave for us. All the trials endured as the Son of Man. As a modern-day disciple, I am grateful for the hope that springs to life on Easter Sunday.

I once again hear the finches as they chatter outside, even in the rain. I look at my husband and am grateful that I share this home with him. I cherish the phone calls and Zoom Rooms with friends.  I will celebrate Easter virtually with my community.

I will celebrate.


Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Faith

Monday's Gospel from the Daily Office was Mark 5:21-43. I love this story of the woman who has been bleeding for 12 years (twelve years!!!), and just wants to get close to Jesus. She knows he can heal her. She doesn't even think she has to be touched by him, she just needs to touch his clothes. In the midst of the crowd she does not give up on what she needs.

Her faith, Jesus says, is what heals her. "Go in peace." She believed in Jesus.

So, today amid these days of social distancing and isolation, I am asking myself, and I'm asking you,
do you believe in Jesus? 

I believe Jesus walks with us, always. We only need to look & listen.
I believe Jesus hears us. We only need to ask.
I believe Jesus has laid a plan for us. We only need to be open.

I don't know what our lives will look like next week, in two weeks, in a month ~ but this I know for sure.
Jesus is with us. Jesus hears us. Jesus has laid plans for us.

Have faith and believe.

Go and stay in peace.

below is a meditation for you...




CROWDS, PEACE
a meditation of Jesus in Mark 5:28-34
March 28, 2018

crowds, always crowds
   people pressing all around
fear, confusion
demands
everyone wants something,
          a piece of me
how can I give to them all?
Father, how can I do this?
      jostled,
pushing and shoving
     hot
  peter & james & andrew & all
          trying to protect me
So hard to move
O Lord, it’s too much

What happened?
     I felt it; someone
                    someone        someone
someone        in this crowd
   just one person
only that one
     Where?
         Where?
              Where?
looking all around
          Who?
Who touched my clothes?
   still here
now I’m the one searching
Who touched my clothes?
the crowd parting, stopping
                    a woman
yes, Her, there,   O my child
       no, no, everything is all right
          sshhh…………
       don’t worry so


I am here,
          I will always be here
your Faith touched me
       & my power has healed you
Peace
     Go in peace
you are healed by your Faith         free
      you will always have me with you
I was here in this crowd today
   for you
I will meet you where you are
just reach out
                    reach for me
                               reach for me
I will hold you, I will heal you,
     I will save you,
I will give you Peace

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

STAND


I've chosen a word of the year for at least two years. It's a touchstone, a guide post, for the year. A word I refer to almost daily. It is less specific than goals and resolutions, but something much more. In choosing the word, I start by writing a list of possible words, adding to it when something comes to mind. I ponder them and pray over them, always seeking God's guidance.

Last week I thought I'd "ask the Googles" (as my friend says), for suggestions, so I entered "one word 2020." The first search result was for a quiz. I'm sort of a sucker for quizzes, so I went for it. The site was dayspring.com ~ which, turns out, is a Christian website (insert knowing look here). This is from their website:
Dayspring ~ Live your faith
We're here to help you to know and share the life-changing message of God's love.

I took their 7 question quiz and the result was that my word for 2020 is STAND. Once I saw that, I immediately knew that it was right. I wasn't sure what it meant; I'm still not exactly sure what it will mean throughout 2020. But God certainly knows.



STAND...
strong, for, against, with, up, down, fast, apart, in love, in peace, in faith
...the possibilities are endless. 

After getting my word, I had the strongest urge to reach out to one of my friends and tell her about this experience and my word. I couldn't figure out why I had the feeling I should do this. We are Facebook friends, in a group of wonderful photographers, and I've never met her in person. But the feeling persisted, so I messaged her this story and my word. Her reply was "Sounds like you'll be 'standing on the promises of God' in 2020. Which, by the way, I found out a few days later, is an old hymn. Whatever other words will follow STAND for me in 2020, they can't be any better than those six ~ standing on the promises of God.


So, unexpectedly, technology had a big part in finding my word for 2020. While it can be a curse, the technology to reach others and find community can have great benefits and blessings. Here's hoping that your 2020 will be a year full of God's goodness for you. May you know all of God's promises.

