Saturday, December 31, 2005

p.s. moment

and in the marvelous ways of Almighty God
within moments of my posting the previous note
a friend who is staying with me
and who knew nothing of what I had just written
shared her morning reading
thanking me for touching her ...........

Touch, yes touch, speaks the wordless words of love.
We receive so much touch when we are babies and so little when we are adults.
Still in friendship, touch often gives more life than words.
A friend's hand stroking our back, a friend's arms resting on our shoulder, a friend's fingers wiping our tears away, a friend's lips kissing our forehead - these bring true consolation.
These moments of touch are truly sacred.
They restore, they reconcile, they reassure, they forgive, they heal.
Everyone who touched Jesus and everyone whom Jesus touched were healed.
God's love and power went out from him (Luke 6:19)
When a friend touches us with free. nonpossessive love, it is God's incarnate love that touches us and God's power that heals us.
Henri Nouwen

reflecting moments

it has been said,
by one much wiser than I,
that the glory of God is seen
when we learn how to touch one another

and so, these are some memories of being touched over these past twelve months -
these are chronologically listed -
each one no more important or less important -
each touch producing life.

a pastor and his wife -
leaving everything in their obedience to God -
paying the cost

Gordon - who so bravely fought, who so graciously brought me alongside and inside as he traveled the shadowy path of dying, who taught me so much about living, whose life was a song too beautiful to be heard for too long.
I miss you Gordon.
I can only imagine your song now

the first feel of my hours old newest grandson

the seventy-four year-old crusty Austrian who grabbed my hand with tears running down his cheeks insisting I tell him of Jesus

the hug of my son just moments before he said "I do"

another pastor, this one harvesting in the middle of nowhere -
a flock of 40 -
so wise -
so gentle

the One who spoke my name aloud while I was "alone" in the woods

an unsure lonely little boy dressed in a man's body

a friend living on the other side of the mountains
insisting I blog
saying my stumbling words and pondering thoughts are important to him

and there are some others .........
and yet I feel the need to let my words be few

you know

thank you for touching me

and for touching me safely



in abundance

I love you

Thursday, December 29, 2005

choosing moments

It was tough a season or two ago when it seemed that man was putting to death one of God’s dreams. This was painful to watch and harder to understand. It was during this time the Lord spoke to me through an experience from my past.

While pregnant with my daughter I was given the tender privilege of accepting another’s new born baby boy into my home. It was clearly explained and painfully heard that I would never be able to keep this boy – this new born simply needed arms and love to nurture him through the time until a permanent home was readied. This babe’s mother had conceived him, birthed him, named him, loved him enough to realize she simply could not care for him and so early one morning I was presented with this little one day old bundle – a beautiful bundle of life, all dressed in blue. Immediately he was in my arms, he entered deep into my heart. I rested this little one in the crib that had been prepared for my yet to be born babe. His language was easy to learn. His needs were easy to fill. His care was so natural. Soon he opened his eyes but even with his eyes closed, he was grabbing onto my finger and holding tight. I completely forgot that he was not to be with me forever, that I would never see his first step, never hear his first words. I just loved him and loved him deeper every moment. The feel of his face nuzzling my neck, his after bath freshness, his full tummy burp – all became part of my life. Around the three month anniversary of his arrival suddenly the life of my yet to be born baby was at risk. I was told I could not continue to care for the one who was already born without compromising the life of the one waiting to be born. I could not continue to hold both the one in my arms and the one in my womb. I had to make a choice. Both babies were loved. Both babies were wanted. And yet I had to choose. Agonizingly I chose to give up the one already born to save the one not yet born. Even knowing he would have a new safe permanent forever home the grief remains with me to this day. It is a strange grief – the joy, the treasure and the beauty of the life of my safely born daughter is immense, beyond words really – and yet still all these years I wonder about my momentary baby boy, what has become of him, is he happy, is he well, is he loved, is he loving?

Sometimes we are asked to give up something that has been born for something not yet born – something tangible for something not yet seen – the known for the unknown - our own hopes and dreams for another's. I find myself in that season again.

And it is no easier this time – hour after hour the choice silently screams – grief waits – but I can only consider the One who is asking me to make this choice and I must trust that there will be much beauty, much joy, much comfort in that which is not yet born. And because it is He who asks, I will choose again.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

seeing moment

this summer I was introduced to the heart
of an emerging worship leader
his name is Godfrey Birtill
the words below belong to one of his songs
and this season of looking to the Babe
I am reminded again and again
that you cannot see the manger
without also seeing the cross
and so I share these words
I proclaim these words
I sing these words
over my family
over my friends
over this land
over the church

When I look at the Cross,
All I see is love, love, love
When I stop at the cross,
I can see the love of God.

