Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Jesus ~ Bread

Bread of Life:
"I am the bread of life."
~John 6:48

My bread bred a greedy,
passionately gluttonous,
voraciously insatiable
desire to be full.
My bread bred a needy,
ravenously wantonness,
maliciously unmerciful
inquiry to rule.

His bread bred nourishing
sustenance for every day;
life support proposed to be
eternally ingested.
His bread bred flourishing
blessedness in every way;
the Bread of Life drew close for me
to learn and to be tested.

My bread said, I am strife,
I am but youth, I’ve often strayed,
my habits cried, my mind believed
my hanker for obsessive flings.
His Bread said, I am Life,
I am the Truth, I am the Way;
I will provide; don’t be deceived
by hunger pangs for lesser things.

 “Then the Lord said to Moses,
I will rain
bread from heaven for you;
and the people shall go out
and gather a day’s portion every day,
that I may test them,
whether or not
they will walk in My instruction.’”
  ~Exodus 16:4

Jesus ~ Author

Author and Pefecter of Faith:
“…fixing our eyes on Jesus,
the author and perfecter of faith,
who for the joy set before Him
endured the cross,
despising the shame,
and has sat down
at the right hand of the throne of God.”
~Hebrews 12:2

Author of Salvation:
“For it was fitting for Him,
for whom are all things,
and through whom are all things,
in bringing many sons to glory,
to perfect
the author of their salvation
through sufferings.”
~Hebrews 2:10

Noun:  One that originates or creates; source.

  The practice of taking someone else's work or ideas
and passing them off as one's own.

to recognize the highest authority
is to acknowledge the author,
the source,
the creator

…there is no one with more clout,
no weightier influence,
no greater power

…for until the author forms what is,
there is nothing.

 “The centurion said,
‘Lord, I am not worthy
for You to come under my roof,
but just say the word,
and my servant will be healed. 
For I also am a man under authority’…

“Now when Jesus heard this,
He marveled
and said to those who were following,
‘Truly I say to you,
I have not found such great faith
with anyone in Israel.’”
~Matthew 8:8-10

Thursday, November 24, 2011

To Whom?

Thankfulness means giving thanks.
If someone gives thanks,
to whom is it given?

It is important to be thankful.
It is more important
to know the recipient of your thanks.

"Praise the Lord!
Praise God in His sanctuary;
Praise Him in His mighty expanse.
Praise Him for His mighty deeds;
Praise Him according to His excellent greatness.

"Praise Him with trumpet sound;
Praise Him with harp and lyre.
Praise Him with timbrel and dancing;
Praise Him with stringed instruments and pipe.
Praise Him with loud cymbals;
Praise Him with resounding cymbals.

"Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord!
~Psalm 150

Friday, November 18, 2011

Ye Olde Curiosity Shoppe

Hardware stores are curious places.

2x4s are actually 1 ½" X 3 ½".

A nail's measurement, or penny, refers to the price per 100
in 15th century England;
although nails are still measured by the penny,
they cost a lot more.

Cans of magnetic spray paint don’t cling to each other,
or to the shelf,
or to anything else metallic.

It is important to allow OSB boards to gas off,
but not propane refills.

Hardware stores contain many items which sport unnecessary letters;
joist, truss, auger, wrench, duct, caulk;
apparently they’re more impressive that way.

Pex are flexible
but elbows are not.

Bolts and screws only function properly
with nuts of exactly the same thread,
which never match with any of the ones
stored in numerous peanut cans in the garage.

Lightweight compound is very heavy
and heavy duty spackle is lightweight.

The marketing on power tool boxes have more to do with
the power one feels when operating the tool
than the fact that it must be plugged in.

But the foremost curiosity for me
is the tender warmth of emotion I feel
each time I step foot into a hardware store.

When I was a little girl,
my dad insisted that I go with him to buy lumber
and various other items on the list
which he always recorded on a tiny note pad in his shirt pocket.

I complained that it was boring;
there were no toys or other kids there, just plain old tools.

