Archive for January, 2016

Take Away Everything


Sunrise over Tampa BayWhere does the time go?

What happened to my days?
They’re endless
What happened to my weekends?
They’re overrun
What happened to my vacation?
It’s absent

What’s become of the order in my life?

Oh Child,
I did not create the clock,
You did.
I did not create weekdays and weekends,
You did.
I did not create workdays,
You did.

I created sunrises and sunsets,
I created the shortening and lengthening of days,
I created what walks, what swims, what flies,
I created what grows.
Then I created you.

I didn’t create calendars and clocks,
computers or cell phones.
You did.
I didn’t command you to measure and organize,
categorize and compare,
distinguish and differentiate.
You chose these for yourself.

I didn’t create you for these.
Remove them and see what’s left.
It’s Me.

Separate is not Equal


We don’t want to hear it! And we certainly don’t want to see pictures of it!

12615341_10208776931127176_6142368835223372809_oThat’s what my friends who are digging out of Blizzard 2016 are telling me. And I don’t blame them. There they are, buried in nearly three feet of snow, and here I am sitting pretty in the Florida sunshine. Keep it to yourself they say, we’ve got a situation.

So… No more photos. No more Facebook posts. I’m censoring my sharing, lest it be seen as teasing or taunting or, at least, insensitive to their hardship – which I don’t know and certainly am not experiencing. Who could blame them for feeling a bit of resentment toward their friend who is living in luxury while they toil and fend for themselves?

Makes me wonder about the Biblical Joseph who, while his brothers are experiencing famine, lives in plenty in the house of his Egyptian master. Of course, the brothers were unaware their little bro had survived their attempted homicide, so they probably didn’t give that a second thought.

Then there was Moses, separated from his people and raised in Pharaoh’s palace. That probably wouldn’t have played well had his fellow Jews – enslaved by their harsh Egyptian task masters – gotten wind of their boy Moses’ eating delicacies and enjoying royal privilege.

And then there was Jesus, come to walk among us and be one of us – to know our hardship and pain intimately, to experience our sorrow and disappointment, and to suffer with us. God knew that His ministry and message would not have rung true in any other way.

“Really, I have been watching from heaven and I have seen what you have been experiencing. True, where I come from there’s no pain and suffering, but I’ve been watching yours and I can relate. I’ve been reading all your Facebook posts and watching all your videos. I feel really bad for you. It’s agonizing watching you do all that shoveling. …”

No, there is just something about being there. Walking among, shoveling alongside, warming hands together while sipping hot chocolate and telling stories of the day.

So, friends at home, it may sound strange, but the land of luxurious sun feels a bit lonely these days. Comfortable, yes, but remote and not quite right, as if I should be doing something more to hold up my end of the bargain. I guess Joseph and Moses had to figure that out.

Jesus just knew. Thank God for that.

Not Your Usual Bouncer



Each set off
at his own pace
with her own rhythm
in their own style.

Bounce.. bounce…. bounce. bounce…boun..ce bounceee.. bou..bbounce

Tennis balls,
in their joy and merriment,
leaping and playing,
of their own accord.


They were finished, then.
Fallen in,
Rank and file,
Orderly. Procession.

Oh, the sound.
Calling me,
To sameness, calm,
quiet, appeasement, rhythm.

So easy to slip in,
under the waves,
along for the ride,
go with the flow.

There was another sound.
Quiet, but clear.
Of opportunity beckoning,
between the bouncing,
between the bouncing.

Growing louder,
more insistent.
Am I the only one who hears it?

Close ranks! Tighten up!
Rapid fire. Precision.
Poise. Focus.

Deliberately different.
Not disruptive,

It was a competition, after all.
There was a Prize.

God’s up to something


Calm, peaceful, still, ever.

yard view 5

How can anyone tire of this view?
That goes on forever,
Forgives all
Welcomes all
Receives all.

You are there.
Out my bedroom window
My backyard,
My puppies’ playground,
Sheltered and safe.


Wait! What was that?

Who do you think you are,
Forcing your way in like that?
Painting my hallway
reds and yellows,
oranges and purples.

Can’t you see I’m resting here?