But I can’t see competition
I can’t see hierarchy
I can’t see pride or prejudice
Or the abuse of authority
I can’t see lust for power
I can’t see manipulation
I can’t see rage or anger
Or selfish ambition.

But I can’t see unforgiveness
I can’t see hate or envy
I can’t see stupid fighting
Or bitterness or jealousy
I can’t see empire-building
I can’t see self-importance
I can’t see back-stabbing
Or vanity or arrogance

I see Surrender, Sacrifice
Salvation, Humility
Righteousness, Faithfulness
Grace, Forgiveness

Love, love, love (x 12)
When I stop at the cross,
I can see the love of God.

Monday, December 19, 2005

overwhelming moment

this past Saturday evening
we gathered
for our first Christmas dinner
in the dining room of
the National House of Prayer
once again I was overwhelmed
by the goodness and mercy
of our God Who faithfully provides
out of His abundance
this building
that was a house of prayer
and is again
a House of Prayer
I was aware of the great cloud of witnesses
who joined with us
as we ate, laughed, cried, prayed
and ate some more
there was time for reminiscing
for honoring
for blessing
for prophetic words to be spoken
the significance of being
in the shadow
of the Peace Tower
was not lost on anyone
there was also an awareness
of the heaving of the land
in the throws of its labour
but it was the ticking of the clock
signifying this eleventh hour
that rammed me to my knees
I literally could feel the soil
of this land Canada
shaking, quaking
under the footsteps of the Lord
as I pressed my face
into the freshy waxed floor
now wet with my tears
the wail from deep within
was no longer able to be contained
the fancy clothes forgotten
it was simply a moment to travail
there is a weightiness of these times
and I wonder
in the midst of the partying
will there be found room
in this inn
called Canada

Saturday, December 17, 2005

seed moment

I have been thinking a lot about the Christ child
and how before He was a child
He was one human female reproductive cell
made viable not by another human cell
but by the energizing activity of the Spirit of God
an integration of the human and divine natures -
the infinite eternal Son of God
confined to the potentiality of one cell

God stepped into the very heart of the human processes
He came through the very system which He Himself had created for us
He was not ashamed of us as He identified Himself with us
Emmanuel: God with us

God WITH us
not far away
not unreachable but down here inside the mess
within His callings
experiencing it all
for us
with us

this is the God
who gathers us to worship

this is the God
we are created to worship

this is the God
Who only asks that we love Him

will there be room in the inn this season

Thursday, December 15, 2005

angst moments

this is not neat and tidy
nothing grammatically correct
just laying out some thoughts, wonderings, ponderings and angst

has religion beheaded the church

what is the church
what is church

am I struggling with the wrong questions
should I be replacing all the whats with a simple who

when Jesus starts to press his finger prints on a heart, change starts from the inside
only after the inside is tampered with does the outside reflect that change

when Mary received the visitation from the angel, the change – this Almighty-containing seed – was not visible to anyone else for a bit although she knew that time would come
she simply pondered and carried this seed on the inside
only in the fullness of time was the change evident on the outside
only in the fullness of time did the birth happen
and even then, this was just a baby, right?
like any other baby
nothing profound for 12 years
and then only a glimpse causing more pondering, more wondering for another 18 years

the disciples – a slightly odd bunch – like the church of today?
some soft and quiet, some louder and pushy
jockeying for position
Jesus only once asked for help and he asked it of this slightly odd bunch
He simply asked that they would stay awake one night

they listened, waited and fell asleep
not once
but twice

later Jesus asked His friends to stay together, gather in a particular room and wait
some did
most did not
the waiting, the gathering they did not understand
did not quite fit their agendas and so they left, went outside

it is this waiting that seems to be a problem

Mary was willing

Moses built this huge boat in his backyard, took a long time
must have caused him to set aside his own agenda, his own dreams and hopes to build this thing
people laughed but he had heard he was to build

he built
he waited
and the rains came

I am the church
but alone I am not the church
the church is only seen when all the living stones come together accepting their positioning,
their placement by the pierced Hand

this present organization is not the church but it consists of the church
simply because I am in it

could it be that my purest, deepest, truest, worship is simply my submission to this organization, living in the tension of the knowing this organization is not church

but is it a womb from which church could be birthed?

