Saturday, December 13, 2014

My Father the Car???

In the mid 1960's there was a television show called "My Mother the Car".  The premise of the show was of a man who's dead mother was reincarnated in his family's car.  She would speak to him through the car radio.

God, my Father speaks to me through my car.  No, I don't hear His voice coming from the radio, the glove compartment, or any other part. But He routinely has used my car to remind me of His constant presence in and care for my life.

First, there was the manner in which I got this car in the first place, back in 2008.  Then there were a number of incidents during my New England vacation of 2013. There was the breakdown that happened the day before my birthday in June.  And then there was last Thursday.

About six weeks ago, I took my car in to the shop because of a strange vibration I felt in the brakes.  I was a bit anxious that it would be a large expense, but as had happened in June, the repair costs were half what I anticipated.  A good thing, too since I knew that when I would have the car inspected in December I was going to probably need two new tires.

When I picked up the car my mechanics informed me that they recommended all four tires be replaced and that two of them needed replaced immediately, they were worn down to the metal replacement indicators and dangerous to drive.  SomeDivinehow, I was able to buy four new tires. Two times the planned expense, two months earlier than I expected.

Later I looked at the mechanic's work order and noticed another strongly recommended repair. Apparently, the protective covering around all four of my brake hoses had cracked and crumbled off, exposing the vulnerable soft hoses to damage.  If they ruptured, I would be without brakes. Understand that my daily commute is 47 miles each way, primarily over interstate highways. I drive at high speeds over all sorts of road debris and roadkill.  I don't know how long I'd been driving with exposed brake hoses, but I've always been able to stop when I wanted.

I made the appointment to have the hoses replaced, along with the annual inspection, for Wednesday and someDivinehow, I was able to pay for it all.

On Thursday morning a coworker messaged me to let me know road conditions were bad, so I left twenty minutes early.  His assessment of the roads was actually an understatement! My normal fifty minute commute took ninety minutes.

That morning's commute ranks in the top five of Worst Trips Ever.  The first third of the trip the roads were icy.  The second third, the visibility was poor with high winds and blowing, drifting snow. The final third portion of the trip, it was both! Frequently I could feel the car slip and right itself.  Ice was building up on the wipers, rendering them practically useless  I frequently adjusted the wiper speeds, like playing the gears on a bike, trying to get the most effectiveness from variable speeds and hoping to dislodge the ice.

I thought of stopping and pulling over to manually clear the wipers but because of plowed snow and drifts I couldn't see the shoulder of the road and could possibly get stuck.  There was more traffic out than usual as well, so I thought it best to stay in the car and just keep moving forward, continually shifting my attentions through small clearances that would appear in different spots on the windshield.  At times, I had to lean far over to the passenger side for the only available view.

My shoulders and neck were aching from hunching over. My back was hurting from the strain of my ever shifting positions.  Stretch up, crouch down.  Lean left, lean right.  I was starting to feel real pain, not mere discomfort.

I prayed the entire trip.  Honest, white knuckle prayers, to be sure!  Like the man in the gospel of Mark -"I believe. Help my unbelief!" (and while You're at it, please keep that FedEx semi from running me off the road).  Yet, throughout the entire trip I was amazingly calm - or at least calmer than usual. I knew I had four brand new tires with sure tread, dependable brakes and only the day before, mechanics whom I trust had deemed my car safe to drive.

My faith, though was not in the reliability of my Cooper Discoverer H/Ts or in Ford Engineering.  It was in God, who'd taken care of all these things for me, before I needed them. Cooper and Ford don't know me; my needs or desires, the hairs on my head or even my hair color, for that matter.  God does, because He made me, gave me all of those needs, desires, etc.  He planned them.

Thursday's commute was frightening, I will admit.  Despite my faith, it is an imperfect faith, being perfected daily by circumstances in which God places me. And I have no desire to find myself shivering in a snow-filled ditch on I86.  But I found that trip encouraging.  I saw evidence that some of the faith exercises God has put me through have produced some muscle.

