Monday, June 6, 2016

Broken ...

Broken ...
Broken ...
Branches, flowers, pads,
limbs, petals, thorns.
Wings and feathers,
body and limbs lay decomposing
amidst the life
that goes on.
Chirping, rustling, buzzing,
rolling, crackling, straining ...
the sounds of a
neighborhood rising into
the new day.
Flapping, swatting, swishing
as I sit here wishing
I could hear Father's plan
for me today.
Seek, observe, listen
under shade or
in the sun
wondering about lessons
I am hearing,
knowing that
the Son is speaking to
ears, hearts, eyes
that are ... broken.
"Heal me" is the tune
that thinking minds assume,
but eyes can not see
ears can not hear
what is spiritually written
into the breath that is life.
growth continues to expand
seeking its path
as is ordained.
Unfurling, opening, bracing
its energy charged
its shape displaying
vitality, beauty ... tainted
by toxins unleashed
by man and nature.
Growth sporadic,
thoughts enslaved to the
pruning life bestows.
Symmetry, both beautiful
and also deformed,
as are the feathers of our
thoughts, hopes, dreams.
What does ear hear
what does eye see
that is not filtered
through experience encountered?
Broken branches, flowers, pads
with bodies decomposing
all speak to ears that
can not hear and to
eyes that can not see.
The Spirit sees
and understands, transforming
woman and man
even though
blind and deaf,
we move forward
unfurling, expanding.
Broken ...
the noise of life and thought
all speak out,
chirping, settling, flapping
swarming with excitement
hearing, smelling, interacting
gnat-like in its insistency
of doing its
part of showing
God is speaking
and we all interact.
Decay, stench, odorous
smells are in
thoughts, words, deeds;
flowers, branches, trees,
thorns and thistles,
sweat of the brow.
All intertwined, broken.
Whirring, rattling, humming
shadows, silhouettes, reflections
all display patterns
that speak to our hearts.
Hearts wear their
filters, blinders, scars
that alter understanding,
awareness, empathy and
responses to brokenness.
Lines, platforms, canopies,
textures, flexibility, patterns,
movement, completion, return.
Such as this
is truly written
for our eyes
to see
and our ears
to hear.
Jargon, slang, anger
shape the transformations
of our filters.
Addictions, growth, slogans,
stunted yet free ...
become our thoughts
held in captivity
by being broken.
Father, we are
free because You
have a plan
and it's written before time.
Thank You for love,
thank You for Blood.
for only through Blood
can the broken heal,
not a we share,
not as we care.
But You do.
Through life we are blessed
if only we
address that plan
that is written.
All around the
answers are here,
Your beauty divine,
Your righteousness displayed.
Live commandments given
is requirement needed;
our dull eyes,
our dull ears,
our dull hearts ...
encased in pride,
ensconced in prejudices,
wrapped in judgement.
What we explain,
our egos in vain
try fooling You
and the world.
Except for Blood
washing and cleansing
Your beloved creation,
we are broken.
Excuses, whining, complaining ...
"it is them, not me!"
Our folly exposed
to You, LORD, You know.
That's why in
branches, flowers, pads,
limbs, petals, thorns,
wings, feathers decomposing;
chirping, rustling, buzzing,
rolling, crackling, whooshing,
settling, creaking, straining,
flapping, swatting, swishing ...
we hear You
and Your love
love and heal
the broken.
Thank You, Anointed
through the Breath
we pray, saying
Amen, Amen, Amen.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

He has risen!

He has risen, indeed!

At the core of my being, I am thrilled to hear these words; as a brother of Christ, this gives me hope.

I recognize that I do not always follow Christ's words, however, and I feel the loss of opportunity to serve Him with all of my being. I don't stop and ask myself if my actions actually demonstrate the faith I have in realizing He rose for me. This saddens me greatly.

I realize that life has differing viewpoints that come from people of different: faiths; economic backgrounds; ethnicity; nationality; color, and whatever other differences they have from me. These differences have rallying points like "Can't we all just get along together?" or "What makes you think you are right?"

I'd love to be able to respond with nothing but my actions. Many people seemingly can; yet, we have wars, differing viewpoints from very intelligent people, and a lack of knowledge of what truth actually is ... except for one man. Death couldn't contain Him, and with all the claims everyone makes, and all the foibles of His followers, He is my standard. I am not ashamed of this truth: He is my savior, whether I deserve it or not!

The truth comes in studying
Many people deride the Bible as a book written by men, written later than the claims made by the Book itself. I use to think this myself, until I was about 25. I have since changed my mind, because I studied, and found out, for myself, information like the following. A pastor recently pointed out a promise made to a man by YHWH Himself, a man called Abram (later to be called Abraham to English speaking people). Genesis 12:2 said  YHWH would make Abram a great nation, and He would bless him. About 90% of all people call Abraham their forefather 4,000 years later!

