Saturday, January 29, 2011

I Believe

What does it mean to believe in myself?
   Can I swear by me?
      Are my ways reliable?
         Do I trust myself?
            Is my mind dependable?
   Am I self-confident
      to accept myself as true?
         Can I have faith in me
            to deem worthy all I do?
   I am not enough.
      I am lacking what it takes.
         I cannot not fail.
            I will always make mistakes.
   I am incomplete.
      I cannot have faith in me.
         My unworthiness
            drives me humbly to my knees.

What does it mean to believe in my friends?
   Can I trust my friends?
      Are their hearts completely true?
         If they’re harsh, if they fail,
            can my trust in them renew?
   They are not enough.
      They are lacking what it takes.
         They cannot not fail.
            They will always make mistakes.
   If I forgive them,
      will they fail me again?
         If I trust them enough,
            will they never cause me pain?
   They are incomplete,
      and no matter how they try,
         no perfection exists.
            Upon whom shall I rely?

In whom can I believe?
   There is only One
      Who is worthy to believe,
        Who is more than able
            and Who never will deceive.
   I can swear by Him.
      I can take Him at His Word.
         I can trust in Him
            and have confidence assured.
   I can wholly depend
      that His promises are true.
         His great faithfulness
            every morning is brand new.
   Jesus is enough.
      He has everything it takes.
         Jesus never fails
            and He never makes mistakes.
  He made me complete
      for His Life I have received.
         All my worthiness
            dwells in Whom I have believed.
“For if Abraham was justified by works,
he has something to boast about,
but not before God. 
For what does the Scripture say? 
‘Abraham believed God,
and it was credited to him as righteousness.’” 
~Romans 4:2,3

Thursday, January 27, 2011

One soup on gnat I'm ~ Translation

Upon request, the following is the story of “One soup on gnat I’m”
translated into (somewhat) proper English grammar. 
(*see previous blog entry 1/27/11)
A special thanks to Miss Communication
for her authoritative expertise in this regard.  ~ae
   One soup on gnat I’m, their whir too guise; Mr. Meaner end Mr. Ree.  Bow thud aye son thus aim twin tease icks fee mail aqua tenses.  Olive thug earl sad inner resting care actor wrist ticks witch a track did eat shove thumb ask you lunge end dare pea pole.

   Once upon a time, there were two guys; Mr. Meaner (misdemeanor) and Mr. Ree (mystery).  Both had eyes on the same twenty-six female acquaintances.  All of the girls had interesting characteristics which attracted each of the masculine gender people.

   Theme end id knot no witch won swear though write gore rills forth air low van effect shin.  List inning tooth auger rolls swan mourning, thesis swat wassa fur herd…

   The men did not know which ones were the right girls for their love and affection.  Listening to the girls one morning, this is what was overheard…

(* The twenty-six maidens occupy 
this portion of the story in conversation.  
Then the story continues as follows…)

   Wooden shun owe wit!  Though skies argon a bee soda lighted tube eel long toss hutch a door ring why fees!  Yukon pro bib league us switch once tern doubt tube either Mrs.

   Wouldn’t you know it!  Those guys are gonna be so delighted to belong to such adoring wifeys!  You can probably guess which ones turned out to be their Mrs.

   Thee yen.... duh!

  The end!

   Once they enter the union of marriage, the girls drop their title of "Miss".  In this story, the happy ending displays the concept that Understanding and Communication are extremely valuable in marriage.  These actions are able to add richness to the Mystery of marriage, and can be used to meet the offensiveness of each Misdemeanor with love, forgiveness and encouragement.

   Watch chew thing can watt use ache an easel lee beam isn’t urp pretty id... oar law stint ran slay shun.

One soup on gnat I’m...

   This afternoon, I thought I heard my daughter say, 
“Foreign greedy Ents?”  
Why would she be talking about the trees in Lord of the Rings 
while she was cooking dinner?  

Oh…  “Four ingredients!”
   Such inspiration is not easily set aside…  It’s storytime!


   One soup on gnat I’m, their whir too guise; Mr. Meaner end Mr. Ree.  Bow thud aye son thus aim twin tease icks fee mail aqua tenses.  Olive thug earl sad inner resting care actor wrist ticks witch a track did eat shove thumb ask you lunge end dare pea pole.

