Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Final Word

"I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why Right (temporarily defeated) is stronger than Evil (triumphant).
- Martin Luther King Jr.

The Fidelity of Love

My distress is great and unknown to men.
They are cruel to me, for they wish to dissuade me
From all that the forces of Love urge me to.
They do not understand it, and I cannot explain it to them.
I must then live out what I am;
What love counsels my spirit,
In this is my being: for this reason I will do my best.
Whatever vicissitudes men lead me through for Love's sake
I wish to stand firm and take no harm from them.
For I understand from the nobility of my soul
That in suffering for sublime Love, I conquer.
I will therefore gladly surrender myself
In pain, in repose, in dying, in living,
For I know the command of lofty fidelity.
I do not complain of suffering for Love:
It becomes me to always submit to her,
Whether she commands in storm or in stillness.
One can know her only in herself.
This is an unconceivable wonder,
Which thus has filled my heart
And makes me stray in a wild desert.
- Hadewijch of Antwerp
"To Live Out What I Am"
* date not specified *

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

To Catch A Rainbow

In time of silver rain
The earth puts forth life again ,
Green grasses grow
And flowers lift their heads,
And over all the plain
The wonder spreads

Of life,
Of Life,
Of Life!

In time of silver rain
The butterflies lift silken wings,
To catch a rainbow cry,
And trees put forth new leaves to sing
In joy beneath the sky
As down the roadway
Passing boys and girls
Go singing too,

In time of silver rain when spring
And life
Are new.
- Langston Hughes
"In Time of Silver Rain" 
* date unknown* 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Raining Hope

A seed falls on hardened ground
Will it wither and die or by a crow be found
Or will the rain come, bringing new life
Fate balancing on the edge of a knife
If the rain comes; the need appeased
Is the balance of life set at ease
And if by chance the seed should grow
Would fate then come in the form of snow
Time after time seeds laid low
Yet in the spring you'll see it grow
When life seems hard no hope is found
Just remember the rain will come to soften the ground
-"Second Chances"
Bryan Seyfertt
07 November 2012 A.D. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

In Loving Sacrifice

The sacrifice of love we give,
Takes less and yet gives more;
An everlasting hand of love,
The heart an open door.

The willingness to give of self,
To lay down your own life;
To touch another person's heart,
In loving sacrifice.

A chance that God has given you,
To reach another soul;
Forever changed by kindness,
A life your love made whole.

For life is but a circle,
Each life part of the chain;
Each link is joined by sacrifice,
That causes man to change.

To turn and reach a hand of love,
To touch another's life;
Will cause the circle to be whole,
In loving sacrifice.
- Allison Chambers Coxsey
about 1996

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

An Odd Thing To Fear

AFRAID? Of who am I afraid?
Not death; for who is he?
The porter of my father's lodge
As much abasheth me.

Of life? 'T were odd I fear a thing
That comprehendeth me
In one or more existences
At Deity's decree.

Of resurrection? Is the east
Afraid to trust the morn?
With her fastidious forehead?
As soon impeach my crown!
- Emily Dickinson
"Afraid? Of Who Am I Afraid?"
published: 1924

Monday, March 11, 2013

A Strong Man's Creed

Courage isn't a brilliant dash,
A daring deed in a moment's flash;
It isn't an instantaneous thing
Born of despair with a sudden spring
It isn't a creature of flickered hope
Or the final tug at a slipping rope;
But it's something deep in the soul of a man
That is always working to serve some plan.

Courage isn't the last resort
In the work of life or the game of sport;
It isn't a thing that a man can call
At some future time when he's apt to fall;
If he hasn't it now, he will have it not
When the strain is great and the pace is hot.
For who would strive for a distant goal
Must always have courage within his soul.

Courage isn't a dazzling light
That flashes and passes away from sight;
It is a slow, unwavering, ingrained trait
With the patience to work and the strength to wait.
It's part of a man when his skies are blue,
It's part of him when he has work to do.
The brave man is never freed of it.
He has it when there is no need of it.

Courage was never destined to show;
It isn't a thing that can come and go;
It's written in victory and defeat
And every trial a man may meet.
It's part of his hours, his days and his years,
Back of his smiles and behind his tears.
Courage is more than a daring deed:
It's the breath of life and a strong man's creed.
- Edgar A. Guest 
*date not specified

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Unconquered Days

Life, believe, is not a dream
So dark as sages say;
Oft a little morning rain
Foretells a pleasant day.
Sometimes there are clouds of gloom,
But these are transient all;
If the shower will make the roses bloom,
Why lament at all?

