Night Stone Cold

abstract architecture background brick

Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán 

Night stone cold

Jagged stone thrown

No concessions for the brave

     Or for the weak

 

Skilled stone cruel

Hot stone burns

Dancing as fast as you can

     Or falling

 

Perfect stone heart

Ravaged stone guards

Fill in the blank as expected

     Or be cast out

 

Night stone cold

The Cornerstone has come

Rest for all those weary

     Or all who will receive

 

“This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone.” Acts 4:11

 

Image Bearer

white and black moon with black skies and body of water photography during night time

Photo by GEORGE DESIPRIS 

The ocean’s wind catches each regret, each sin, and sorrow throwing it into the eternity of a perfect God to be forever forgotten.  In the light of the moon a young woman, who thought the stars would stop shining above her found the Maker of the stars and the freedom and love and the lullaby He sang washing over her in waves. So now I am drifting, sailing and it was you who came for me.

On that day when the sun tipped over the edge of the earth and spilled colors like buckets of orange, pink, and violet as a reminder of the power of Holy light. The young woman once ravaged and scarred by guilt and shame found joy in the warmth of The Son. Lifted from the darkness you came for me.  You lifted me in your arms and by your own wounds, scars, and stripes you healed me.

This is the heartbeat of God’s love. The fractures, wounds, and scars are remarkably purified like gold after the pain of repentance has done its work making every person precious in His sight transforming us into the Holy wholeness of the Holy One whose image we bear.

In the end are not the scars part of the beauty? 

I think Jesus, when we meet him will show us his perfectly mended scars in his human-ness  even though He is now glorified. He is always perfect. I think he will say “yes, these scars represent each of you and they are beautiful.”

I’m not sure I want to be the writer of this page…

white paper

Photo by Pixabay

 

I’m not sure I want to be the writer of this page. I know that words can be written and read leaving someone broken or they can leave another someone free...

I want to be light but I am often heavy. That is all on me. It is part of my wiring I suppose.

I am sure of this though. Eden has had not gone. It still is there in the fertile crescent where the four rivers dance down from the mount pouring out the water of life. The Tree of Life still stands in the center its leaves twirl gently in the milk gold sunshine that never sets.

While it is true that no unredeemed human can yet re-enter its guarded gate  there is an unspoken melody on the breeze that gently sings “oh but man and woman shall return and He, the King of glory will bring them in! No more tears will be shed, no more sin and dread shall darken the days of Eden the way it was…

For the Lord our God is One!

See the Prince of Peace he walks among the trees. The evil fruit banished and gone forevermore and all God’s children are home! I hope these words find you free and light but if they find you heavy do not fear because Jesus is all about light and freedom. You are invited to himself just the way you are.

 

Beach Lullaby

beach blur clouds dawn

Photo by Pixabay

Let me take you to my beach

where the sand is sugar white

 

The water blue as a daydream

laps the shore in three-quarter time

 

At night I’ll take you to the stars

where the sailing ships all go

 

Where salt water heals your skin

like a lullaby heals your soul.

White Fire Love (the lesson of relationship)

art black and white burn color

Photo by George Becker 

 

It is not “the one that got a way” who breaks you. Oh sure it burns deeply for a long while but you aren’t broken. It is the “white fire love” that purges you of every single last thing you are holding on to that makes up your life. Your tapestry. Your little “g”-god, if you will.

These white fire loves are those closest to you. Those who have the power if you let them to hold your hand to the purest, hottest white fire and expose what relationships you truly have. This white fire is unpolluted light. It has no shadows. This kind of white fire is the lesson of relationship. It is the ingredient of being a whole, developing human being. This white fire love will either drive you into prideful manipulation or the empty abyss of isolation if you don’t let it do its work.

That is why God put us in marriages and gives us siblings and parents and children. These great loves in our lives are the vehicles that propel us into risking it all.

That is why God sent Jesus and why he gladly came and that is why in the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus prayed and asked if there was another way to atone for all sin. It wasn’t that Jesus didn’t want to die for us because he said, “it is done. I commit my self to death.” It is simply because Jesus IS the white fire love, in the flesh, the God/man with no shadows who could see all the evil that his white fire love would have to burn in order to reach us.

So, when your spouse or your Dad or your child “burn” you and you are broken and  hurting by something they did or didn’t do how will you respond? Will you let it purge you of perhaps your own selfishness, your self-protection, your wounds, your entitlement issue, or will  you get in your old little worn out row-boat and row out to the abyss of isolation and just “lick your wounds” or perhaps be a martyr?

None of those actions will purge your soul with  white fire love. White Fire Love will let you be patient, let you be resilient, let you love when they are unlovely, and it will leave you with a heart of gratitude for the relationship you have with that person.

White Fire Love will let you grow and develop into wholeness. White Fire love is love like Jesus does. Now that is the Love that I don’t want to let “get away.”

The White Fire Love of God will free you.