Sometimes we rode in his big, green dump truck
and I got to sit in the middle of the seat over the drive shaft hump.
As the truck bounced along over rough roads,
my head would bump against the hard metal roof of the cab.

When we arrived, the man at the hardware store would pat my curly, blonde head
as he muttered a gruff but awkwardly tender greeting,
then wink and slip me a nickel for the gumball machine.

Dad and the hardware store man would always talk for a long time
about tools and parts, weather and years gone by,
politics and elections, inflation and used truck trade-in prices.

On the bumpy ride home again, Dad let me count the nuts and bolts he bought.
We would talk about bicycles and rain storms,
knock-knock jokes and kids at school,
Bible stories and memory verses.

Dad has been gone for four months, now,
and I find myself longing for
just one more trip to the hardware store with him.

“Papa, can we go to the hardware store?”
“Yep.  Put your shoes on and let’s get in the truck.”
“We’ll get popcorn there, right, Papa?”
“Wite, Papa?  Ha-wayh sto?!!”
Hand in hand, my husband heads out the door with our grandchildren.

It warms my heart right down to my toes.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sweet Aroma

At the birth of each new child,
the parents gaze in wonder at their tiny new infant,
a miraculous expression of their love.

Somehow, this wee babe,
all wrinkled and ruddy and curled up,
lacking muscular control
and with limited ability to focus,
seems to carry a family resemblance.

The parents have been mulling over possible names
for weeks, even months.
Suddenly, the time has come to choose.

Our Family…
A Rock  /  A Substitute
A Pledge  /  Joyous
A Substitute  /  Who is Like God
House of Mercy  /  Gift of God’s Favor
God of Salvation  /  Servant
Faithful, Trust  /  Mercy
Valiant Protector  /  A Substitute
A Substitute  /  A Rock
Wealthy One  /  Bright
Rich and Powerful Ruler  /  Little One
Divine, Perfect  /  Heavenly Star
Graceful, A Blessing  /  Music from Heaven
Who is Like God  /  Beloved

The meanings of our names were established
long before we were born.
How is it that the nuances of each description
are demonstrated in the person who bears that name?

God recognizes the power of a name,
for as He lives in and through His children,
His presence pervades every corner of our being.

What’s in a name? … He is.

 “Thanks be to God,
who always leads us in triumph in Christ,
and manifests through us the sweet aroma
of the knowledge of Him
in every place.”
~II Corinthians 2:14

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Lion Has Roared!

Warm fuzzy socks and wintery jammies…  check.
Snuggled up in comfy chairs near the fireplace…  check.
Armed with bowls of munchies and remote control…  check.


Skipping ahead past the theme song and initial formalities (blah, blah, blah)
we launched directly into…  *dun-dun-dunnnnn*
the scary bad guy suspenseful part!

The eerie bluish glow of darkness prevailed over the innocent townsfolk;
ominous music infiltrated the very core of our imaginary souls
until we shivered deliciously under our cozy lap blankets.

Throughout the one hour and fifty-three minute action-packed blockbuster,
the ultimate weapons in the grasp of villainous hands demanded a call to action. 
There was only one man powerful enough to avenge, to conquer, to prevail…

bright lights streamed and triumphant music resounded
as the superhero appeared out of nowhere,
knocked the thugs into a lifeless heap,
stopped the contraption of destruction,
foiled the evil plot, kissed the girl and saved the universe!


Ah, such feelings of exuberance…
We both talked at once amid buoyant laughter,
recounting the “best parts” and imitating our favorite quotes.

We finally survived the emotive roller coaster ride
through fear, elation, intrigue, laughter, suspense, sadness,
confusion, victory, jubilation, satisfaction, relief…

Of course, we were on the superhero’s side all along;
after all, he represented all that is good and wholesome
and helpful for society and the universe.

Now, we can hardly wait to watch it all over again
with friends who haven’t seen it yet; it will be so fun to see them squirm.

We will try with all of our might to not reveal the “good parts”,
all the while smug in our knowledge of the triumphant ending.