Rapidly, merrily,
Life's sunny hours filt by,
Gratefully, cheerily,
Enjoy them as they fly!
What though Death at times step in
And calls our Best away?
What though sorrow seems to win,
O'oer hope, a heavy sway?
Yet hope again elastic springs,
Unconquered, though she fell;
Still buoyant are her golden wings,
Still strong to bear us well.
Manfully, fearlessly,
The day of trial bear,
For gloriously, victoriously,
Can courage quell despair!
- Charlotte Bronte
about 1846

Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Eternal Price

Oh, the kindness of a Holy Lord, poured on those on earth below,
As His gracious help is implored, by those here who need Him so,
And by others, God goes ignored, for the Lord they do not know,
But even these men cannot afford, to continue in the way they go.

God's goodness extends to everyone, wherever we are in this life,
Through His only begotten Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
Available to all men under the sun, to deal with their toil and strife,
His kindness follows as they run, the race that leads to eternal life.

It was God who made a sacrifice, by sending His Son the the cross,
Paying for all men an eternal price, while making a way for the lost,
By that cleansing work of Christ, to purge all sinners of their dross,
Preparing for believers a paradise, when life's final river they cross.

The Lord is the Creator of us all, Maker of all creatures on the earth,
Every creature, great and small, and He knew you before your birth,
Although we are cursed by the fall, God places on man much worth,
And all who here the trumpet call, Christ shall rapture from the earth.

Extended to each and all of us, is God's goodness and much more,
Saving men from a grave of dust, when they came to Christ as Lord,
Extending to Him a simply trust, and God opens up the eternal door,
As belief in Christ is the only must, to live with our God forever more.
- Bob Gotti
"The Goodness of God"
July 2008 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

When Fluttering Leaves Depart

Like the joy on the heart of a sorrow,
The sunset hangs on a cloud;
A golden storms of glittering sheaves,
Of fair and frail and fluttering leaves,
The wild wind blows in a cloud.

Hark to the voice that is calling
To my heart in the voice of the wind:
My heart is weary and sad and alone,
For its dreams like that fluttering leaves of gone,
And why should I stay behind?
- Saroniji Naidu 
"Autumn Song" 
submitted: 03 January 2013 A.D. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Boxes of Love

I have in my hand two boxes
Which God gave me to hold
He said, "Put all your sorrows in the black,
And all your joys in the gold."
I heeded His words and in the two boxes
Both my joys and sorrows I store
But though the gold box became heavier each day
The black was as light as before.

With curiosity I opened the black
I wanted to find out why
And I saw, the base of box, a hole
Which my sorrows had fallen out by

I showed the whole to God, and mused aloud,
"I wonder where my sorrows could be."
He smiled a gentle smile at me.
"My child, they are all here with me."

I asked God, "Why give me the boxes,
Why the gold and the black with the hole?"
"M child, the gold is for you to count your blessings,
The black is for you to let go."
- Anonymous 
"God's Boxes of Love" 
* date not specified *

Friday, March 1, 2013

To Live is Now

Deal only with the present -
Never step into tomorrow,
For God asks us just to trust Him
And to never borrow sorrow,
For the future is not ours to know,
And it may never be,
So let us live and give our best
And give it lavishly . . .
For to meet tomorrow's troubles
Before they are even ours
Is to anticipate the Savior
And to doubt His all - wise powers,
So let us be content to solve
Our problems one by one,
Asking nothing of tomorrow
Except "Thy will be done."

Helen Steiner Rice
"Never Borrow Sorrow"
May 16, 2012 A.D,


Thursday, February 28, 2013

To The Unbroken

There is a brokenness
Out of which comes the unbroken,
A shattered-ness out
Of which blooms the un-shatterable
There is a sorrow
Beyond all grief that leads to joy
And a fragility
Out of whose depths emerges strength.

There is a hollow space
Too vast for words
Through which we pass with each loss,
Out of whose darkness
We are sanctioned into being.