Certainly God has spoken to people from burning bushes and clouds in the sky, but for most of us he speaks through cars, stacks of laundry, full calendars, joblessness, family disputes and the like.  He speaks through our everyday lives - lives He lovingly plotted.  And what Jesus frequently says is "Will you trust Me now?"

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Suck It Up Sisters - Part 1 Vacuums vs Milkshakes

Recently, I had a disagreement with a very dear friend.  There was a function neither of us was looking forward to attending. I sucked it up and went. She cancelled out at the last minute, which I did not find out until I got there.

Angry, I sent her a text from the party that said if I could suck it up then she should have as well and shown her face. I was wrong - for being angry and for my mean-spirited text (and for all the evil thoughts I had that no one ever saw or heard or even knows about).  I went to her and apologized - to her and to God.  Both gave me their forgiveness.

A few days later she and I exchanged texts:

ME:  I'm going to order us t-shirts that say "The Suck It Up Sisters".  Should our logo be a vacuum cleaner or a straw?

SHE:  Ha! Ha!  Definitely vacuum We suck up all our garbage. :) Plus straws make me think of milkshakes and now I want a milkshake. :D

With all due respect to my friend, she's wrong,  The logo should be the milkshake. It's not our job to do the cleaning because Jesus already has. For example:

"Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow..." (Is 1:18)

And then there's:

"For all of us have become like the one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment..." (Is 64:6) BUT...  "He spoke and said to those who were standing before him, saying 'Remove the filthy garments from him'.  Again he said to him, 'See, I have taken your iniquity away from you and will clothe you with festive robes.'" (Zech 3:4) (emphasis mine)

To support the milkshake, there are these verses:

"Taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! (Ps 34:8)

"How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!" (Ps 119:103)

"Your words were found, and I ate them; and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O LORD, God of hosts." (Jer 15:16)

Certainly, there are times when we're called to "suck it up".  There is:

"Then Jesus told His disciples, 'If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me."  (Matt 16:24)


"Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."

Yet, all too often I suck it up in the wrong manner for the wrong reasons.  I put on a mask of happiness because "God loves a cheerful giver" (2Cor 9:7) or at least that's the reason I tell myself. In fact, it's more likely I don't want people to think badly of me or I want people to think I've got it all together.

Removing my mask makes me vulnerable.  There will be people offended or who won't like the real me (ouch);or some will try to comfort or help me, bruising my self-reliant pride (double ouch); or they will confront me on some sin they see (oh, just kill me now!).

In so many instances, my reasons for sucking it up are sinful. Yet, as my pastor often says, once something is identified as sin it's easy because we know the remedy for sin - repent and believe in the gospel. Yes, I know it's easier said than done; but it's true and well worth the effort

The Promised Land was described as a land flowing with milk and honey. The Word speaks of fruits of repentance (Matt 3:8).  I see a strawberry milkshake there, folks!  Or banana smoothie whatever your pleasure.

It's really hard to suck up the milkshake through a mask.  The little mouth holes aren't big enough and they knock the straw around. To fully enjoy what God has offered us through Jesus we need to remove our masks.  Some of those around us might be surprised by what we really look like, some will be frightened away.  But those that know and love us best already knew what we looked like anyway.  And none of them know us better or love us more than Jesus.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Nature Abhors a Vacuum

Its not an imbalance
That a chemical can counter.
Its not a weight
A drug can lift up.

Its pain.  Real pain.
A hole in my heart
With raw tissue exposed,
Stinging as if alcohol is being poured over me.

A deep inhale of ice cold air
On a subzero day burns my lungs.
Breathing hurts! But its necessary;
So I suffer the searing pain.

A cavity inside me
With nerves exposed.
Air being blown inside
Jolts of agony travel my body.