   Theme end id knot no witch won swear though write gore rills forth air low van effect shin.  List inning tooth auger rolls swan mourning, thesis swat wassa fur herd…

Miss Informed:  “I’m always at the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Miss Taken:  “I think they think I’m someone else.”
Miss Givings:  “Well… I’m not sure of anything anymore.”
Miss Use:  “No one notices my best qualities.”
Miss Calculate:  “Am I missing something here?”
Miss Creant:  “My bad.”
Miss Interpret:  “Not the way I read it.”
Miss Tifye:  “I don’t even know myself.”
Miss Shun:  “C’mon, girls; this way!”
Miss Tickle:  “Wait!  I feel weird about this.”
Miss Construe:  “O.k.  Her feelings are good enough.”
Miss Silaunch:  “Look out, girls; I’m comin’ through!”
Miss Fit:  “Did you know I can walk on my elbows?”
Miss Hap:  “Oops!”
Miss Judge:  “I’m not usually wrong… usually.”
Miss Fire:  “Fail.”
Miss Deal:  “It’s just not in the cards.”
Miss Match:  “What’s the difference?”
Miss Inout:  “Hey, where’d everybody go?”
Miss Quoted:  “I thought they said I said what they thought… I think.”
Miss Teek:  “Charmed, dahling.”
Miss Leading:  “Why won’t anyone listen to me?”
Miss Align:  “You gotta give it to 'em straight, sistah.”
Miss Speld:  “Ar ew shur?”
Miss Communicate:  “Hey!  That Mr. Meaner is my kind of guy!”
Miss Understood:  “I’ve never felt so in touch until I met Mr. Ree!”

   Wooden shun owe wit!  Though skies argon a bee soda lighted tube eel long toss hutch a door ring why fees!  Yukon pro bib league us switch once tern doubt tube either Mrs.
   Thee yen.... duh!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Nearly Perfect

A precious new gift of life;
velvet skin,
soft, wispy hair.
Tiny toes curl, then stretch,
little hands flourish aimlessly,
grasping at nothing.

Longing to nurse,
he knows only one method
to stimulate awareness;
he cries...

he is nearly perfect
…but not quite

Therefore, he is unacceptable.
Let him die.

Gentle hands
receive, refresh, restore,
perhaps for a lifetime,
or for a moment.
Faithful in weariness,
meeting intense neediness
with extreme compassion,
providing milk, warmth, care,

Distant hearts
receive, refresh, restore,
crying out to the infant’s Creator,
reminding Him of His promises,
pleading for tender mercy
on this child’s behalf.

An imperfect child
in an imperfect world,
nestled in the arms
of Perfect Love.

“Your hands made me and fashioned me;
give me understanding,
that I may learn Your commandments…
O may your lovingkindness comfort me,
according to Your Word to Your servant.”
~Psalm 119:73,76

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Author's Intent

Sometimes, when I see a song
written on a page,
I can hear the music inside my head
like a rippling brook.

As the melody offers a view
of the distant shoreline,
the base notes provide stepping stones
upon which the harmony skips here and there,
dancing delightfully in patterns of expression.

Occasional splashes of dissonance
are refreshed with gently flowing phrases.
The crescendo and decrescendo of pleasant breezes
toss playfully through my hair
and rustle among the shady trees
overhanging the effortless current of chorus.

Sometimes, when I see a song
written on a page,
I can hear the music inside my head
like a sinister plot.

As the melody leads me through a dark alley
of intrigue and adventure,
the pounding footsteps of base notes
warn of impending danger.
Waves of harmony crawl up my spine,
inspiring chills of expression.

Hidden from the stealthily approaching dissonance,
momentary relief is felt in phrases of composure.
The crescendo and decrescendo of peril and risk
glance off the walls of meter
and flee in rhythm’s driving force.

Sometimes, I wonder
how differently the music
resonates in the mind of the Composer.

After all, there is only so much information
that can be conveyed on paper
without hearing the music,
without feeling the intensity,
without knowing
the objective of the Author.

Music does not have a life of its own;
it is an expression of the Author’s intent.

If I were to meet the Composer,
spend time getting to know Him,
His personality, His interests,
His life experience,
His motivation to write…

If I were to ask Him specific questions
about the intricacies of His music,
ask Him who He wrote it for,
and why…

If I were to hear Him play and sing
His own composition…

If I were to sing with Him,
to blend in harmony,
to match in tone,
to feel the emotion of expression…
 Jesus prayed to God the Father;
“The glory which You have given Me
I have given to them,
that they may be one,
just as We are One;
I in them
and You in Me,
that they may be perfected in unity,
so that the world may know that You sent Me,
and loved them,
even as You have loved Me.”
~John 17:22,23

Saturday, January 22, 2011

John was on an Island

John was on an island,

There were twelve.
Jesus had invited them,
“Come, follow Me.”

Together, they became like brothers.
Together, they experienced Jesus
in parables, in mysteries, in confusion,
in amazement, in confidence, in fear,
in friendship, in authority, in tears, in joy,
in storms, in healing, in death, in life.

Together they walked, they ran,
they waited, they prayed, they mourned,
they anticipated, they fled,
they ate, they slept,
they listened, they learned,
they failed, they grew.