There is a cry deeper than all sound
Whose serrated edges cut the heart
As we break open
To the place inside which is unbreakable
And whole,
While learning to sing.
- Rashani
"There Is Brokenness" 

To Lose One Self

Water flowing down the permanent canals.
Colors running and bleeding each other.
Red pressure spots residing in their familiar place.
Years of brokenness and neglect.

Ducts thought to be dried,
Yet springs forth gallons more.
How the nights are spent in the watery grave.
Cries heard from no one except her pillow.

Too many chances, to forgive again.
Quietness is welcomed, but hated.
For she lost all, including herself,
And sadness became her only friend.
- Matthias 
"Blue Orbs Through a Glazed Len"
date unknown 

Friday, February 22, 2013

My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius.
Commanders of the armies of the North, general of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor Marcus Aurelius.
Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife, and I will have my vengeance in this life, or the next.
- Maximus Decimus Meridius
(Actor: Russel Crowe) 
Gladiator, 2000

Friday, February 1, 2013

Predestined To Be

About a trillion centuries
Before the world was made, and seas
Of deep and empty space were not
Yet there to make an endless spot
For nothingness, nor Gabriel,
Nor Lucifer, nor flames of hell,
Nor beasts and elders round the throne,
But only God the Lord alone—
No element of any kind,
Nor measurement, but only Mind—
Ages before the Lord employed
His sovereign power to make a void
Beside the vastness of his will,
When there was only God to fill
The mind of God with joy and He
Was Life, and absolutely free...
The Father fixed his gaze on me,
Foreknew my soul that I should be
At first ashamed before his face,
And then a vessel for his grace;
And in the Holy Trinity
Engaged a glad conspiracy
Of love that all the energy
Of God should be employed to see
That I, when all his work is done,
Would bear the image of his Son.
And I indeed have been ashamed
For awesome things that I have named
A sham. Once in Ms. Clanton's class
A group of us with ample brass
Announced our sure and reasoned scheme:
"Predestination is a dream
Of Presbyterians misled
By Calvin who had lost his head
And killed a man for heresy
Back in the sixteenth century."
And I pursued their praise with zest . . .
. . . As though a bird should curse the air
Beneath its wing, and fish compare
The ocean to a grave, the ant
Should lift its mighty voice and rant
Against the earth with pride obsessed,
And infants rail against the breast.
And O, the shame, the shame of those
Presumptuous years to one who knows
Far better now. Had not the gaze
Of God affixed itself with rays
Of mercy on my unborn soul,
And burned my name into the scroll
Of life, there would have been no cause
That all my proud and ugly flaws
Should be pursued with mercy all
My days.
O God of great and small,
O God of free and sovereign grace,
How great and wonderful your ways,
Ordaining all before its days!
To you alone be endless praise!
Come, meet us in this season bright!
We glorify your holy might,
And give the name to candle one:
Foreknown and destined in the Son.

- John Piper 
Foreknown and Destined in the Son 
December 1, 1985

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Apple Bright

I was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.

And I watered it in fears
Night and morning with my tears,
And I sunned it with smiles
And with soft, deceitful wiles.

And it grew both day and night,
Till it bore an apple bright,
And my foe beheld it shine,
And he knew that it was mine -

And into my garden stole
When the night had veiled the pole;
In the morning, glad, I see
My foe outstretched beneath the tree.
- William Blake
A Poison Tree, 1794

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Fallen - Cold and Dead

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
                         But O heart! heart! heart!
                            O the bleeding drops of red,
                               Where on the deck my Captain lies,
                                  Fallen cold and dead.
O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
                         Here Captain! dear father!
                            The arm beneath your head!
                               It is some dream that on the deck,
                                 You’ve fallen cold and dead.
My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
                         Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
                            But I with mournful tread,
                               Walk the deck my Captain lies,
                                  Fallen cold and dead.

Walt Whitman 
Oh Captain, My Captain 1900
"Leaves of Grass"

Monday, January 21, 2013

On Life After Death

When tomorrow starts without me,
And I'm not there to see,
If the sun should rise and find your eyes
All filled with tears for me;
I wish so much you wouldn't cry
The way you did today,
While thinking of the many things,
We didn't get to say.
I know how much you love me,
As much as I love you,
And each time you think of me,
I know you'll miss me too;
But when tomorrow starts without me,
Please try to understand,
That an angel came and called my name,
And took me by the hand,
And said my place was ready,
In heaven far above
And that I'd have to leave behind
All those I dearly love.
But as I turned to walk away,
A tear fell from my eye
For all my life, I'd always thought,
I didn't want to die.
I had so much to live for,
So much left yet to do,
It seemed almost impossible,
That I was leaving you.