Nature abhors a vacuum
And so do I.
Jacob wrestled You; Hannab begged.
And so do I.

Please, answer me
As you answered them.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

$#IT Happens

Opinions differ in the religious realm on the use of expletives .  There's the famous commandment about not taking the LORD's name in vain; yet, technically unless one uses the word God or Jesus Christ in the phrase this commandment is not applicable.

There is the Bible verse about unwholesome words (Ephesians 4:29), which has also been translated and interpreted as foul language, corrupt speech, and abusive talk to name a few.  But foul is "in the ear of the beholder" and one person's swearing can be another person's normal manner of speech.

Me, I take the middle ground.  I was raised to not swear.  If I had, my dad would probably have cussed me out! The use of some crude language does not phase or offend me and I admit that certain words have passed my lips.  You see, there are times "Darn!" and "Son of a GUN!" do not adequately express my true feelings of the moment.

Last week, I was running with Lucy when calamity struck.  I've run hundreds of miles with my dogs and this was the first time anything like this happened.  About halfway through our two-mile run the "waste" bag exploded on me.  And it's (uh) contents were not in their usual (ahem) compact form (I'm trying to be genteel here, folks).  Needless to say, my immediate reaction was shock and surprise, with a bit of disgust thrown in for good measure.  But at a time when a certain expletive would have been very appropriate; undeniably a statement of fact I said "Oh shoot" instead.

Lucy and I immediately reversed course and headed home.  It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon and my neighbors were out in full force. Sun shining brightly, they all walked with heads held high, wide awake and aware, taking in their surroundings, especially the lady in the red t-shirt walking her dog.  I was hard to miss.  Dog leash in one hand, half full blue plastic bag in the other, strange brown splotches staining the front of my t-shirt as well as the cuffs of the sleeves. I was trying too hard to be unnoticed, walking surreptitiously, avoiding all eye contact. I walked bent over a bit, trying to cover the brown stains, but I couldn't bend over too much lest I spread the damage. Besides, I didn't want my face anywhere near my shirt.  It stunk!

As we walked towards people, I found myself again muttering "Oh, shoot".  Neighborhood dogs, attracted to my new scent approached me with glee and I thought "Oh, shoot!"  When I saw people I knew, I groaned this epithet, adding additional syllables "Oh, shoooooot".

Somehow we made it the mile home without me being overcome by fumes, embarrassment or a bout of retching. Once in the safety of the my house, I threw my clothes in to the washer and threw myself in to a hot shower.  Lucy and Dora were a bit disappointed, hoping they could roll around in my dirty laundry a bit.  After the decontamination process, I calmed myself by telling myself no one had gotten close enough to know what was on my shirt (except for maybe the neighborhood dogs) and filed the incident in the back of my brain.

But that is not the end of the story.  I think my guardian angel has a side job as the Patron Saint of Irony.

At work a few days later, we received shipment of a statue for the chapel (I work at a church-sponsored organization).  The order had been placed 8 weeks prior and was complicated.  The statue, a 4-foot tall wooden carving of the Risen Christ, was pricey and had been shipped all the way from Italy.

When the Receiving staff told me the order had come in I asked how it looked.  They said it was fine but one woman thought one arm looked odd.  My shoulders and my countenance sagged.  And there, in a church-run organization, in reference to a statue of the Savior of the universe what words do you think fell out of my mouth?  "Oh Sh*t!"

I give up trying to make sense of me.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Negative Splits

Yesterday, I ran in the Erie Runners' Club Turkey Trot 5K.  This was either my 4th or 5th time running this race and it's become an annual tradition, as much a part of my Thanksgiving holiday as turkey dinner.  I'm not fleet-footed, as my race times bear out but I enjoy being outdoors and the physical challenge.  And as I tell my running partner Adiel, at least we are out there and not at home on the couch.  Yesterday, I read a quote that presented it better.  It said "No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping the people on the couch."