Then, one by one,
the disciples lost their lives
for the sake of the Gospel.
They were falsly accused,
imprisoned, questioned,
beaten, scourged,
crucified, stoned, murdered.

John was on an island,

He wept, he prayed, he suffered,
he hungered, he thirsted,
he mourned…

…he slept, he dreamed,
he received visions,
he wrote…

As the depth of his whole being
drank in the joy of his salvation,
restoring his hope of eternity,
lifting his spirit beyond human reason,
his body no longer needed
to compete.

My dad’s little brother
just passed away yesterday.
It seemed way too soon.
It always does.
They were brothers,

Dad is on an island,
the last one of his generation.

After decades of studying,
researching, praying, writing,
meditating on God’s Word,
Dad is weary of the fight.

As the depth of his whole being
drinks in the joy of his salvation,
restoring his hope of eternity,
lifting his spirit beyond human reason,
I pray that his heart
is refreshed with God’s peace
that passes all understanding,
overwhelming his sorrow.

I feel so far away.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Can't Stop

A friend did something very nice
and offered me some sound advice
about driving on snow and ice
and melting slushy slop.
                He said, “Your big ol’ four wheel drive
                will get you there and you’ll arrive,
                but if you want to stay alive,
                remember, you can’t stop.

“Your truck is big and tough and heavy,
better yet,  why, it’s a Chevy,
but keep her nose out of the levee;
allow good time to take.
                “Guide her careful ‘round the bend,
                and when the roadway starts to end,
                go easy is what I recommend,
                and don’t slam on the brake!”

Driving is like big decisions,
setting goals and catching visions,
working hard, making revisions,
mastering it all.
                Though moving forward as you grow
                might take you where you want to go,
                at some point you might need to slow
                before you hit a wall.

Just guide her easy ‘round the turn
and take your time as you discern
just where it is you really yearn
to be when you succeed.
                You’re welcome to my friend’s advice;
                if it’s good once, it’s better twice.
                Decisions and driving on ice,
                they both have rules to heed.


lavish, profuse
slowly carving escape
cold, grueling, intense, determined

On the Move

Came from a place
where the sunshine reigns
and the rain is warm
and the warmth leaves stains
on everybody’s skin
‘till they’re red or brown
and the water is blue
and there’s green on the ground.

Moved to a place
where the sky is wide
and the air is crisp
and there is no tide
and everybody’s skin
is crackly dry
but the fire gets warm
when the snow is on the fly.

Living for a while
on a great big earth
where there’s life and death
and then rebirth
that is undeserved
but the gift is complete
for the present is now
and it’s oh so sweet.

Moving to a place
that has been prepared
with some nails and wood
and a Life not spared
and a darkened sky
and a veil torn in two
and a stone rolled away
and a Life that’s new.

Living in a grace
that is mine through faith
as I bask in the Son
and in mercy I bathe
for the tide is flowing
and it washes every stain
like a fresh mountain snow
like a tropical rain!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Rabbit Trails

A rabbit, hopping to and fro,
left his tracks upon the snow,
pressing down with heel and toe
beneath where’re his feet would go.

Howling winds began to blow,
whisking all the powdery snow
with windy current’s ebb and flow
to drift against the fence and grow
piled high.  But down below
the house where all the dirt did show,
the sole remaining spots of snow
were where the rabbit’s feet did go
packing it down with heel and toe.

Small white spots hopped to and fro,
sparkling ice patches aglow.
Did the little bunny know
his trail of hops would clearly show?

How interestingly apropos
to trails I leave where’re I go.
For each decision made will show
when storms of life begin to blow
and windy currents ebb and flow.

My prayer is that my path would show  
glimmering footprints in a row
leading to the Hope I know;
that others would follow also
and leave behind their status quo,
drawn toward His glory’s glow.

My Own Front Door

This morning, I stumbled upon a surprise
in a way which seemed somewhat absurd;
I wandered outside through my own front door,
finally noticing what had occurred
          several weeks ago, though I had not a clue
          that it had been there all this time;
          there lay on the porch my best stainless steel pan
          filled with firecrackers and dried slime.

The banging of pots and of pans with big spoons
to ring in the new year was so fun.
To be sure that the cracklers would crackle no more,
they were soaked in a pan by someone
          who was thinking ahead, and was careful and smart
          and who knew the porch was made of wood.
          So they left it out there in the cold winter air
          and came in to play games and eat food.

Well, how would I know that my fry pan was there
decorating our front porch with yuck;
I always go out to do this or do that
through our back door which leads to my truck.
          When company comes to the front door, I smile,
          and I open the door at their knocks,
          and bid them come in to our warm cozy house;
          I don’t step out because I’m in socks.