if I close my fist around what I have been gifted with and leave
am I simply saying I know better, I like my dreams, my agenda better than yours

like a sulky child, leaving the game and taking the ball away

and if I stay in this organization that is not the church
will I lose the tension
will the tension become familiar
like an old elastic that loses its elasticity
stretch it and it simply snaps

who influences my decisions
who even influences my wondering
who reveals the tension
who is the tension

have to be so very careful here

who am I aligned with
who am I serving
who am I listening to
who am I submitted to

it has been said the glory of God is seen when we learn how to touch one another
there is favor on the touching this season

it is important, this touching, as one by one lives are being changed
hearts are being softened
hunger is being birthed
Jesus is being seen

all within this organization that is called church but is not church
but does contain the church yet cannot contain the church

Jesus entered our midst from within, from the womb of one of His made

if we all leave and go out how can we assist a birthing from within

I hear the 30 somethings expressing the same hungering angst I expressed years ago, even the old word paradigm has surfaced again

yes, it has been a long wait –
will I be obediently positioned and found in the right room, awake, when the wait is over

will my worship stand the test of the wait

Anna too waited a long time – and she waited in the temple

but the angst is good – just proves the tension of the Promise still holds

even in the wondering if religion has beheaded the church

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

taken by the hand moment

feeling surrounded lately
by events
hard to see
to find
a path through it all
and I suddenly remembered
a moment this past summer
when I had to trust
and take the hand of a stranger
this man who said
he knew a place
there was no trail
no path
and with some trepidation
I allowed him to lead me
because I knew I could not find the way myself
the difference today
is in knowing the Hand
that I must take
it is not a stranger
but my closest Friend
who will lead me
because know I cannot find the way myself

have you found it yet
come, let me show you

his steps were swift and sure

look carefully
learn to read the signs

he led me deeper amongst the trees
down a bit
over the mossy rock

I recognized the sounds
and feel
of a moment

suddenly my eyes saw
that which my heart had been longing to know

bathed in light
serene in its being

a poustinia

drawing near I hesitated
go in he said

opening the door
I entered the voice of my Beloved

I have been waiting for you

Saturday, December 10, 2005

letting go moment

slowly she celebrated the sacrament of letting go
first she surrendered her green
then the orange
and red
finally she let go her brown

shedding her last leaf she stood
empty and silent
stripped bare
leaning against the winter sky
she began her vigil of trust

standing in silence
wearing the colour of emptiness
her branches wondering
how to give shade with so much gone

and then
the sacrament of waiting began

the sunrise and sunset watched with tenderness
clothing her with silhouettes
they kept her hope alive
they helped her understand
that her vulnerability
her dependence and need
her emptiness
her readiness to receive
were giving her a new kind of beauty

every morning and every evening
they stood in silence
and celebrated together
the sacrament of waiting

few moments

a box

the tiniest body

sticking in the throat

screaming in their silence

God gives
God takes

we easily celebrate the giving
can we worship in the taking

a song has been written
to celebrate the moments of this life

this song will be sung this morning
as we gather

to honor
the Giver
Who has chosen
to take

what is this love
that the One who gives
could risk our response
to His taking

Friday, December 09, 2005

snowy moments

today it snowed

each flake individually made
falling one by one
released with love
from the Hand
of the Artist
of our life


as if God shook out a feather-filled comforter
and laid it over the earth
bedding us down for winter

this season
when everything sleeps
into the spring

a quiet gestation
in the womb of creation

a sacrament of waiting
for new life

Thursday, December 08, 2005

a thin line moment

such a thin narrow slippery little line
separating light from dark
good from evil

how many walk
carefully along this line
step by step
one foot
deliberately placed
directly in front of the other foot
toe to heel
toe to heel

doesn’t take much

just a little puff of the winds of life
to cause a stumble
a little slip
an off balance moment

with an immediate plunge deep into darkness

this thin narrow slippery little line

get off it!