During today's run I was thinking about this (when you run as slow as I do, you have a lot of time to think).  Sure, some of the people lounging at home are lazy, but a number of them have very legitimate reasons for not running.  Health issues, finances, responsibilities, child care.  I was not better than they were for having raced.  Nor were those across the finish line sooner, better than me (though they were better runners, for sure).

The verse "...let us run with endurance the race that is set before us."  (Hebrews 12:1) came to mind. Though we were all on the same course running the same distance, the race ahead of me was different than the other 3,100 people there and it was God who decided who should do what and when.

My goal is to someday run a 5K in under 40 minutes.  My official time was 44:25.3 I knew at the 2.6 mile mark that I wouldn't make my goal but then my phone app informed that my most recent split times were faster than those earlier in the race.  I was running negative split times; running faster at the end of the race than I had at the beginning!

While training for this race, I was much more intentional.  I followed a particular training schedule and even downloaded music that had the beats per minute that would help me achieve the pace I wanted to meet that sub 40 minute race time. Running negative splits was quite an accomplishment for one of my limited skills and the news encouraged me to put forth the effort to run the rest of the way to the finish line rather than walk.

Negative splits seem to be happening in my spiritual race, as well.  My spiritual pace seems to have picked up, with God blessing me with insight and (dare I say) wisdom. Sometimes the Spirit throws so many nuggets my way I can't catch them all; it's overwhelming. Yet, none of this would have been possible had it not been for the "training days" of my past.  Many of those "training sessions" were very difficult, tortuous in fact.  I slogged through some very difficult situations that taxed me and darn near drained my emotional and spiritual stores.  Many times I was on the verge of throwing in the towel and just living the life I wanted, running my own race on the course of my choosing rather than the one God laid out for me.  To His glory and by His mercy, He didn't let me stray off course and by His grace I kept plodding on.

I believe my spiritual split times have improved because, like my recent training regimen, I'm more intentional about my relationship with God.  Because I've come so close to giving up at times and was given a glimpse of how terrifying that would be, I concentrate on the center of the course, staying away from the edges when I can.

Spiritual training can take many forms - church attendance, meditation, prayer, sacrifice, etc.  But performing these acts doesn't produce any spiritual stamina unless the soul is engaged.  Going to church or Bible study without involvement of your heart and an active faith is like buying running shoes and jogging pants but never going for a jog. You might look like a runner but you'll never make it through a race and when the weather is bad you might not even show up, choosing to stay home on the couch.

I've made it this far because I believe God's promises; promises like "I will never leave you or forsake you.", "He will make your paths straight" and "He will grant you the desires of your heart"; there are hundreds of them.  Some of those promises will be fulfilled along the way while others won't be experienced until the end of the race.  But I keep my eyes opened, looking for those answers, whenever and however they appear.

I don't know if I'll maintain my current pace or what the path ahead looks like; what twists, turns or hills lie ahead.  I don't even know how far along in this race I am!  Fifty-three years?  One hundred and three years (my grandmother made it to 102, so this is entirely possible)?  Regardless, I will continue plodding along on the race God planned for me at the pace He set for me.  The pace He established - sometimes a fast run, other times a slow walk - He established with the intent of my finishing.  He promised. 

 "And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ."  Philippians 1:6

Monday, November 17, 2014


I come in from the cold
Shivering. My nose and toes
Numb from frigid temperatures.
The sound of the furnace kicking on
Greets me, calling me deeper inside.
My fingers sting; the heat hurts
As my hands begin to thaw.
But the sound of the fan blowing
Warm air reminds me
Comfort lies in the future.
I need only wait.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Thou, Oh LORD, are a Shield for Me - Thoughts on Singleness, Part 2

