Tuesday, August 04, 2009


from Ray Ortland

"The key sentence: ". . . but clerics called for their death." Of course. Moral fervor is our deepest evil. When we intend to serve God, but forget to crucify Self moment by moment, we are capable of acting cruelly while feeling virtuous about it.

Let's always beware that delicious feeling that we are the defenders of the holy. Christ is the only Defender of the holy. He defends us from persecutors. He defends us from becoming persecutors. We can take refuge in Him. But that esteem of Him also means we regard ourselves with suspicion, especially when judging another."

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Lamenting forward

I have a friend who has journalled every day for at least 15 years. For the same period of time she has read the word of God and My Utmost for His Highest every morning.
I can't tell you whether her motivation has been duty or delight on any given day.
What I do know is that she has some kind of a record of her days, God's working, and her responses.

My journals by contrast are large gaps, punctuated by sporadic entries. God has not been silent in my life, I've simply been shortsighted and undisciplined in my attempt to capture the rich graces He has poured out on me.

I know that many of my posts are variations on the same theme - but then again - it's all about Him. That is the best news possible.
I had some required vocational reading recently. The author asks the reader to come up with one word that "invariably describes" them.
I struggled - but the choices all rang the same note : "smatterer, dabbler, googler, flitterer" or any other word that describes the person who spreads themselves thinly across many disciplines, friends and causes - and is never truly satisfied.
Randy Alcorn's Facebook entry yesterday started: "We must say no to a thousand good things in order to remain free to say yes to the very few things God calls us to do."
I have known this for sometime. I don't know where to go from here.
If you are reading this and care enough to pray - join me in my pleading that He might show me.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


A powerful man resigned his post today
and some of us, stone faced, rejoice
while feeling sorrowful for the "half" of him
who standing with him had no voice

"Hypocrisy, an ugly sin", we blaze
"He thought he stood, but take heed, how he fell"
and then we hear the voice of God break through
"My child, those words apply to you as well"

Monday, March 10, 2008

Sub "Way"

Toques and tams and turbans
headphones and hijabs
bob in broken rhythm
netherworld they stab

No sense of decorum
rush to get a seat
close your eyes or zone out
stare down at your feet

Opening door brings shock waves
in baggy knee length pants
blues the air with language
paranoiac rants

Homeward see a woman
begging on the stairs
one insists on giving
money smiles and prayers

Ancient forlorn female
doors close, left alone
"trains must keep on schedule",
say hearts cold as stone

See it as a skirmish
battle of the tube
seasoned cynics versus
naive small town rubes

Now here safely swaddled
snow our natural fence
cannot judge the people
who act from self defense

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Held Back

In the surreal blue-gray
not fog, but equally nebulous
I thank God for the united front of plows holding us back
In one sense - we're always flying blind
the immediate future totally obscured
despite our sense of cockiness
as we make our "best laid" plans
and then...
as a Sovereign merciful God
causes them to "go astray"

Well, that was yesterday, and the picture above is this Lord's day.
The sun has risen, and so has the Son!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The island of regret

I told a few friends this week that I was going to write a book entitled, 'Living on the Island of Regret'
I've decided instead to co-write an Arlo Guthrie style ballad with my buddy Todd (who doesn't know it yet.)
It might go something like this (without the audio you'll have to imagine the tune)

Lots of my brothers and sisters telling me where to live.
I'm just looking for a ticket off the island of Regret.

1st verse:
A friend took up his residence at 1-10 Kings Kid Court
Gold dust in his bible paid the cost
Another heads for Wormsville, a hairshirt on his back
seems caught up in all the love he's lost

Once I hitched a ride on that good old ship Repentance
thought that was the boats name anyway
Lately I've been thinking maybe pirates have boarded
left me stranded in Delusion Bay.

2nd verse
Heard today that all you need is faith in your believing
where they're teaching that I'd hate to go
There's a gospel train that heads down the wrong side of Charis mountain
lose the feelings and you'll plunge real low

3rd verse
Took a trip to PoMo River where an unchurch had emerged
Left entertained but stuck in deconstruct
Went caving with the Set Apart to see just how they lived
Got shunned for my disorderly conduct

4th verse
Well I've sure muddied the waters with my never-ending search
for fiery fervent fixed fidelity
But His truth cuts through my blindness and paradoxically
when I'm "cross-eyed" His face I'll clearly see.

got any melodic inspiration Todd?
And my dear sister who has agreed to play the bongos, you're on!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Reflections on time spent with nieces

My nieces came to spend several hours with me today. They are 7 and 9, so it was hardly onerous. They are old enough to occupy themselves, and they are girls so it doesn't involve treating a variety of household articles like softballs. No lamps were broken. I learned a little about the world of Webkins, and they learned as the youngest one said that "cats aren't at all like dogs".
Every time I have this privilege, I reflect on the discipline and sacrifice that I haven't experienced as a result of being childless. I've bought into the deception that my time is my own. My role within the evangelical organization I work for has a degree of autonomy. Most evenings I have no-one telling me how to spend my time.