Sunday, October 11, 2020

Love Reigns

 Oh this world in these times
   so many warring factions
have we lost our humanity?
our sameness?

Right now is seems "me"
is more important than "we" ...
this group, that group, another
group

All think they are the only way
tension, fear,
injustice ~ real or perceived
becomes their only truth

until one - emboldened & inflamed
raises an arm
slinging death from the end of a gun

Death does not arrive this time
lives are altered
Mercy floods forth
Love reigns in humanity's desolation


written after the ambush shooting of two LASD deputies on 9-12-20
a reflection on Psalm 46:8-11, from Psalms for Praying by Nan Merrill

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Strengthened I Rise

It creeps on you
    this life
        this new world
it creeps until you can't ignore
    the unease
        the out of ordinary
it creeps and obscures
    the way the fog closes in and hides things
        usually seen.

Day by day, moment by moment, 
    we live our lives
    barely seeing the
    toll that is being paid
    somewhere, somehow.

I go to my knees
    depleted
        but knowing that the One True God,
        the one who knows all
        who sees all, 
    knows me
    sees me, 

I listen...

And She says, "Arise, child of mine,
for I give you strength of 
body and heart and soul.
Arise and step into this new day, 
this new moment, 
knowing I am with you, always.
Arise."


Based on Ephesians 3: 14-17
July 29, 2020

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Speak the Message

But Balaam replied, "I will speak only the message the Lord puts in my mouth."
   -Numbers 23:12   (NLT)

Oh how I wish my tongue only spoke the Lord's message. My heart longs to do so, but when the words come out, they are often not of the Lord. They are more of me and about me. Sometimes I think the Lord's message is obscured by my focus on the daily reality I live in. Like a dusty window, or the shadows that form even in the light, the Lord's message is cloaked & hidden. 

Paul writes in Romans 7:14-15, "The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I don't really understand myself, for I want to do (speak) what is right, but I don't do it." His view is it is the sin living within us that causes us to do wrong. But the cure, the answer, the antidote, is Jesus Christ. The Lord. The same Lord who will put the love in my heart, on my tongue, and who will give me the message I am to speak.

I look through the dust and shadow and difficulty of this day and wish I was on the other side ~ the side of light and love. How do I get there? Perhaps it is as simple as walking through the doorway presented. As simple as taking a breath in silence to listen. As simple as stopping to offer a short prayer or thanksgiving. As simple as taking a deliberate step in a new direction. That of others, not self ~ a step toward love. It is through my faith in Jesus Christ that I can take that step to speak the Lord's message today and all days

Thanks be to God.

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!