In my lifetime, I’ve been the recipient of a lot of bad advice on being single. Some of the most common:
  1. “When you stop wanting it, it will come.” (If I stop wanting it, when it comes I won't        want it, so why stop wanting it?)
  2. “Be yourself.”  (This one isn’t bad advice.  It’s just that some of the same people who told me this 20 years ago have since told me I should lose weight, be more feminine,  show more cleavage.  So I guess they were really telling me “Be yourself, but change”?)
  3. “Marriage is a lot of work.” (I’ve never shied away from hard work, and I’d like to add being single is a lot of work, too).
  4. My personal favorite, and thus the focus of this post -“God is protecting you.”
From what exactly is God protecting me? The implication is by keeping me single, God is protecting me from a bad relationship and heartache.  But I experience heartache every day and I know many faithful believers who have been in bad relationships.  Has God not been protecting us?

Calamity or lack of is not the best indicator of God’s protection.  Far too many Christians experience tragedy – illness, death of loved ones, persecution and even torture.  Is God not protecting any of these people? Of course He is!

The Word speaks of many examples of God’s protection.  The word “protect” appears over twenty times in the Bible.  Add in the words protection, refuge and fortress and the number is higher than I care to take the time to count.  Suffice it to say – a lot.

That God is protecting me, or any of us, is not in question.  It’s the question that is under review.  I asked “From what is God protecting me?” when I should have asked “What is God protecting?” 

As I was saying the LORD’s Prayer the other day, I was struck by the words “lead me not in to temptation”.  Thousands of times I’ve prayed that prayer and repeated that phrase.  The temptation I was thinking about was along the lines of lying, cheating,  and stealing to name a few.  I was praying I would not succumb to the temptation of impatience, anger, gluttony or vanity.  This time a different temptation came to light “Lord, let me not be tempted to make any one or any thing more important than You.”  Then I understood what exactly God has been protecting; He’s protecting my relationship with Him.

Everything He does (or doesn’t do), everything that happens (or doesn’t happen) to me was carefully designed and planned by God to keep me with Him; to keep me reaching for and relying on Him.  The world is filled with distractions good and bad.  Work, finances, and friendships can all divert my attention from my God, when in fact He wants to be intimately involved in every one of those and more. 

In that oft quoted verse, the Apostle Paul described singleness as a gift.  I haven’t been able to fully wrap my head around that yet.  If it’s a gift then its socks and underwear; singleness is “good for me” like lima beans and Brussels sprouts when what I really wanted was wedding cake.

But I now have a clearer understanding of God’s protection.  Instead of standing behind that invisible wall, looking out at the world and all I’d like to have but can’t, instead of trying to break through that force field I need to turn my back on it and towards my God and embrace Him.  It’s not easy.  It’s really hard.  Yet, the alternative – banging myself against that wall – is exhausting.  And the possibility of living outside is protection is too frightening (a story for another time).   So I will try.  God’s grace has gotten me this far, in spite of myself. And for those times when I screw up, because of Jesus, His new-every-morning mercies are readily available until He leads me home


Sunday, November 09, 2014

It Keeps You Runnin’ – Thoughts on Singleness, Part 1

Since the early 80’s I’ve tried running for exercise.  I love hiking and walking so running seemed a natural progression.  I wanted to run because it would up my fitness level in less time than walking and there were races where I could get great t-shirts.  But where running was concerned, I never hit my stride.

I’m a heavy walker and so I’m also a heavy runner.  Therefore, I doubly felt the impact of every stride.  The jolting waves would begin in my feet, travel up my legs, jostle my insides (rearranging internal organs in the process), move up through my shoulders, to my head and abruptly stop.  The resulting headaches and other pains were manageable.  It was the discombobulation that I found most uncomfortable.  After a run I was disoriented and my insides felt like jiggly jello.  For those reasons, my attempts at becoming a runner would stop.  A year might go by and I’d try again for a month or two with the same results and so I gave up the sport.