I thought of all the yesterdays,
The good ones and the bad,
The thought of all the love we shared,
And all the fund we had.
If I could relive yesterday
Just ever for a while,
I'd say good-bye and kiss you
And maybe see you smile.
But then I fully realized
That this could never be,
For emptiness and memories,
Would take the place of me.
And when I thought of worldly things
I might miss come tomorrow,
I thought of you, and when I did
My heart was filled with sorrow.
But when I walked through Heaven's gates
I felt so much at home
When God looked down and smiled at me,
From His great golden throne,
He said, "This is eternity,
And all I've promised you.
Today your life on earth is past
But here it starts anew.
I promise no tomorrow,
But today will always last,
And since each day's the same way,
There's no longing for the past.
You have been so faithful,
So trusting and so true.
Though there were times
You did some things
You knew you shouldn't do.
But you have been forgiven
And now at last you're free.
So won't you come and take my hand
And share my life with me?"
So when tomorrow starts without me,
Don't think we're far apart,
For every time you think of me,
I'm right here, in your heart.

* in memory of Betsy Alexander * 
David M. Romano
When Tomorrow Starts Without Me 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Search Me, Oh God

You have searched me, Lord,
And You know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
You perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
You are familiar with all of my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
You, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
And You lay Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
Too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from Your spirit?
Where can I flee from Your presence?
If I go up to the Heavens, You are there;
If I make my bed in the depths, You are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
If I settle on the far side of the sea,
Even there Your hand will guide me,
Your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
And the light become night around me,"
Even the darkness will not be dark to You;
The night will shine like the day,
For darkness is as light to You.

For You created my inmost being;
You knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from You
When I was made in the secret place,
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
All the days ordained for me were written in Your book
Before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are Your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
They would number the grains of the sand -
When I awake, I am still with You.

If only You, God, would slay the wicked!
Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
They speak of You with evil intent;
Your adversaries misuse Your name.
Do I not hate those that hate You, Lord,
And abhor those who are in rebellion against You?
I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
Search me, oh God, and know my heart;
Test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
And lead me in the way of everlasting.
David, son of Jesse
Psalms (specifically psalm 139)
between 1010 - 970 B.C.

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Great Deity

Science! thou mirror of celestial type
 Wherein e'en mortals may discerning see,
If they with steady perseverance seek,
 The will and purpose of Deity.

By the effulgence of Thy affluent light
 Men learn the hidden mysteries of earth,
Unlock the secrets of the starry heavens
 And solve the problem of each dewdrop's birth.

Thou art the magic key that opens wide
 Sources of knowledge, beauty, wealth and grace,
Which teach man how to help his brother man,
 And benefit and elevate the race.

Beneath thy guidance men have found the stone
 Philosophers long sought but rarely found,
Whose lesson is that the Great God helps those
 Who feel to help themselves and others bound.

What blest results are following in thy train,
 To physical as well as mental wealth,
Through sanitation, in its myriad forms,
 By which it now promotes the nation's health.

Well regulated physical as mental work
 Opens rich sources of enjoyment sweet;
And mind and body strengthened, thus delight
 New difficulties to withstand and greet.

Few know how strengthening is resisting power,
 In mind and body as in physics too,
And what accumulating force it lends
 To man his life work daily to renew.

The richest happiness comes from within,
 From duties well accomplished blessings flow,
And precious fruits of action, thought and deed
 That will not give rude switch grass place to grow.
Thou teachest that a form to be a square
 Must have its lines of length, breadth, depth, exact,
Without the least divergence right or left,
 And with its due proportions clear, compact.

What helpful lessons might not this form teach,
 If testing thus the lines of motives, thought,
Which make the sum of action square or false,
 Each would discern the application taught.

When truth as the soul's standard is set up,
 Making the inner life exact and square,
With love to God producing love, to all,
 What will not man for man and duty dare?

True brotherhood consists in making each,
 As far as may be, just another self;
The priceless sequence of such action would
 Exceed the greatest riches men call wealth.

Then might the blest commandment, do to all
 As to ourselves we would that they should do,
Flow as a natural sequence, and such act
 Would bring its own reward and comfort, too.

