I must look a mess I must admit…

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I must look a mess I must admit

          but I have been pretending quite a bit.

 

Never let them see you sweat I’m told

         all these masks are just so hard to hold.

 

There must be a place to lay  these weapons down

       put out the pretty China and paint the town.

 

A lady must always look her best

      and I just don’t think I can pass the test.

 

So I built a bonfire and burned up all the rules

     castles built on sand is for the fool.

 

 

 

 

 

Fear and Lies…

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She ran away with fear and a string of lies
She idolized her anger but could not hide it in her eyes

She grew up kneeling upon the steeple green
She grew so weary of trying to be clean

One day on her knees she heard The Holy voice
“Rise up, my daughter walk away from this noise.”

She stood up and cast those idols back to hell
And tore off the string of lies she had to tell

“I have made you blameless and set you free in life
why do you still cling to idols which can never be clean?”

She cried for joy and danced before the LORD God
and chose life that day upon the steeple green.

To Him who is able to keep us from falling and to present us before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy…to the only Wise God our Savior be glory, majesty, power AND authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. Jude 1:24

Paper Tigers

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Fears that paralyze and begat despair
Paper Tigers with claws that rip and tear
from the bone to the marrow the cutting is done
yet fear can never put love on the run…

 

Courage is required to banish scorn
listen to the sound of paper tigers torn
Fear seems so real in the dead of night
only to disappear in the love of Holy light

All we ever wanted…

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I have the privilege in my work of meeting young teenaged women from all over the world…the other day I was talking with a young woman who is a senior this year. She comes from the other side of the world. (I will not say where just to protect her privacy).

This young lady is a precious woman. She is extremely intelligent and the opportunity to come to America and study her last two years of high school means so much to her and her future. As we were talking the other evening I asked her what her thoughts are on the best of America and the worst of America. She had so many “best” things to say about America…”the freedom of always experiencing and learning new things, the privilege of having “new” things at your disposal, the wonder of all the cars and roads that are so easily travelled, and last but not least the abundance of food and medical care and well, everything!”

As she began to tell me the “worst” thing she has seen in America my heart began to ache. It took all my strength not to cry. She said, “Unfortunately the worst thing I see in American’s is pride, a kind of arrogance that I have never seen before. It seems to exist among all ages. I do not understand “entitlement”. I do not understand the arrogance of not giving honor to God because everything we have is a gift from Him is it not?”

For a few days I have carried this message around with me. It has burdened me. It has caused me to weep, pray, and it is right that it should affect me this way. Getting and having all we ever wanted…even that, God gave it.

I am reminded of the words of the Apostle Paul…’For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?’  Grateful.

Time…

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This concept of time becomes more and more of a puzzle to me as I age. We spend more of our life process being old than we do being young…I study my grandchildren as they play and they really are not marred by this burden of time. Lyla just turned four and she lives “so in the moment.” After a nap she starts a whole new day! Each event in their backyard play is a new day…they enjoy every ray of sunshine, every raindrop, every Popsicle, every swing and slide as if they never will end. Emmet understands the idea of day and night, of a day or two…yet he still asks, “do I have school tomorrow?” Even my daughters who are now thirty and thirty-three seem untouched by time…looking forward and ready…
I wonder if this is what Jesus was referring to when he said “unless you come as a child…you just won’t get it.” It is like a split screen view for me…my wonderful friends from high school all joke and reminisce about how only yesterday we were just children looking for clarity, acceptance and avoiding rejection and heart break as best we could…now we are sixty but we feel and in fact we ARE those same kids yet we are not kidswe have grown, learned, hurt, lost, been sick, as well as blessed and happy and grateful…that recipe that is life yet Time just keeps interfering…the song by John Mayer called Clarity says “by the time I recognize this moment this moment will be gone…” So true YET untrue because this moment lives on in me, in the fabric of my being…they say the reputation of a life well spent is what the person  did during their life span but I would purpose a life well spent has absolutely nothing to do with Time rather who you touched, laughed with, and cried with…Time cannot steal relationships.

 

This post is dedicated to my Aunt Clarice Roark…

The Great Refusal

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In the story of the Rich young Ruler which is a story that church attenders probably know well we see  this young man who did so many things right.