don’t even try to walk it

move over
well over
miles over

into the light

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

name moments

I have been pondering names
my name
your name
our names

why are we given our name

is it the meaning behind the name
and when we discover that meaning
do we try and “become” our name

is it because the name holds a comforting memory
of some one
some thing
some time
some place

names given a baby
spoken like a blessing
like a caressing
like a signature

wrapping this new life
in the swaddling clothes of a name

is there a danger
of allowing our name to give us our identity

what if we do not particularly like our name

can we have so many names
they only cause confusion

and I think of Jesus
who was really named Jeshua
over the years we changed His name
to suit our tongue
but His mother named Him
as she was instructed

and I think of how His name is spoken
with awe

and in anger

often the name spoken
in total ignorance
of the man
the person
the child
who yet today lives and bears that name

and I think of Mary
who waited outside the tomb
her eyes clouded by
I am not sure all the components of her clouding

but this clouding caused her not to see
the One she had come to seek

and it was only in the speaking of her name
that her vision cleared

however it was not simply her name
but the sound
the tone
the love
with which it was spoken

I am coming to understand
it is not our name that is as important
as it is the mouth
that speaks it

the lips
the tongue
that our name falls from

your name
my name
is only safe in the mouth of a friend

our words
the overflow of all that is in our heart

you must be loved in a heart
to be safe in a mouth

whose mouth speaks my name

whose name is in my mouth

Sunday, December 04, 2005

free moments

the work of the hands of God
is a living person
a human heart
and this human person
can look at God and say
I love You
You are beautiful
this human person can freely enter
into relationship with God
they can speak together
they can rest in one another
they can celebrate together
the Maker and the made
can be in love with one another
Only God
the source of all life
can take this great risk of creation
for the "made" can say yes
but also

the fullness of the plan of God
known in its entirety only to God
but each person
generation to generation
is able to say yes
to the unfolding of this plan
a very little yes
but freely said

Saturday, December 03, 2005

best moment

someone asked me last evening
about the best moment of my week -
and I thought about what that meant

would that be a moment that
brought me the greatest pleasure
or happiness

or would it be a moment
when I gave my best

not performing my best
or receiving my best

just being my purest

the me
of me

and that would have to be
the moment of kneeling
and washing the feet
of those who presently live on the streets

some live there by choice
and some live there because of circumstance

some live there sober
and some numb living there

some live there alone
and some live there in a family of sorts

some live there hard
and some live there relatively easy

but each one is someone's son
or someone's daughter

and each one lives there openly
right in our midst
and yet unseen

to ease our conscience
we throw a loonie
or maybe even two

and we throw it
so as not to get too close
so not to have to look
so not to have to see

and it is these sons and daughters
who allow me to kneel before them
and wash their feet

one by one
toe by toe

to soften and ease
the crust of their existing

washing the blood
of life wounds

holding these feet
that walk a road I have never walked
and know very little about

and it is not even the washing of the feet
but the opportunity
to touch
with tenderness
with hope
with acceptance

to look up
directly into eyes
that see
but are seldom seen

to spend time
all the time they wish
and seeing

because of the stuff of their life
we are told to "glove up"
but I just cannot
it would only sterilize the touch

these sons and daughters
if ever
are touched

it is the touching that makes a difference

and the simple fact
that they allowed me to touch
was the best moment
of my week.

Friday, December 02, 2005

today's moment

so got all that out

and Monday
the thing comes out

actually slept a bit last night
although in the closing of my eyes
dreams filled my sight

pounding on a door
no one could hear
or was it
no one wanted to hear

weird scenes
weird people
weird sounds

didn't like it much
still don't

today is a treat

all morning booked
with this lovely man

so gentle
so pure in his seeking of his Lord

had it all
and then
had nothing

starting over
struggling to see
beyond the horizon of his past

understanding now the whys
of his fear of success

today is a treat

I can do this

Thursday, December 01, 2005

whammo moments

regular day, right?

full agenda

one by one
down the list

then whammo

an out of the blue
off the wall
out of all boxes


sounds amazing
seems to fit perfectly
tastes so good

is it what it appears
is he who he says

will it change
will he change

will it end
like the other

have I already been here
already done this

and when the cost
gets too high



leaving pieces

and while pondering all this

whammo # 2

does not look good
must come out
not tomorrow

this thing
suddenly there
where it had not been


is anything what it seems

is anyone who they seem

by flesh


and the point
of even thinking of a third is .............?

