Thursday, October 29, 2009


The hope for fun
The smell of popcorn and cotton candy
Endless lines . . .of required tickets
The hope for joy
Bumper cars and smiles
Darts and inflatable guitars
Ducks and spiders rings
Funnel cakes
The hope for more tickets
One last ride.
Snuggling at home.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Perfect Day

Cloudless skies
Autum colors
The tapping of lady bugs on my window
Sharing a moment with an old friend
Eating lunch on the porch with my son
Candid conversation
Thoughts that plague me
Raspy coughs
Cloudless skies
Autum colors
The tapping of lady bugs on my window

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Personal Psalm 2

Without your word or your spirit I am like a boat on choppy water.
I am tossed about.
I am at the winds discretion.

With your word and spirit I am anchored.
I am beaten about.
I am wet.
I am cold.
But I am safe.

I am not alone, for you are with me, in spirit,truth,and flesh.
Your church is with me. I am not alone.

In my day, I arise to a dark and cold morning, looking for light and heat.
I enter my den of ministry, looking for light and heat.
I find comfort in your word.
I find companionship.

What is this day, but just another day. A day that you have made.
One of millions.
Nothing different, and yet it is all we have.
I juggle the preciousness and commonality of it.
A day of healing, and a day to do the laundry.

Help me to see the beauty in the common.
Help me to expect the miraculous.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Personal Psalms

I have been journaling for much of the past 8 months. Mostly prayers and petitions for God's grace, mercy, and deliverance. And I got to thinking that most of those prayers are much like the Psalms of David. Are they inerrant? Mine aren't. Are they the truthful, transparent writings of my experience with life and God's frequent interruption in it? Yep. So how are they any less inspired than David's? At this point, I am not willing to canonize my journals,and I am not sure David was cognitive that he was writing "Scripture", but I am willing to concede that David was being moved by the Holy Spirit in such a way that was unique, and I from time to time have felt that same uniqueness when preparing sermons. Not unique in that I am writing something new, but unique in that what I am currently writing or working on is set apart from a normal letter of correspondence or journal entry and is in agreement with God's word and Holy Spirit.

So, here is my personal psalm for today; whether it be unique or common.

Where is my hope, but in you?
Where is my comfort, but in you?
Where is my rest, but in you?
Like a spider on a web I feel your tapping. I sense your vibrations.
I see your provisions, and yet I continue to question your goodness.
My mind deceives me, but you do not.
You are not a shifting shadow.
All good gifts come from you.
Your goodness is not determined by the weather.
Whether it be denim skies or driving rain, you are my keeper.
I am yours.

I have worn myself out by asking why.
I have sought some kind of cosmic envelope with special orders.
You have responded with "Trust and Obey".
You have told me to do the "Simple Thing".
You have called me to "Total Surrender".

In my desert you have sent angels of different types.
You have hemmed me in at every corner with saints.
How far am I to look for your provision and protection?
Out my back window?
Two doors down?
Down the alley?
I am surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses.
How can I continue to doubt? How can I allow fear to exist?

I have created my own cage.
You have released me, and yet I dare not step out for fear of pain.
My mind deceives me, but you do not.
You are not a shifting shadow.
You give all good gifts.
You are love, wrapped in flesh and bone, perfected in spirit.
You are radiant.
You are love.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “Who Am I?” July 16, 1944

Who am I? They often tell me I would step from my cell's confinement calmly, cheerfully, firmly, like a squire from his country-house.

Who am I? They often tell me I would talk to my warden freely and friendly and clearly, as though it were mine to command.

Who am I? They also tell me I would bear the days of misfortune equably, smilingly, proudly, like one accustomed to win.

Am I then really all that which other men tell of, or am I only what I know of myself, restless and longing and sick, like a bird in a cage, struggling for breath, as though hands were compressing my throat, yearning for colors, for flowers, for the voices of birds, thirsting for words of kindness, for neighborliness, trembling with anger at despotisms and petty humiliation, tossing in expectation of great events, powerlessly trembling for friends at an infinite distance, weary and empty at praying, at thinking, at making, faint and ready to say farewell to it all.

Who am I? This or the other? Am I one person today, and tomorrow another? Am I both at once? A hypocrite before others, and before myself a contemptibly woebegone weakling? Or is something within me still like a beaten army, fleeing in disorder from victory already achieved?

Who am I? They mock me, these lonely questions of mine.

Whoever I am, Thou knowest, O God, I am thine.

Friday, October 2, 2009


There is a lot of emphasis placed on walking with God in scripture. Enoch walked with God. Noah walked with God. And so on. I am currently reading Isaiah. Chapter 2 talks about walking in His paths and walking in the light of the Lord. The Apostle Paul speaks a lot about walking in a manner worthy of your calling, or walking in a manner worthy of the Gospel. The word for walk in Greek is also used for live. I like walk better because its more active. Many of us are alive, but are we walking towards something? Are we walking with purpose?

There are days when I just feel alive. I'm not walking. Probably sitting or crawling. The psalms are great for sitting or crawling. We are not able to walk all the time. There are times for sitting. But, when I walk am I walking with God or am I walking by myself. Sitting and crawling can be purposeful. They are places of rest and humility. They are essential. When we walk, do we walk in such a way that we forget what it was like to sit and crawl, and do we take notice of those we're walking past who are still sitting or crawling?

If we walk, let us walk with the Lord, in his light, and let us not pass by those who need to be encouraged who are still sitting or crawling.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


25 years ago my parents planted a small grove of bamboo in the backyard, thinking how unique it would be. That small grove now consumes a quater of the backyard and nearly 1/2 of the nieghbor's backyard. Its still unique, but it's evasive. It goes where it wants to. It sends runners out to the middle of the yard, and all my parents can do is mow them. They can't stop them because they have no idea where the runners are. All they can do is wait, watch, and mow.

Anxiety is like bamboo. It's unique in its affect. Its evasive. And you can never know where its going to spring up. All you can do is watch.

I have grown to love bamboo. I like how resiliant it is. It just happens to be the fastest growing plant on earth. Its strong. It can be used for many things. It bends but doesn't break. I think I want to be like bamboo. Maybe that way, when anxiety comes up, I won't be so afraid. Maybe I'll bend and not break. Maybe I'll become evasive, taking it over.

There's an old saying, it's easier to plant grass than pick weeds.