As I pondered and thought about my frying pan
and about how it sat undetected,
it occurred to me how unaware I can be
and how crucial things can be neglected.
          My guests were so kind, as if they didn’t mind
          stepping over this thing to come in.
          Just so, my good friends are forgiving and kind,
          overlooking the fact that I sin.

As I brought the pan in and I scrubbed it all clean,
I implored God to scour my heart;
after all, it’s His house, and it should be kept tidy
to honor Him in every part,
          especially the front door where friendship and love
          enters into my heart through that way;
          my selfishness shouldn’t be there to distract
          them from seeing God’s love on display.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Madison Buffalo Jump

The Madison Buffalo Jump State Park in Southwest Montana is an area which, for centuries, was an established hunting ground for numerous Native American tribes. 

We envision the normal style of hunting; by individuals who stalk or wait quietly for the designated animal, then use a weapon to bring down their game.

Not so at this historic site.
Apparently, certain athletic young men,
who proved themselves through tests of endurance,
were designated as runners. 

Their goal was to stir a herd of buffalo
into a stampede in the direction of the cliff,
where the buffalo would be forced to leap off the edge
and fall to their deaths in the valley below. 

There, in the Madison River valley, a portion of the tribes camped,
ready to prepare the meat.  They dried some for later,
and processed the hides and bones for other uses,
such as blankets, tipis and tools.

Awkward, isn’t it…
bringing up such an uncomfortable and controversial issue.

Some readers may be appalled, and are perhaps
offended by the general topic of hunting.

Some would agree that this could be described as a tragic 
entanglement of animal-like behavior, 
and was, unfortunately, a part of American history.

Some readers may note the efficiency
and resourcefulness of the hunters’ method,
endorsed by the fact that families were fed
and nothing was wasted.

This topic,
not unlike professional sporting events
or political views of our day,
has an underlying potential to agitate strong opinions,
drive emotional wedges, and stimulate heated discussions.

Controversial topics
if allowed to gain momentum,
can become the main agenda,
the compelling force,
the influential power,
a signature conversation piece,
and eventually.… a mark of identity.

“So Jesus, knowing all the things that were coming upon Him,
went forth and said to them, ‘Whom do you seek?’ 
They answered Him, ‘Jesus the Nazarene.’ 
He said to them, ‘I am He.’…
Simon Peter then, having a sword,
drew it and struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear…. 
So Jesus said to Peter, ‘Put the sword into the sheath;
the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?’” 
~John 18:4-11
As legitimate or factual or important or godly as the topic may seem,
the potential is there to take a good thing,
and run with it.

How easily our zeal for good can overwhelm,
can permeate, can distract from God’s desires for us;
to remain in constant communication with Him,
to hunger and thirst for His Word,
to wait in quiet anticipation for His whisper,
to feel His Spirit’s prompting,
to see His hand at work.

He caused the sun to stand still,
He spoke to the waves, and they became still,
and His command to me is the same…

“’Come, behold the words of the Lord,
Who has wrought desolation in the earth.
He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth;
He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
He burns the chariots with fire.

"'Cease striving and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.’
The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold.” 
~Psalm 46:8-11

Monday, January 17, 2011

transs laysh’n

Give a piece of bubble gum to a young child,
then explain to him how to blow a bubble.  

Travel to a foreign country
where you are unfamiliar with the language,
and ask a local person
for directions to a little-known place of business
in a remote location.

Try to put together a tricycle in the wee hours
before your three year old’s birthday
by following the assembly instructions
which were originally written in an obscure Asian dialect,
then, in turn, had been translated into English
by an Icelandic foreign exchange student
in Germany.

Describe the intricacies of light,
expounding upon the facts regarding
its make up of waves and particles,
the speed at which it travels,
and its brilliance as it reflects off the water
of a gently flowing brook,
to someone who is visually impaired.

Encarta Dictionary (English) describes
translation  (transs laysh’n) as:
1.  A word, phrase, or text in another language that has a meaning equivalent to that of the original.
2.  The rendering of something written or spoken in one language in words of a different language.

Attempting to transfer information accurately
between variations of understanding, perspective,
experience, cultural awareness, or language,
is, at best, incomplete.
Often there is someone left groping with confusion
for continuity of logic; they feel left out,
or lack a sense of wholeness.

The things of God are difficult to understand;
they do not translate into human nature
or human perspective, and far exceed the capacity
of the human mind.

just as God fulfilled both sides of His covenant with Abraham,
so, the Holy Spirit completes the wholeness of translation
between God the Father and His children;
through prayer.

“With all prayer and petition,
pray at all times in the Spirit… on my behalf,
that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth,
 to make known with boldness
the mystery of the gospel,
for which I am an ambassador…”
 ~Ephesians 6:18-20