A few years ago, my walking partner, Adiel asked me if I’d consider training with her for a 5K fundraiser for a local crisis pregnancy center.  Though I still didn’t like running I agreed,  just to be a supportive friend.  During our training, my insides still felt as though they’d gone twelve rounds with Mohammed Ali, but for Adiel’s sake I continued training and on race day, I finished my first 5K – dead last, but I finished.  And somewhere in all that training I stopped feeling the impact of every step.  Somewhere along the trail my body adapted to the jolts. I now run semi-regularly and have completed a number of 5K races.  I have the T-shirts to prove it!

Quite often, my days feel like those early attempts at running.  I feel the impact of the world strike my heart.  There’s crime, politics, world affairs, work squabbles.  I wield my armor of God and dodge sin’s swipes at my soul. But Satan knows my Achilles heel - my marital status – and routinely wages his attack.  A coworker gets flowers from her lover.  Another shows pictures of her new grandchild.   All these strikes hit me at my weakest spot. And Facebook is downright excruciating with announcements of engagements, births, and romantic vacations.  Work and other responsibilities offer some distraction, but by week’s end I’m battered and bruised and in need of some R&R.

The place where I should naturally be able to lay down my armor and be refreshed would be at church but that has not been the case.  Let me say that I go to a wonderful church with godly teaching and leadership. The people there love Jesus and love me – in that order (very important).  But church is where what I want (and lack), marriage and children are fully on display.

Going to church is like walking a gauntlet. I am always taking glancing blows at my most tender spot.  I turn my head and see a couple holding hands during prayer – WHACK.  A husband puts his arm around his wife’s shoulder – BAM.  A baby cries – WHAM.  Pastor says during his sermon “you might want to discuss this sermon as a family at lunch today”– KAPOW.

Sunday after Sunday I either steel myself for the next punch or I take every hit and cry throughout the service.  Weary from doing battle all week, it’s usually the latter. Conventional wisdom would ask if I’m that upset and hurt at this church, why not go to another? Or why go to church at all?  Good question… with a good answer.

For one thing, there are married people and kids and family life at other churches.  There’s no guarantee I wouldn’t have the same problem elsewhere.  And I can’t be sure a new congregation would be as patience with my emotionality as my current one.  Next, when I joined this church I made a commitment to those people, and they made a commitment to me, as well.  No one intentionally hurts me.  People are living their normal, God-given lives and I’m just getting jostled in the crowd, the bruises on my soul invisible.

I don’t go to church because it looks pretty, has good music or suits my learning style (yes, that was a swipe at Donald Miller). I go to church, in spite of my pain, to worship God.  I go to church, in spite of my pain, because He commanded it. I go because I truly believe He blesses worshipers with some imperceptible change during the service.  I go because I believe some day He’s going to do some really big thing and I don’t want to miss it!

All this said, during today’s service J & M still held hands. R put his arm around his wife’s shoulders.  Babies cried (and there were more than usual in attendance).  During his sermon, Pastor used the words husband, wife, children, and family all within seconds…and the sermon wasn’t even about family!   Yet, throughout I never felt a single hit.  Not once!  I never felt the need to brace myself for an impending blow and I didn’t shed a tear.

Just as I no longer feel the pounding of the pavement when I run, maybe those imperceptible changes from all those worship services have added up and I will no longer feel the attacks on my heart. Granted, it’s only been one week.  During a particularly challenging run on Friday, though  didn’t feel the jostling of old, my feet really hurt; they’d taken a beating.  Future worship services may be similar. I don’t know.

But I do know that I plan on completing the race God has set before me.  I may complete it having never been married.  Whatever my marital state when I cross the finish line, I will receive the prize.  Jesus s will be waiting there for me.  And He will be holding a t-shirt that says “Well Done Good & Faithful Servant”.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Battle Cry

The battle belongs to the LORD.

Be strong and courageous.

Put on the full armor of God.

Shield of faith.
Sword of the Spirit.
Helmet of salvation.
Belt of truth.
Shoes of peace.
Breastplate of righteousness.