Thursday, November 24, 2005

an awful moment

death in stalking
stockinged feet
from the shadows

this thing named suicide
so powerful

and yet
on its own
completely powerless

cannot succeed
without assistance

and why was the assistance given

what is it that makes
the utter darkness
so dark
it shines

offering some sort of light

the ending
seeming easier

the unknown
more palatable
than the known

and what of the now

what is her now
where is her now

is there regret

I suspect
the despair of the loneliness
is more acute
in the now
after the fact

did I fail her

there is no rest
no peace
no comfort
in the
"how could I have known"

this is an awful moment
certainly not a moment
filled with awe

just an awful moment

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

aaaaaaah moments

I opened the door of my home
to a stranger this week

this gentleman
very quickly evident
a gentle man

weighed down
with the wonderings of the ways of God

a heart broken
feet dusty from the desert
hands emptied of all doing
eyes clouded with pain

his cloak
the brokenness of a pastor

his luggage
deferred hope
and a bruised spirit

the language of his tongue
only French
and mine
only English

our only speech in common
and the touch of our hands

I wondered what I could offer
this servant of the Lord
how could I even speak
so that he would understand

and in the ways of the Spirit
this was all taken care of

our hearts became one
talking was not necessary
only together kneeling
in the Presence

through words that stumbled a bit
he shared
that his heart
felt the burden in my heart
for him

and he knew his safety
had been assured
through this heart touching

on the evening of the second day
Jesus spoke
into the heart of this gentle man

the language of the Lord
giving revelation

the cloak of brokenness
fell from his shoulders

all luggage put down
enabling a standing up

the desire to give up
exchanged for an openness to hope

language is never a barrier
in the things of the Spirit

there is a hearing
a touching
between hearts
making words not necessary

a stranger entered the door of my home
but a brother entered the door of my heart

Jesus met with His son

and so today we will part
this gentle man will return to his home
and I will simply return to the things I do

but there is no leaving of each other
there is no separation

my heart has been enlarged
because I opened the door of my home
to a stranger

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

remembered moments

very aware today
of the whisp of life

then gone

in a moment

there was a woman
whose name we are never told
yet I remember her

and there is this wondering

will I be remembered

what perfume am I pouring out

whose head am I pouring my fragrance on

is it costly

Monday, November 21, 2005

entering moments

The voice
that was no voice at all
spoke distinctly
although it was not audible

it is a precipitous journey
going into the depths of another's heart

this entering the heart of another
can only be done by identifying with them
and that is excruciating

loving people means ascending the mountain of faith
while touching my own fears
my spirit shudders
causing a silent cry to rise from within

the intimacy of eternal belonging
a place hard to get to
yet one that lives within
and beyond
the very present

Sunday, November 20, 2005

alabaster moment

stumbling through her blinding tears
feeling such pain
the room grew quiet
as she made her way to Jesus

pierced by the whispers
of the unspoken rage
wrapped in her shame
she knelt at His feet

she did not speak
yet every word was heard
as she poured out her love
from her jar of alabaster

so don't be angry
when I press in
pouring out my praise like Mary's oil
washing His feet with my tears

you weren't there
the night He called my name
you didn't feel what I felt
when He wrapped His love around me

you don't know the cost of the oil
in my alabaster jar

Saturday, November 19, 2005

outside moments

the clouds
some gray with rain
others of whited fluff
swirling in that leisurely way of clouds

every few minutes
completely changing

the slow movement
seemingly rolling so steadily
yet actually
moving so rapidly
transforming constantly

as is the move of God
seemingly moving in our lives so slowly
but over time
over a year
we see
He was sweeping us along in His breathless pace ...
and we end where we did not foresee
we go where we never expected
we arrive where we never planned

we find ourselves moved ...
within the Move of God

the Holy Breath of God
moving the cloud of God's purpose
blowing and whispering
with gentle power

the wind blows where it wishes
you hear its sound
but you do not know where it comes from
or where it goes

the Holy Spirit
ever aware of Father's mind

all He does in harmony
with what Father has on His mind . . .

which is the end

every stirring breeze of the Spirit
toward that end

God stirs
by His marvelous thoughts.

"God is in cloudless rest about me
unchangeable in the satisfaction
of His boundless thoughts"
J.B. Stoney

inside moments

it is interesting
having a conversation with "adults"
wrapped in big bodies
but hearing
and seeing
only a somewhat frightened
very unsure
little boy

and feeling
the vulnerable
very unsure
little seed
within myself

so necessary
to look beyond the wrapping


that takes risk
and the desire to be interested
in what one finds
when you untie the ribbons
and take off the fancy paper

the willingness
to accept
and love
and treasure
what you find within

and how often
do we take the time

and how often
do we treasure
the gift
of one another

Friday, November 18, 2005

divesting moments

in this season of divesting ……..
I have been looking at each item
with fresh eyes

remembering where it came from
and why it was important enough for me to keep

searching out the meaning of each “thing”
and reliving each memory

and then being very careful
in my method of divesting

something that was meaningful enough for me to keep
some for many many years
has to be treated respectfully, with care