O.k.  That was fun,
and (you guessed it) that was only a pretend superhero.

The next ones are real.
They were not incredibly masculine
or injected with empowering liquid from another planet,
nor were they armed with indestructible weaponry….

God gave them words to speak
…divine words…
and they obeyed.

Isaiah prophesied during the tumultuous rising of the Assyrian empire
and the waning influence of Israel.
He spoke boldly of the rescue of God’s people (Isa. 35:9; 41:14),
the rise and fall of reigning kings (41:2)
and of the redemption and deliverance of God’s people (52:7)
both for then and for eternity.

Although quite timid by nature (Jer. 1:6),
the Lord assured Jeremiah that he would be given
strength and courage (1:18; 6:27; 15:20) to make him fearless as he served God.
In anguish, he obediently spoke God’s truth.

Ezekiel faithfully imparted the truth of Jerusalem’s impending destruction  (Ezek. ch1-24)
to the Jews, urging them to live at peace with God throughout their exile,
and that God’s promise of restoration and a future was filled with hope (ch33-48).

Daniel’s visions revealed God triumphant,
the Most High God, Ruler of mankind (Dan. 5:21).
He and his close friends refused to bow before anyone but God alone.
He stood, unharmed, among hungry lions.
His friends returned, unsinged, from the fiery furnace.

Hosea declared God’s judgment on Israel through the mighty Assyria (7:11; 8:9; 10:6; 11:11).
For 38 years, Hosea relentlessly prophesied to an obstinate people.
He obediently married an adulterous wife in order to represent God’s relationship with Israel,
called to attention the failure of his people to acknowledge God in their idol worship,
and proclaimed God’s compassionate hope.

Joel identified the drought and devastating plague of locust
as an indication of the eminent and awesome day of the Lord (Joel 2:31).
Repeating his ominous message of judgment to the angry faces of rebellious people (1:2-13),
he, nevertheless, called them to repentance.

Amos vigorously relayed God’s message of justice and righteousness (Amos 5:24)
to a check-the-ritual-box-then-do-what-we-want people,
calling them to God’s grace (5:4-6:14)
and reminding them of their commitment to God’s covenant .

Obadiah proclaimed God’s wrath on Edom’s hostility (vs10) and pride (vs12),
 the deliverance of Israel and the triumph of God’s kingdom (vs17).

There are others, also, to whom God gave super strength and super courage
for the purpose of relaying the prophetic messages of
His Truth
to the enemies, to the rebellious, to the unworthy.

“A lion has roared! 
Who will not fear? 
The Lord God has spoken! 
Who can but prophesy?”
~Amos 3:8

My strength and courage are also sourced
in the same All-Knowing, Ever-Present Almighty God.

“Whoever speaks is to do so
as one who is speaking the utterances of God;
whoever serves is to do so
as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies;
so that in all things
God may be glorified through Jesus Christ,
to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever.” 
~1 Peter 4:11

Thursday, November 10, 2011


One gear turning
is not a functioning part 
of the whole machine.

Older men are to be
sound in faith, in love, in perseverance.

“Older women likewise are to be
reverent in their behavior,
not malicious gossips
nor enslaved to much wine,
teaching what is good,


“so that they may encourage the young women
to love their husbands,
to love their children,
to be sensible,
workers at home,
being subject to their own husbands,
so that the word of God will not be dishonored.  

Likewise urge the young men to be
in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds,
with purity in doctrine,
sound in speech which is beyond reproach,
so that the opponent will be put to shame,
having nothing bad to say about us.”
~Titus 2:2-8

The Heavens Declare

Fingering my wedding ring,
my heart reminisced with joy
through the happy years we have enjoyed together,
my husband and I.

Praying for other couples,
my heart delighted in treasured relationships
and yearned for healing
where promises have been broken.

Listening on Sunday morning,
my heart was stirred
as the pastor relayed what God’s Word
has to offer regarding
this most tender topic.
“Marriage is to be held in honor among all…”
~Hebrews 13:4

Gazing into the night sky,
my heart was electrified
by a rare and marvelous sight…

hexagon ice crystals,
atmospheric conditions…

A Moon Ring!