I'm trying.
But my fighting skills are poor
and my armor doesn't seem to fit my frame well.
It chafes.

I'm battle weary
and in need of some R&R.

Drink Offering

This page is my drink offering.
Words flow like tears upon the page.
My heart bleeds in ink and pixels.

I am an empty vessel   laid upon your altar.
Will the steam from my blood sweat and tears
Rise up to You as an acceptable offering?

The Lantern

On the basement shelf sits an old kerosene lantern,
The finish touched only by time.
The globe is covered by dust, collected in it’s curves.
And rust is beginning to mar the base’s seams and edges.

Cobwebs hang in the corners of the shelf
And dust that’s landed evenly over the surfaces
Show no activity here for a long time.
No fingerprints or scrapes in the layers

This lamp was placed there long ago
With dreams of adventures and trips to come
But newer models came along
Lighter, sleeker, easier to use, brighter.

Its charred mantle gives evidence
Of having once been lit,
That once it brought forth a soft glow;
But it sits forgotten and replaced.

There’s still fuel to be burned
Still able to provide warmth and light someone’s way
It waits expectantly,

Ready for a match.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014


It’s harder for old, broken hearts.
Antiques are worn, weathered, fragile;
And parts are harder to find.

Care must be taken when handling.
Only skilled craftsmen should even try,
But they’re rare and in short supply.

None appreciate their character,
Their strength or soft lines,
The beauty of their intentional design.

There’s still useful  life remaining!
Love untapped!  Waiting to be
Wanted.  Desired.

Needing only minor repairs,
Hidden fortunes sit overlooked!

Wondering. Dreaming. Hoping

Saturday, October 04, 2014

An Adirondack Performance

Sacandaga Lake, Sept 2014

“My heart leaps up...” said Wordworth,
Though he spoke figuratively.
MY heart does cartwheels and backflips
When in the woods and trees.

The heavens declare God’s glory.
All creation sings.
I’m privileged to be in the audience
Viewing this production of the King.

Costumed in red maple robes,
Oak yellow and evergreen.
Wind blows through the trees,
The choir voicing its melodic paean.

Lake waters ripple softly;
Waves add their harmony.
Crickets chirp, squirrels chatter,
Geese honk their antiphony.

Bright sun shines its spotlight
On the expansive stage.
The musical continues on
All throughout the day.

Daylight dims, the winds die down
The choir’s song begins to lull.
The moon rises, stars come out.
A celestial curtain call!

The stage goes dark. To bed I go
Yet my heart it still does leap.
Memories of day’s glorious show
Continue in my dreams as I drift off to sleep.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Soft Wear Programming

Knit. Purl. Knit. Purl.
The sound of the knitting needles
Like the clacking of keys on a keyboard.

Knit 2. Purl 1. Knit 2. Purl 1.
Two stiches in different combinations
Create intricate pieces of art.

Knit 1. Purl 2. Knit 1 Purl 2.
Artwork to be worn to warm the body
Art to be displayed to warm the senses.

Knit. Purl. Knit. Purl.
A binary code
Written with yarn.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

The Little Match Girl

Life can be dark and cold at times,
So I try to light a lighter.
I see a spark
But no flame results.

I flick a littler faster,
Press a bit little harder this time.
I smell the fuel, there's something there to light,
But still no flame.

I try again and again,
Fast, slow, somewhere in between.
I see a flash, I smell the propane.
But all I get is sore, calloused thumb.

I take a sturdy wood match from the box
Strike it against the side;
I see a spark!
But nothing materializes.

Again I try. I run that match against the box
Faster, harder this time.
Again, I see a spark. I scrunch my nose at the smell of phosphorous
But nothing catches.

I will try one more time.
One more time!
If nothing?  Well,
I'll learn to live in this dim and chilly place.

