Thursday, January 21, 2016

Delay {A Poem}

Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.  When therefore He heard that he was sick, He stayed then two days longer in the place where He was (John 11:5-6).

He loved them, so He waited…
    Until the last moment,
    Beyond it,
    Until death had firmly taken hold,
    Until hope had gone 
        And mourners filled the house.

He loved them, so He waited…
    Until impossibility
    Made room for Glory.

from the archives

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Winter Birds

"Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. 

Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 

Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.

Are you not of more value than they?"

 Matthew 6:25-26, ESV

(White-winged and mourning dove, Northern cardinal, goldfinches, house finch, and dark-eyed juncoes)

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Advent Joy: Elisabeth {Throwback Thursday}

"The Lord has done this for me. He has looked with favor in these days to take away my disgrace among the people" (Luke 1:25, HCSB).

An angel's good news beggars the priest's belief

A seed of joy, sown by an expired prayer,
Takes root in his aged bride's shriveled womb,
Flutters, kicks new life into dead hopes.
Fruit of the promise swells, burgeons,
Tautens the walls of empty longing
With outlandish hope.

God sends a son called Grace*--
A son for Elisabeth--
Grace for her disgrace,
Favor for her shame,
Joy for her sorrow,
But grace upon grace:

Her Grace-child jumps for joy,
Joy dancing in her barren places.
Mute joy-leaps hail the Author of joy,
And the mother of Grace meets the mother of her Lord.
Grace rejoices in the coming
Of the Grace-giver Himself,
As near and as far
As the embrace of two unexpectedly expectant mothers
(One too soon, one too late, both in good time)
Rejoicing together in good news
Of the promise coming,
So near they can feel it kick.

*The name "John" is a variant of the Hebrew for "Yahweh is gracious."

#OneWordAdvent Joy Badge

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Sweet Incense of Thanksgiving

Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God,
that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name (Hebrews 13:5, ESV).

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods,
for his steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
for his steadfast love endures forever (Psalm 136:1-3, ESV).

Mars, Venus (the morning star), and Jupiter before dawn

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Junco, come for the winter

Dove keeping warm

"A grateful spirit should ever be cultivated by the Christian;
and especially after deliverances we should prepare a song for our God.
Earth should be a temple filled with the songs of grateful saints,
and every day should be a censer smoking with the sweet incense of thanksgiving."
~Charles Spurgeon

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Bereavement {A Poem}

Bee in moonflower

In one swift stroke
The sharp scalpel of sudden loss
Slices away soul calluses,
Exposing quick and tender heart beneath.

Laughter and tears alike
Bubble over more quickly now,
And keenly.
Her glad tidings, his courageous witness,
Every family celebration,
New thorn of affliction,
Persistent pierce of the old
That had become normal—
All sting as they prod
That raw place
Left by loved one lost.

Each “first” passes with wistful weeping
And the ache of remembrance.
Slowly, inscrutably,
The soul accrues fresh calluses
To shelter the quick and tender heart
From the vicissitudes of postlapsarian life,
Until the scalpel strikes again,
Until the woman’s Seed shatters it in pieces
And wipes away all tears,
Our hearts made whole.

The long night shortens.
Soon we shall weep no more.

Young cardinal, Nonni's favorite bird

Thursday, October 8, 2015

When Morning Gilds the Skies

My heart awaking cries,
"May Jesus Christ be praised!"

The highlight of Monday morning's sunrise

Minutes later, as the orange began to fade to rose