Where the immeasurably vast
meets the delicately intricate
in precise, simultaneous conditions,
a heavenly masterpiece
lingers silently…


“The ring around the Moon is caused by the refraction of Moonlight (which, of course, is reflected sunlight) from ice crystals in the upper atmosphere. The shape of the ice crystals results in a focusing of the light into a ring. Since the ice crystals typically have the same shape, namely a hexagonal shape, the Moon ring is almost always the same size.”

Monday, November 7, 2011

Furry Bear, by A.A. Milne

One of my favorite poems of all time...
If I were a bear, and a big bear too,
I shouldn't much care if it froze or snew;
I shouldn't much mind if it snowed or friz--
I'd be all fur-lined with a coat like his!

For I'd have fur boots and a brown fur wrap,
and brown fur knickers and a big fur cap.
I'd have a fur muffle-ruff to cover my jaws,
and brown fur mittens on my big brown paws.
With a big brown furry-down up to my head,
I'd sleep all winter in a big fur bed.
~by A.A. Milne

for more poetry by A.A. Milne, author of Winnie the Pooh, go to...

Sunday, November 6, 2011


“In the latter period of their rule
when the transgressors have run their course,
a king will arise,
insolent and skilled in intrigue.

“He will be mighty,
but not by his own power,
and he will destroy to an extraordinary degree
and prosper and perform his will;
he will destroy mighty men and the holy people.

“And through his shrewdness
he will cause deceit to succeed by his influence;
and he will magnify himself in his heart,
and he will destroy many while they are at ease.

“He will even oppose the Prince of princes,
but he will be broken without human agency.”
~Daniel 8:23-25

This passage from God’s Word describes Antiochus IV
who rose to power by intrigue and deceit,
but the throne was not rightfully his to occupy.

I can’t help but wonder
what training this Antiochus IV had as a child.

Imagine with me for a moment...

Pretend that little Antiochus IV was buckled into the cart of a modern day grocery store.
Was he allowed to grab and eat all the candy he could reach?
Did everyone jump to soothe his every screech and squawk and hissy fit?

Didn’t anyone ever spend any time teaching him to use tools?
Did anyone care enough to monitor how much time he spent on the internet,
or oversee what music he listened to or what books he read?

Did he ever experience having his mouth washed out with soap for swearing
or for speaking God’s name in vain?
Did he ever receive loving discipline for hitting his sister
or breaking grandma’s teacup on purpose,
or for sassing back to someone in authority?

Did he bully other kids or treat girls with shameful behavior?
Did his daddy buy his tires?

This is all simple speculation, of course.

Yet, if his will had been broken in his childhood,
would he have acquired a heart of compassion,
an awareness of the needs of others,
an ability to give and receive love?

…which seems to infer that his parents or society bore the responsibility
of his righteousness, his goodness, his acceptability.

Is it God’s will that some remain in evil?
If someone is not broken as a child,
will he be broken in the end, as was Antiochus IV?

 “As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth.
And His disciples asked Him,
‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents,
that he would be born blind?’
Jesus answered, ‘It was neither that this man sinned,
nor his parents,
but it was so that the works of God
might be displayed in him…
…I am the Light of the world.”
~John 9:1-4

Matters of the mind may be trained in many skills, good or evil,
the ability of the body is, at best, incapable,
and the heart, in its naivety, is easily deceived.
Each one, mind, body, heart,
may be molded, transformed, remade by the hands of God,
for each one is His creation.

But matters of the soul belong to God alone.

There is no act of will, no physical alteration,
no heartfelt sincerity within my power
to command my soul to be whole;
just so, every soul is at His mercy.

It is not for us to know how or why;
it is enough for me to know that God is loving
and that He is just.

Perhaps the better question is…
How is it that the Almighty God of mercy chose 
to care for me,
when the core of my heart was evil,
... to cleanse me from all unrighteousness,
to occupy my soul,
and to make me His own child?

“…but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in (me)”