Friday, July 04, 2014

War - What is it Good For

No matter what side of the Hobby Lobby or abortion clinic buffer zone decisions you fall, no matter what your thoughts on women’s reproductive rights and income inequality, it is important to realize – none of these are a #WarOnWomen.
There is no dispute that women have been discriminated against and abused throughout history.  In fact, all sexes (including the LGBT population), nationalities and faiths have experienced prejudice and even violent attacks at some time. No argument.  But to classify current disputes on birth control and other issues as “war” is an insult to any who have experienced war, as either a combatant or innocent victim.
If you want to see a real war on women talk to the kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls.  Oops, can’t talk to them, they’re still missing and the hashtag #bringbackourgirls  seems to have disappeared from recent trending lists as well, replaced by #hurricanearthur and, ironically,  #worldcupgirls (apparently, images of scantily clad female soccer fans are not considered acts of aggression in the supposed war on women).
Other acts of war against women?  How about sex-selective-abortion or human trafficking?  And let’s not forget the multi-billion dollar porn industry.  Though not limited to the female gender, victims of these atrocities are predominately women or more accurately, girls.  Young girls.  Children. 
That Hobby Lobby employees have their choice of prescription contraceptives limited to non-abortifacients is an inconvenience; they are not suffering any consequences of battle.   Though a nuisance and even possibly a financial challenge, having to pay for certain non-covered birth control methods does not qualify them for victim status.  And, quite frankly, Plan-B (the morning after pill) should be a one-time purchase and not a regular expense for any woman.
To categorize any of this as war minimizes the sufferings of those who have been the casualties of war.

Sunday, June 22, 2014


I know what to do.
I know how to do it.
I just wonder,
"Why bother?"

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Its Only Words

Insults are cutting,
Inflicting wounds
That leave scars
Lasting forever.

Compliments are a soothing balm;
A lotion that sinks in and disappears,
They need reaaplied often
To have any lasting effect.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Jesus' Curfew - A Poem

About two months ago my friend, Adiel and I went to Poets' Hall to listen to some folks read their poetry.  We had a great time meeting people from all walks of life coming together to share their compositions from a variety of poetic styles.  We enjoyed ourselves so much that we returned and now have vowed that at our next visit we will actually share some of our work (eek!).
At that first visit, a reporter from the Erie Times-News was there interviewing some of the artists and audience members.  When the article was published a few weeks later I read it with interest.  In the article, the proprietor of Poets' Hall, Cee Williams was quoted as saying their only rule was "no Jesus after 10:00 pm".  Later, on his Facebook page Cee said he hoped people realized he was only kidding when he said it.  I have no reason to believe otherwise; I've got quite the talent for quick quips that can be taken the wrong way, so I can relate. 

Yet, the idea that there was a time limit on Jesus got some ideas percolating in my head.  This is what was brewed. 

Dedicated to Cee

Jesus’ Curfew

“No Jesus after ten-o’clock”, said Cee,
Albeit, with a grin.
“They’re a rough crowd here.
We can’t possibly let Him in.

He’ll feel uncomfortable and awkward
The LORD we might offend.
To His religious sensibilities
We can’t possibly attend.

The folks that come have been abused and hurt
And down on their luck.
They need to release their pain
Quite often they say ‘Fuck’”

The Lord listened to all of this
And then He spoke to Cee
“You’ve got it all wrong
Who did I hang out with when I lived in Galilee?

They were tax collectors and fishermen
Even prostitutes.
It was to the overly religious crowd
My message didn’t compute.

When my friends and I hung out and talked
The language could turn blue
(Although when those guys cursed
It was in Hebrew).

I conquered sin and death, my friend.
I've been to hell and back.
With your repentance, God’s forgiveness
My love you’ll never lack.

So the folks at Poets’ Hall are earthy.
I really like that!
Remember when God created man
It was with dirt in which He spat.

So ten-o’clock’s my limit, huh?
That curfew I will flout.
‘Cause I’m King of kings and Lord of lords
How ‘ya gonna keep Me out?”