Many well meaning people have differing viewpoints about apologetics, or defending their faith, or lack thereof. In this, I find that our lack of knowledge becomes our Achilles's heel; so many differing viewpoints that change over time can make people very confused and vulnerable. I was reading a post from an atheist, who stated he didn't believe in the Resurrection and presented his evidence; ten years later, he said his writings had become "out of date" and he wouldn't be updating his essays, saying he might have changed his mind with some of his assertions and understanding.

The truth comes in meditating
Learning to look past our thoughts to what we believe can be very difficult. Learning to examine ... critically examine ... what we believe is the key to growth. Understanding to look beyond our actions to the truths that are beyond our understanding will make us much humbler. Often, we believe (or have faith) in what we claim comes from choices we have made. We all want to believe we are "good" people. If this were the case, that we are all "good" Christ wouldn't have needed to come and die for us.

Meditating on truths presented in a book written around 1700 years ago have helped me understand, more and more, how accurate these words are. I also realize the consequences my actions will bring to me. What parent doesn't correct the children they love? It may be more than I think I want, but He knows what's best!

I believe it for this reason, among others, that Jesus said in Matthew 7:7-12: 7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
   9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

I thought long and hard about these verses, and I came to the conclusion that if He claims to be the Son of God, and He makes these claims, I ask for truth, I seek knowledge, I knock on the door for wisdom.

Knowing that I have my faults and flaws, I still must realize, on Resurrection Day, I am thankful He has risen, indeed! May I follow in His commands and love, knowing that it's not my works that determine if I am good ... it's because He came and died for me, and that's what I believe.

Monday, March 7, 2011

On serving in Uncertainty

Singing on both sides of the Red Sea.

It is so easy to sing of safety and salvation when we have weathered the storm, when the crisis has been averted, when we no longer have a battle to fight and the victory is ours. What about before the battle, or during the battle? Our we singing songs of victory and confident in our faith?

Israel gives us a perfect example. Pharaoh's army is bearing down upon the Israelites, with two mountain ranges and the Red Sea completing the blockade. People in the camp are complaining about their predicaments. If only we hadn't tried to be free and find our own way to be free ... why did we aspire to be more? Why did you make us think we could be free?

We know the results, of course. People of faith in the camp followed their leader, Moses, who followed God's Word and His commandments. The rest of the Israelites followed because they saw action. Moses then performed the miracle of parting the Red Sea and all of his people followed him to safety. Once on the other side, still being pursued by Pharaoh and his army, they reached dry land and the sea came crashing down on the dangerous pursuers. The singing commenced!

How does this relate to today?

My example mirrors the Israelites. I am battling addiction, work-related problems and personal obstacles. The problems are physical, emotional and mental issues that singe the songs of victory I should be singing. They impact the people around me; the testimonies people perceive come out weak and inconsequential. Whining, grumbling, blaming ... it is easy to do these things as problems encompass the faith walk that is promised to all believers. Pharaoh's army is coming, after all!

Our societies have always been bastions of battle; it decries the sentiment of "Yesterday, all our troubles seem so far away" ... but they never have been. Time heals wounds and often clouds memories, so the past seems better than it was.

As long as we believe in one Father, one Son and one Holy Spirit, we believe in truth. This is where I desire my song to come forth with power, the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The burdens can seem overwhelming because I allow people around me to suffer, and prayers are ... well, Jesus calmed seas, told us with faith we could move mountains ... when do I get to do that stuff? Do I have the strength? Well, as soon as I find my Leader that shows me His actions, I will cross on dry land. The example is right before me ... sometimes I'm just trying to get the song out, but I realize Pharaoh's armies are coming ... let me sing Jesus!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Erma Bombeck revisited ... facing her last battle.

I find it fascinating to see what people have to offer when they face their biggest, or last, battle. Honesty occurs when you no longer are bound by the trappings of success, pride or "what will people think about me." These words have been attributed to the "gospel of Erma" ... and this is a battle she became a fallen soldier. I feel she won the fight if whe could share this insight.

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day. I would have talked less and listened more. I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded. I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth. I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed. There would have been more "I love you's." ...But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute...look at it and really see it .... live it...and never give it back. Stop sweating the small stuff. Don't worry about who doesn't like you, who has more, or who's doing what. Instead, let's cherish the relationships we have with those who do love us. Let's think about what God HAS blessed us with. And what we are doing each day to promote ourselves mentally, physically, emotionally, as well as spiritually. Life is too short to let it pass you by. We only have one shot at this and then it's gone. I hope you all have a blessed day.

- Erma Bombeck when she found out she had cancer

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Curves, Fastballs and Change-ups

Life has its curves and fastballs, but the change-ups are something that can surprise you to your core.

My wife and I thought she couldn't get pregnant again which was one of the sad thoughts that we shared, being unable to share the joy of raising a child together. We found out she was pregnant (fastball ... we didn't even see that one coming!) when she had a miscarriage. We had a miscarriage. That curve ball has forced a lot of change in our lives.