For truest happiness is known to those
 Who learn to know themselves through struggles brave.
Such conquerors steer serenely o'er the calm,
 Clear sea of life, as o'er its troubled wave.

Knowing that the Great Father wills that man
 Should, through much strife and suffering win that prize,
Whose precious fruits of knowledge wait for all
 Who use full well each moment as it flies.

Then let us strive to form each thought, word, deed,
 On the exact, undeviating square,
Seeking to learn and discipline ourselves,
 And win rewards which all who will may share. 

Hannah S. Battersby

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Sigh No More

On the ground sits a bird
That's too afraid to fly.
Beautiful wings could make it soar,
But pain of past failure is its lonesome cry.

God has said unto this bird,
"Trust and have faith in Me,
For I will carry you in your flight.
The miracle of life is waiting for you to see."

The bird said to God, "But I can't fly.
I am weak. I will fall and feel pain
It's happened when I tried to fly.
I'm afraid of being hurt again."

His voice soft and reassuring, God said to the bird,
"I created you and I will protect you.
Your lonesome cry I have heard.
Have faith in Me. That's all you need to do.

So, stand up bird, and spread your wings.
The wings I lovingly created to let you fly.
If you fall I'll pick you up,
And lift you back into the sky."

With trembling legs and unsure wings
The bird finally looked to the sky.
It took a deep breath, and took the chance.
The bird began to fly.

"Thank You, God, for believing in me.
Thank You for giving me wings.
Thank You for your protecting strength.
Your Glory I will now sing."

God smiled onto the bird
In its majestic flight.
"Little bird, I'll always be with you,
And will protect you with all My might.

You may stumble. You may fall.
That does not mean I don't care.
I'll watch over you, in case you need help,
And then I'll be right there."

The little bird, once so scared,
Learned to soar new heights.
The occasional fall no longer scared the bird,
Choosing to have faith in God's flight.
- Heather Flood
God's Flight 2012

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Unlikely Whereabout of a Rich Lord

Having been tenant long to a rich Lord,
Not thriving, I resolved to be bold,
And make a suit unto Him, to afford
A new small - rented lease, and cancel th' old.

In heaven at His manor I Him sought;
They told me there that He had lately gone
About some land, which He had dearly bought
Long since on earth, to take possession.

I straight returned, and knowing His great birth,
Sought Him accordingly in great resorts,
In cities, theaters, gardens, parks, and courts;
At length I heard a ragged noise and mirth

Of thieves and murderers; there I Him espied;
Who straight, Your suit is granted, said and died.
- George Herbert 
1973 (date of publication)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Fierce Wind Of November

Crossing the infinite length of the moorland,
Here comes the wind,
The wind with its trumpet that Heralds November;
Endless and infinite, crossing the downs,
Here comes the wind
That teareth himself and doth fiercely dismember;
Which heavy breath turbulent smiting the towns,
The savage wind comes, the fierce wind of November.

Each bucket of iron at the wells of the farmyard,
Each bucket and pulley, it creaks and wails;
By cisterns of farmyards, the pulleys and pails
They creak and they cry,
The whole of sad death in their melancholy.

The wind, it sends scuddling dead leaves from the birches
Along o'er the water, the wind of November,
The savage fierce wind;
The boughs of the trees for the birds' nests it searches,
To bind them and grind.
The wind, as though rasping down iron, grates past,
And furious and fast, from afar combs the cold
And white avalanches of winter the old.
The savage wind combs them, so furious and fast.
The wind of November.

From each miserable shed
The patched garret - windows wave wild overhead
Their foolish, poor tatters of paper and glass
As the savage fierce wind of November doth pass!
And there on its hill
Of dingy and dun - colored turf, the black mill,
Swift up from below, through the empty air slashing,
Swift down form above, like a lightning - stroke flashing,
The black mill, so sinister, moweth the wind.
The savage, fierce wind of November.

The old, ragged thatches that squat round their steeple,
Are raised on their roof poles and fall with a clap,
In the wind, the old thatches and penthouses flap,
In the wind of November, so savage and hard.
The crosses -- and they are the arms of the dead people --
The crosses that stand in the narrow church yard
Fall prone on the sod
Like some great flight of black, in the acre of God.