 

 

Midnight Hour

close up photograph of person praying in front lined candles

Photo by Rodolfo Clix

 

Time is not a matter here

            in the midnight hour

I sing to you my love song

          though it be torn and tattered

 

I see the deep wells of wonder

         of both your Love and Light

To such will be the Way of things

        beneath the looming night

 

 

Come endure the Midnight hour

where language has no name

Where Hope and Hardship mingle

With your Faithfulness and Grace

 

 

My Autumn Doxology (revised edition one)

nature red forest leaves

Photo by Pixabay

In the autumn of my life I am walking purposefully and briskly until winter comes. I gladly release the past more often now.  Sources of shame that I have carried too far are easily shed. I exhale slowly, mindful of silence in its fullness. I cherish Hope in all of its color that now paints my days and nights. I smile when I hear the church bells chime on each hour as if to remind me of all the people who have come before. That great cloud of witnesses from Adam’s first breath to mine…

In moments of stillness I do not despair rather I find peace in the untended vine and the helter skelter of a long-standing fence whose boundaries it marked long forgotten…there are no more sad funerals only more seasons…

I am invigorated to finish my life well. I take in each moment with my family and find unspeakable Joy in them. The unconditional pure love for my children and grandchildren is inexhaustible. I watch my grandchildren playing. They dash by me and run and shriek with innocent laughter. How free they are. They have never betrayed anyone or themselves. I am humbled to know them…

Dusk comes early in autumn. Wood smoke scents the air. The light of the fire nurtures my ragged bones and sooth them with new energy.  I know that the Heavenly Host will soon sing along with me the Doxology that is the Autumn of my life and I will be called from this world  and I will gladly go…Eden has not gone. It still is there in the ancient fertile crescent where the four rivers dance down from the Holy mount pouring out the water of life. The tree of life still stands in the center its leaves twirl and twinkle in the milky pure golden light that has no beginning and no end…and again the Doxology of the Holy will  endlessly rise in awe and sweetness to the King of Glory…

Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise Him all creatures here below. Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

This post is dedicated to the writer of The Ragged Edge of Night by the talented artist Olivia Hawker. She knows why and what she did for me. She helped me not compromise the writer that I want to be…like her. Read her book. You will be inspired in wherever your path takes you.

 

October Blue

scenic view of beach

Photo by Pixabay

 

All of the tourists have gone away

there is no more t-shirts for sale today

The rest of the locals are raising a toast

back to the quiet and the pull of the moon

No footprints in the sand, no hurrying to do

 

 

There is no other sky like October blue

the deep green waves call out to you

My heart is captured by the lure of the Sea

that autumn wind still carries me

I want to walk on  the beach in my old sweatshirt

Just looking for shells and listening to the surf

Joy Without Distortion…an invitation

woman wearing grey long sleeved top photography

Photo by Artem Bali

 

I grew up in church. My Dad was a pastor and a brilliant Bible preacher/teacher. He was a man who knew he was flawed and he taught me about God’s Grace. I am so thankful for my parents lives and examples. However…

From the Church in general I received two conflicting messages. One message is that God has saved me by his precious shed blood, death and resurrection through Jesus. That God has redeemed me. The other and opposite message is that in my sin I could ultimately be disappointing to God and somehow left outside of his love.

This left me with a heart shredded in doubt, and lack of trust. I didn’t really know if God is good or angry.

The writer Hud McWilliams says it this way, “if we accept that God exists but we can’t embrace his goodness as an “absolute” then we will remain stuck developmentally. If we believer there is a God and we need to be in relationship with him, yet because he is a mystery and Old Testament stories often portray him as violent, we are left with the grinding puzzlement over just how he can be trusted, instead of the basis for living with the God-being who is pure love and kindness, we are afraid of messing up and being punished. This is the deadly mixture of good with enough distortion that we lose the ability to access the freeing power of TRUTH. God does not change; we simply have twisted messages so that we are no longer getting at the truth.”

Our behavior, for me anyway, became the litmus test of my Christianity. Did I read my Bible and pray everyday? Did I join the choir? Did I attend enough church to be “all in?” These “works” were somehow to appease an angry God? All of this left me believing that God is not “absolutely” good but my story does not end here…

I found that God does not play games with me. His love is not based on human performance. The question of God’s goodness gets to the core of “how we think about Him.” If we want to talk about God and his goodness and love, we have to start with Jesus.

Jesus is the complete understanding of God in all of his fullness! Jesus taught that he was God. Contrary to today’s post-modern Pluralism we don’t get to decide what Truth is. We are not arbiters of truth. God’s goodness is not based on our personal views and thoughts. Jesus recognized no such basis for truth. He in fact states multiple times in scripture “I am the Truth.”

Jesus also said and the Apostle John affirmed in all of his writings that He (John and many more people) were “eye witnesses” that “God is love, Jesus is the light of the world, and that there is NO darkness in him at all.”

So, I found my answer in the relationship He (Jesus) invited me and invites you into with himself and God the Father and God the Spirit. God in not against us. He invites us to joy without distortion. God has nothing to do with evil. He does not cause evil he redeems it. His Holiness and love only exalts his goodness. His righteousness cannot diminish because of evil. His goodness always overcomes!

God’s absolute goodness gives me permission to be human and he has shown nothing but grace and mercy toward my human state. The Good God that I now trust completely has allowed me to understand my guilt of sin and relieves me of my toxic shame. This goodness is found in the midst of illness, job loss, divorce, loss of love or loss of a loved one. In the midst of suffering his Goodness never changes. His goodness is the source of life and joy.

God forgives us not because we “do” something nor does he ever withhold his forgiveness. His goodness toward us exists because of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. That is the truth. Truth is a person. His name is Jesus. He is the good shepherd who will always go after the one stray sheep among the ninety-nine.

I invite you to join me in the fullness of Joy in God’s goodness without distortion. Truth stands alone but He welcomes all who will believe.

 

to read more of Hud McWilliams get his book… “Discipline of Disturbance (Stop waiting for Life to Be Easy)!!!