Well, maybe one little peek,
Just a crack in the door
To see who’s calling.
That’s polite, isn’t it.

Oh my, look at you!


Won’t you come in?
Have some coffee.
Sit and chat a bit,
Tell me what you see
From there.

where’d you go?

I am about to do a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? ~ Isaiah 43:19

Creating My Own Virtual Reality


Today, I begin.
No direction.
No insistence.
No requirements.

Nothing calls me.
Nothing claims me.

I can reply to every email
or not one.
I can answer every call
or silence my phone.

I can strike off
in any direction
I choose.
And I do choose.

I have this choice

Today, I see it.
it’s real
FullSizeRender (2)

Embarassed by my Abundance


IMG_3136My daughter nailed it. “Mom, are you embarrassed by that bag?”

We were browsing in a fancy leather store and I had tried on a Prada purse just for fun, but she could tell by the look on my face that I could never go out in public sporting that thing. Too much. It wasn’t just the price, it was the spectacle, the showiness, the ostentation that made me quickly return it to the rack. Not me.

Yet, my generous God keeps giving me stuff I don’t deserve. I haven’t earned it and other people need it more. It’s embarrassing.

But … “For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. (Matthew 25:29)

I give. This is My purpose.

You receive. This is your reason.

He who knows the discomfort of receiving that which is not his;
She who receives, not setting it aside until its proper owner comes to reclaim it;
Knows Me.

Use your talent for God and God will use it for the Kingdom!

“I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)

What have you kept?


IMG_4109It’s a season of subtracting for me.

I’ve spent a lifetime accumulating. Collecting books, papers, files, friends, travels, vehicles, a home, a church, jobs and a few paychecks. I have a lot, just not a lot to show for it. I invested a lot of myself in the doing, but from the distance of years, it diminishes.

I rifle through boxes of “the kept.” Don’t need this. I’ll never use this again. Get rid of it, recycle it, leave it behind. Anything I won’t use again is set adrift. Amazing how this season is upon me. Everything that I wouldn’t pack up in a moving box is fair game.

All except the things that are heavy with memories. The rings that mom and dad exchanged on their wedding day. The book that Grandpa wrote. The birthday card my daughter made. And photos. Oh, the photos. These things have the power to tap into memories I didn’t know I had. That circuitry holds all I’ve ever done and, blessedly, has sifted, sorted and centrifuged it into one solitary particle.

That particle is impossibly dense, yet imperceptibly heavy. It’s the lightest thing in the world to carry. It goes anywhere you go and its no burden at all to bear.

All that I have ever loved is there.

Not what I’ve learned or done. Not what I have said or meant to say. Not what I’ve found or lost. By all accounts it is nothing. Yet, it is everything. It has complete power over me. And it empowers me.

“Just go!” it says, “You’ve got everything you need! We’ve seen to that.”

I’m beginning to believe it.

Letting go of what lies behind, I reach toward what lies ahead. How silly I would look toting a suitcase. IMG_4311

If Christ were broken bread today


He’d be flatbread with farm to table toppings.

Winter, We Need You!


Nature is a tease this year.
Look at those chutes,
Yawning and stretching.
Time to wake already?
Seems like I just went to sleep.

IMG_0098Look at those buds,
Plumping on each branch.
Well, if he is, I guess I’d better.
The unfurling must be soon,
Baby, it’s warm in here.

Spring must be coming,
Warm, soaking rains must mean
longer days are just ahead.
And then I’ll grow strong
and tall and sure.

Or have we been fooled?

Fools to send our young ones out
before their time.
Before the winter rest hardies them.
Before they can collect their resources.
Before they can gather strength
For the season ahead.

We, old and wizened by seasons past,
may fend off the harshness
with wits and cunning
forged over years of seasons.
A life of winters has won us this privilege.

But the young, so unsuspecting.
Responding, by nature,
To a call which is not.

Put your coat on and your boots and mittens.
Do your homework, get your chores done.
Eat your vegetables, take your vitamins.
Put some meat on those bones.

Winter, we need you.
Don’t be a tease.
Be a teacher.
Teach us to pray and wait,
for the glorious wonder
of spring.

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