It's amazing how a tragedy - that curve ball that makes you buckle at the knees - can turn into a positive thing in your life when you have faith. Pain and tragedy can bring you closer to your Maker when you allow His truth to be foundational in your life. That's been the way it has been with my wife and myself. We looked at ourselves, and knew what our tragedy could do for us in the future. That change-up was what allowed growth that is immeasurable!

We mourned, but through our tears we realized how the pain could be so much more ... building our faith if we allowed it to. It's not about the world we live in as much as it is the way we walk in this world. What an epiphany we were given; even when we had hardship we could be growing in mercy and grace. We could mature if we didn't take our eyes off our walk.

We are going through tumultuous change in our country. There are curve balls that have people buckling at the knees, fastballs that people don't see coming ... we have the ability to grow with the change-ups if we keep our eyes on our walk as people of faith, people who know it's not about the world but about the way we treat the lame, the poor and the needy.

That's what this miscarriage taught me again, so poignantly and powerfully. It was a change-up that made me look not at the world, but at what I want my life to be. As people, can we see the the responsibilities we have to people, not parties and/or organizations? Time will tell.

BB, thank you for your gift to Diana and I. We miss you, but you have changed our lives. May we be worthy of this gift.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Love, greatness and change

To know love is to know greatness. To know love is to know beauty. To know love is to know pain. Unless we look at love with the eyes of YHWH (God), to know love is to know hardship because we can not share what needs to be offered at the right time, in the right balance.

Life takes us through a learning process that continues to refine us; how do we make choices that are so powerful unless we look through the eyes of our Savior?
Greatness is defined by many people in song, in poetry and with imagery, both still and moving. The greatness that is defined by Spirit, the Spirit, is the greatness that will stand the test of time. I look forward to learning more from the Spirit as time progresses.
As I learn this lesson, I pray that I don't whine too much, that I don't complain about the lessons learned, and don't make excuses that try to justify my position or situations.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

A New City for the Disenfranchised

Getting ready to become a statistic has real benefits if you look for them. It's like being impaired with a physical disability. People look at you differently, often feeling sorry for you ... but, the prisons of society are removed when you become different. So, why not make a community filled with people who are disenfranchised, helping them with mentoring and life skills, in a new city away from "the norms of society?" Christ crucified and resurrected would be preached in the city called, "Azaryahu." Work, worship and wisdom would be foundational in such a city. Believers of all flavors would be welcomed ... but leave doctrinal biases out of the day to day living. Best of all, it provides a transforming opportunity for "the invisible people," the statistics (like I'm about to become) of the homeless, or the abused, the addicts looking to get out of their prisons, the damaged looking to heal.

The city of Qumran, as well as the typical monastery, would be closely related to the idea I am proposing; it is not a new idea. It has models for success. Working at creating revenue for participants would establish a cottage industry that would have allow individuals as well as families the opportunity to live in a godly environment. So many people are getting eaten up by the current structure of the ism's: capitalism, socialism, communism.

If you've read "The Fall of a Believer (Parts 1-5, June 2009 archive)," you see the problems that put people into this new category of being disenfranchised happening to the successful as well as the tragic figures; they materialize in all walks of life.

When you are blessed with talent, marketability and socially desirous skills ... you are effected by the scope of society. Let's look at what society is promoting right now.

Global Economic Meltdown: Years of indifference by corporate greed (both democrats and republicans, both liberals and conservatives) has led to an erosion of value this once great country produced for all its citizens. (See Debt Level)

Global Political Meltdown: Years of me first mentalities in political parties has eroded the value to its citizenry that has abrogated the responsibilities of taking care of the development of virtue within their countries. If your ideology differed, you were demonized; the debt (also viewed as the note) for that short-sighted, narrow-minded approach is coming due.

Debt Level: An unrealistically high percentage per person. If you made $48,000, you would have (in today's debt level) debt approximating $180,000. Even European countries, where privitization has occurred, the debt level is based upon unrealistic valuations of assets that are diminishing in value.

Corrupt Institutions: From Wall Street to the SEC, from governmental "watchdogs" and pork barrel spending to instability of oil prices, Federal Reserve policies, taxation and credit abuses ... these were once stable and calming factors that were at the core of government. As with Rome, once the people found they could get money for nothing from the public coffers, the citizens were left holding the chaff.

Family Meltdowns: Addictions, abuses, divorces, incest, abortions, factions and infighting ... nuclear families are endangered, and the rhetoric to strengthen families falls to people who are themselves hurting and missing the mark, in many cases. Accountiability must be before God.

Where does this leave individuals who want to grow, without the rhetoric of secular religion drowning their consciences and observations? This is not a city for everyone. It is for the disenfranchised who are looking for a home. Worshiping at the footsteps of growth and change, we sacrifice the nobility of truth and lose the ability to take care of the people being damaged by generational curses/missteps and past sins.

More to come ... hopefully!