The wind of November.
Have you met him, the savage wind, do you remember?
Did he pass you so fleet,
-- Where yon at the cross, the three hundred roads meet --
With distressfulness panting, and wailing with a cold?
Yea, he breeds fears and puts all things to flight,
Did you see him, that night
When the moon he o'erthrew, when the villages, old
In their rot and decay, past endurance and spent,
Cried, wailing like beasts, 'neath the hurricane bent?

Here comes the wind howling, that heralds dark weather,
The wind blowing infinite over the heather.
The wind with its trumpets that Harold November.
- Emily Verhaeren 
The Wind 1915

Monday, January 14, 2013

I Keep The Sabbath

Some keep the Sabbath by going to church-
I keep it, staying at Home -
With a Bobolink for a Chorister -
And an Orchard, for a Dome -

Some keep the Sabbath in Surplice -
I, just wear my Wings -
And instead of tolling the bell, for Church -
Our little Sexton - sings.

God preaches, a noted clergy man -
And the sermon is never long,
So instead of getting to Heaven, at last -
I'm going, all along.
- Emily Dickinson
Some Keep the Sabbath by Going to Church

Sunday, January 13, 2013

There Is Another Sunshine

There is another sky,
Ever serene and fair,
And there is another sunshine,
Though it be darkness there;
Never mind faded forests, Austin,
Never mind silent fields -
Here is a little forest,
Whose leaf is evergreen;
Here is a brighter garden,
Where not a frost has been;
In its unfading flowers
I hear the bright bee hum;
Prithee, my brother,
Into my garden come.
- Emily Dickinson 
There is Another Sky 1850

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Taste The Living Water

I pray for you my daughter
I pray for you my son
To taste the Living Water
To know the Father's Son

To know joy and feel His peace 
His healing hands in yours
Willing upon your knees
Like rain, the Spirit pours

My faith is a mustard seed
And so the mountains move 
Our God knows just what you need 
His death is living proof

Your Mother loves you dearly
Your Father loved you first 
He sees your needs more clearly
He's seen you at your worst

And yet you are forgiven 
Your sins are all washed clean 
The Son died; and has risen 
So you might be pristine 

I pray for you my daughter
I pray for you my son
To taste the Living Water
To know the Father's Son
- Kim Boore
A Mother's Prayer, 2009

Praise You In This Storm

I was sure by now
God You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But, once again I say "Amen", and it's still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hand and praise the God that gives
And takes away

And I will praise you in this storm
And I will raise my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will  praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to You
And You raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can't find you

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain 
"I'm with you" 
And as Your mercy falls 
I raise my hand and praise the God that gives  
And takes away

And I will praise you in this storm 
And I will raise my hands 
For You are who You are 
No matter where I am 
And every tear I've cried 
You hold in Your hand  
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will  praise You in this storm 

I lift my eyes to the hills
Where does my help come from 
My help comes from the Lord 
The maker of Heaven and Earth 

And I will praise you in this storm 
And I will raise my hands 
For You are who You are 
No matter where I am 
And every tear I've cried 
You hold in Your hand  
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will  praise You in this storm 

And I will praise you in this storm 
And I will raise my hands 
For You are who You are 
No matter where I am 
And every tear I've cried 
You hold in Your hand  
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will  praise You in this storm
- Casting Crowns 
Praise You In This Storm 2006

Friday, January 11, 2013

Walking Alone

I, too, was born of the world not the same
Amongst white snow, a rain drop's shame.
In life's garden, a dormant seed.
A heart held of dissimilar need.

I, too, was awed by lightning's flash,
Embering in mind even after the crash.
Followed closely by silent rain,
Blood red, falling from the sky in vain.

The wind chimed and the earth shook from thunder,
And my mind was befixed to wonder;
How could I stand amidst this storm,
Seek shelter not, yet still seem warm?

But, I too, take sorrow at this site -
Other souls would nonchalantly slight.
And, I too, have felt the need for love,
But could only love that need which I dreamt of.

And as I peered deep through the skies,
The clouds grew black to shut my eyes.
The demon that came in your view,
Now's taken from me what he took from you.

In the garden the seed has sprang,
A nameless child unearths the pang.
Felt for the flower, both eyes in close,
Took twenty thorns to touch the rose.

A wondering mind looked to the sky,
So beautiful it had to die.
Laid it to rest upon the stone,
And turned away a man full grown.