Click on this photo to see some of God's promises to us on the lower step

Oh, here's just another example of the "rightness" of this ~ Dayspring sells books and journals, including Promises from God's Heart - A Bible Promise Journal. And, yep, I bought one!

PS - Click here for the Dayspring Your Word 2020 quiz in case you want to try it!

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Unscheduled

From the God Speaks Daily Inspiration December 19, 2019

               Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.
                    -Matthew 25:13

Just before this admonition in Matthew, we hear the parable of the ten bridesmaids. They are waiting for the groom to arrive so the wedding banquet can begin. Some of them didn't bring enough oil for their lamps, so when they had to wait they were in danger of the lamps going out (guess they didn't write "bring extra oil" on their to-do list). Others came prepared with enough oil to last. When the groom was coming, those "foolish" girls with no oil asked the "wise" ones to share, but no way. So they went to buy more; and in doing so they were shut out of the banquet. And the groom tells them, "Keep awake therefore, for you know neither day nor the hour."

The season of Advent is one of looking forward. Looking to the manger. Looking to the Savior. In our world, the baby Jesus arrives December 25th. On schedule, every year, without fail. And we celebrate. We schedule our celebrations beginning in November. We have lists of things to do, things to make, things to buy, places to go, people to see, meals to prepare, and we schedule all those things into our days. We know the days and the hours. Believe me, I understand ~ I'm right in it too.

With our phones, computers, apps, reminders, digital calendars, & paper planners, we live lives scheduled by the day, hour, and sometimes minute. When was the last time you had an unscheduled day? One where there was nothing in the little calendar square for that day? When was the last time something wonderful happened that was unscheduled? Perhaps a little surprising? Are you prepared to notice those moments when they occur?

The unscheduled moments are the ones we should be looking and waiting for. Keeping our eyes, heart, & soul open and aware. Those moments are how God sends us reminders that the world is majestic and beautiful and magical, and that we are loved and valued and created to be all that God has planned for us to be. We must remain awake and prepared or those moments pass us by and we are shut out of all the goodness that awaits.

An unscheduled visit ~
juvenile red-tail hawk on the veranda railing






Sunday, September 8, 2019

Rescue me, Lord

From the God Speaks Daily Inspiration September 6, 2019
I entrust my spirit into your hand.
   Rescue me, Lord, for you are a faithful God.
-Psalm 31:5   (NLT)
Entrust = trust = letting go. Oh how we humans hold onto all manner of things. To entrust my spirit to God, I must be willing and able to let go and to listen. As a friend often puts it, "it's the ego again." The call here is to let go of our egos; our need to control; our thinking that we know best. God is there, just waiting for us to trust and entrust our lives to the plan God has for us. A leap of faith, yes! But, oh, how hard that can be.


Turning our lives over to God, for me, seems easier done in times of doubt, of trouble, of crisis, of despair. But when all is going well... a beautiful sunrise, the dog hasn't peed in the house,  a phone call with a good friend ~ then the question becomes can I pray & believe & trust with the same desperation? When I don't feel the immediate need to be rescued? Or do I let my ego run away with itself and believe I am in control? The psalmist says if we trust and entrust always to God, our lives will be more full; for God is faithful.

To move from ego/control to trusting,  I can offer thanks and gratitude to God for all I am and all that I have - for it is all a gift. And through this thankfulness and gratitude, I acknowledge that God is above all things. God knows all the animals of the fields; all the fish in the sea, all the birds of the sky; God knows each and every one of us. God has a plan for me, for you, for us, for all his children. Trust and entrust and listen.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

listening for God's call on a breath of wind

In my prayer group, we read St. Ciaran and the Dream for our meditation. His phrase
swallows singing praises, saying here
was the focal point of my reflection time.
Here is where God led me:


not swallows but sparrows, little birds - now
flocks of them by the house
mama feeding youngster in the tree
9 on the star pine - top 2 branches
lots & lots on the wires yesterday & today
always hearing their song - morning,
          afternoon, evening
they fly free, singing their joy in the day
going where they are drawn
          by the wind, by the sun
while we are tethered to the earth
with feet firmly planted
hearts grounded in our places
our souls looking, longing to be with
     the sparrows
listening for God's call on
     a breath of wind
drawing us closer and closer to
where, we too, break into joyful song
finally free





Note: my last line echos the last line of St. Ciaran and the Dream