He came at the right time in his life. He came as a young man who was making his way in the world. He came from a “good” family. He had a career that was taking off, as we see, he is referred to as a “young ruler.”  From that we can deduce he was healthy and socially in good standing.

He came in the right way that one day that he approached Jesus. He came in humility and ask a sincere question.

He came to the right person which was Jesus the Son of God to have a theological dialogue about the Jewish laws by which they both lived. He knew that Jesus was a great teacher and had undoubtedly heard of his good deeds and healing of many people in the area.

He came for the right purpose which that he wanted Eternal Salvation and Redemption. It appears that this rich young ruler realized that his life still “lacked” something and had left him questioning “what must a man do to be right with God?” His demeanor appears in scripture to be one of sincerity.

He received the right answer from the LORD himself which was to give all that he had to the poor, to leave his family and follow Jesus.

In the end however, at least at this time in his life, we see that he made the wrong decision in his refusal to do as Jesus asked. His immediate response was “I have too much responsibility, I have a good job, I have my parents and family to take care of.”  This decision of refusal left the young man walking away from  Jesus and the Bible states, “he went away sad.”

My take away from this story is this…regardless of where you are whether young or old, rich or poor, sick or  well…Consider Jesus. Don’t refuse even if all seems right to you.

Mark 10:17-22.

Muddy Water

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The air is sweet with perfume of the lake

The grasshoppers hum like an electric wake

Children’s  laughter echoes through the trees

Summer camp, I still believe

I am there once again where the love affair began

between the water and the sky

Where my childhood and my children still abide

There can never be an end

where so many hearts have been

Summer camp, I still believe

“never build your case for forgiveness on the idea that God is our Father and He will forgive us because he loves us…” Oswald Chambers

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The week after the Resurrection, yes 2000+ years after the Resurrection, Jesus is still alive. Jesus is still the ONLY atonement for sin that would/did/does appease the wrath of a Holy God…

To complete the quote in the title of this post Oswald Chambers goes on to say, “God forgives sin ONLY because of the death of Christ…anything that LESSENS the holiness of God through a false view of His love, contradicts the truth of God as REVEALED by Jesus Christ…”

This truth has radically changed me…

I beg you friend, do not contrive for me
yet another design of how to be…
Holy
When I do wrong and am severed from
His Joy
Your penal guilt cannot restore…
my wounded soul.
My God is full of light and grace
His eyes see where my failures…
Lie
Do not promote for me more alters
that do not lead to…
Transformation
Dilute not His New Wine
with the dredges of obligation
It is His very own mystery that eradicates
My guilt
The only righteous judgment is in the blood
He spilt…
Jesus saves me

Holy Breath

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I suddenly wake and I can’t see anything
I start throwing my fear around
I open the window and look for the sun
and for signs of the spring…

 

and then I can breathe
I can feel each Holy breath…
Then I hear my babies laughing
and smell roses in the air

 

Deep inside a sweet voice whispers
What have you to fear?
and then I can breathe
I can feel each Holy breath…

 

At night I gaze up into the heavens
and someone calls my name
I laugh at the man in the moon
and peace comforts me again…

 

and then I can breathe
I can feel each Holy breath…

Nurse’s Memories to Treasure…

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I walked down the hospital corridor. Why are they always horrible colors? I have been a nurse for many years and cannot figure out who designs and decorates these places. It is 3 a.m. and a fairly quiet night. The night nurses on this side of the world are probably making rounds just like me (yes, nurses still make rounds). Some of the patients sleep the sleep of the medicated. Certain ones sleep the sleep of relief and some toss restlessly about their beds trying to obtain the peace of sleep.
I turn the corner and that is when I hear the beautiful singing. I think it must be someone’s TV or a CD. In the room it is dark but for a sliver of yellow light from the cracked bathroom door. I am surprised to see a lovely elderly woman, her bed in the sitting position, singing. Wispy loosened silver hair straggle out of the bun at the nape of her neck. Her hooded eye lids cannot hide the shine of her chocolate brown eyes.

 

She is singing in Italian and I cannot understand a word but from the passion and inflections in her voice I can recognize “Joy”. There is a tear in her eye and one moving down her cheek and she is smiling. I am too stunned to move yet somehow I know without doubt her song will go on forever now…