Singing the same song at a different tone,
In thoughts, destined to die, unknown.
Born into a world not of our own,
We walked together, walking alone.
- Michael R. Anderson 
Walking Alone 1979


Youth is not a period of time. It is a state of mind, a result of the will, a quality of the imagination, a victory of courage over timidity, a taste for adventure over the love of comfort. A man doesn't grow old because he's lived a certain number of years. A man grows old when he deserts his ideal. The years may wrinkle his skin, but deserting his ideal wrinkles his soul.
- Brennan Manning 
The Ragamuffin Gospel 1990
page 186

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Saints and Sinners

    When somebody yields to temptation
        And breaks one of man’s or God’s laws,
    We look for no good in his make-up,
        But oh! how we look for the flaws! 

    No one cares about how he was tempted,
        Nor praises the battles he’s fought;
    His name becomes food for the jackals --
        For us who have never been caught.

    “He has sinned!” we shout from the house-tops,
        We forget the good deeds he has done,
    We focus on that one lost battle,
        And forget all the times he has won.

    “Come, gaze at the sinner!” we thunder,
        “And by his example be taught
    That his footsteps lead to destruction!”
        Cry we who have never been caught.

    I’m a sinner, O Lord, and I know it,
        I’m weak, I blunder, I fail.
    I’m tossed on life’s stormy ocean
        Like ships embroiled in a gale.

    I’m willing to trust in Thy mercy,
        To keep the commandments Thou’st taught,
    But deliver me, Lord, from the judgement
        Of saints who have never been caught!
    - Changu Chilwesa
    Saints and Sinners
    July 27, 2012 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

No Body But Yours

Christ has no body but yours
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which He looks
Compassion on this world
Yours are the feet with which He walks to do good
Yours are the hands with which He blesses all the world
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet
Yours are the eyes, you are His body
Christ has no body now but yours
No hands, no feet on earth but yours
Yours are the eyes with which He looks
Compassion on this world
Christ has no body now on this Earth but yours
- St. Teresa of Avila
Christ Has No Body, 1535

Yesterday, Today, and Forever

Who shall separate you from the love of Christ? What are you afraid of? 
Are you afraid that your weakness could separate you from the love of Christ? 
It can't. 
Are you afraid that your inadequacies can separate you from the love of Christ?
They can't. 
Are you afraid that your inner poverty could separate you from the love of Christ?
It can't. 
Difficult marriage, loneliness, anxiety over the children's future?
They can't. 
Negative self image?
It can't. 
Economic hardship, racial hatred, street crime?
They can't. 
Persecution by authorities, going to jail?
They can't. 
Nuclear war?
It can't. 
Mistake, fears, uncertainties? 
They can't. 
The gospel of grace calls out: nothing can ever separate you from the love of God made visible in Jesus Christ our Lord. You must be convinced of this, trust it, and never forget to remember. Everything else will pass away, but the love of Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Faith will become vision, hope will become possession, but the love of Jesus Christ that is stronger than death endures forever. In the end, it is the one things you can hang on to. 

- Brennan Manning
The Ragamuffin Gospel, 1990
pages 86 - 87

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Humane Does Not Mean Easy

" The Christianity Lewis espouses is humane, but not easy: it asks us to recognize that the great religious struggle is not fought on a spectacular battleground, but within the ordinary human heart, when every morning we wake and feel the pressures of the day crowding in on us, and we must decide what sort of immortals we wish to be. Perhaps it helps us, as surely as it helped the way-weary British people who first heard these talks, to remember that God plays a great joke on those who seek after power at any cost. As Lewis reminds us with his customary humor and wit, 'How monotonously alike all the great tyrants and conquerors have been: how gloriously different the saints.'"
- Kathleen Norris 
Foreword, page XX
Mere  Christianity, 1980

What is a miscellany? The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines this word like this: 

ˈmi-sə-ˌlā-nē, chiefly British mi-ˈse-lə-nē

1. a plural: separate writings collected in one volume
                                                                 b a collection of writing on various subjects
                                                              2. a mixture of various things

                                           origin: a modification of french miscellanées, plural, from Latin miscellanea

However miscellanies are more than a collection or assortment of literary pieces. Though they are an assemblage of literary texts, they are also a rare and unique treasure, reflecting and telling the lives of the person who put it all together. And this is exactly what this miscellany is, a treasure unique to me.