like friendship

friends are a gift from God
and we have a responsibility to hold that gift carefully

when friendship deepens into community
true community
there is an allowing
of your life to be seen
like a crystal goblet
with the hands of that community
holding the goblet with you

helping hands
holding the goblet of your life
high in the Light

sometimes those hands suddenly let go

sometimes they toss the goblet of your life away

and it shatters
along with trust
and hope

and the shattered shards pierce and slice your heart

it takes many seasons
for the shards to come to the surface
so they may be removed

it is a fiercesome thing then
to bring this freshly repaired
not quite solid
near those hands again

once shattered
now tentatively put back together

there is a deep wondering
if it might be impossible
to repair again
enough to recover and be useable
should there be
a second tossing away

Thursday, November 17, 2005

truth moment

and the result?

there were moments
of nearing the passing point

and moments of failing miserably

and interestingly

although these were my moments
they were not only my moments

have I failed?

I don't think so
because I am able see each moment
and no longer feel frightened to go there

do I wish the result was different?

not sure -

all in all
I am happy being honest

and content knowing

testing moments

today I will learn
if I am I what I say

the opportunity to be translucent

will I be able to allow the love of Jesus
to enter into my still open wound
and fill me
so that I can pour His love out
into another's
still open wound

I am wondering
if healing is not so paramount after all
but more the willingness
to allow Jesus to use my wound
for whomever
He chooses

for the one who wounded

and didn't Jesus Himself do just that?

maybe we spend way too much time
seeking healing

perhaps we are to simply
seek Jesus in the midst
of our pain
lay our head on His breast
and rest in submission

although not absolutely confident
I have hope
I will pass the test.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

pulling moments

what a day -
and not over yet

pulled here
and pulled there

pulled to rescue
pulled to speak
pulled to look
pulled to comfort
pulled to war
pulled to affirm
pulled to pray

everyone pulling off little pieces
until now I feel all fragmented
all scattered

wondering if there is anything left
of me
for me

like pouring from an empty vessel
nothing left to come out
but fleshy air

and this is danger zone for me

where it is possible
to learn
to do

I need a cave

no -
a poustinia

tomorrow is lock down day with God

right after my morning meeting
and the noon hour prayer session
and the afternoon counselling session
and dinner with my pastor
and leading the evening prayer meeting

this is crazy

I want off this roller coaster

Thursday is lock down day with God!

because Friday the pace picks up a bit .........

Monday, November 14, 2005

stone moments

while continuing to ponder
the searching
the scattering
the running
the leaving
to find God

there is this realization
this fact
this truth

we, the ‘stones’,
are already prepared…
we have been quarried in different locations:
different denominations,
different ethnic backgrounds,
we look different,
we act different,
we talk different,
we even walk different…

we have been designed to fit perfectly together!

In whom all the building fitly framed together
grows unto an Holy Temple in the LORD:
In whom ye also are built together
for an habitation of God through the SPIRIT.
Ephesians 2:21-22

by His hand
we are being placed in the same temple
for His glory

Saturday, November 12, 2005

life moments

allow Life itself to be ever present. John 1:4.

life can not be mastered
it has to be given away

life belongs not to man
the ones who take it, break it

life is for the altar
those who dare to leave it there, are the survivors
life springs forth from an altar

to really live
to live truly
to live a rich life
has its root in an invitation of the Cross of Christ
to allow that Cross to do its work

life formulates and expresses structure
organization will never bring life

a life lived with purpose and candor
giving Him the vessel that He brought forth for an eternal purpose
giving Him my time, every hour, every minute.
giving Him my body, my energy to be spent in His way
giving Him my life, living unto Him, spending my life on Him

He spent His to give me this opportunity

Friday, November 11, 2005

cutting the cord moment

most of us pass through life umbilically tied to the protection of the familiar.

many good people remain in lifeless churches
simply because they desire the security of familiar faces
more than the truth of Christ

if we are going to become holy,
we must sever the chains and restraints -
the bondage of desiring just an average life,
choose to leave the camp of familiarity
and place our tent in the presence of God.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

desert moments

it was the anguish of the broken body that aroused my anguish
a terrible feeling of confusion
inner agitation
a sense of death and emptiness
the quiet grace of communion with God disappeared
and I wondered if it had only been an illusion
now replaced by an overwhelming inner turmoil and pain,
the discovery of my own terrible brokenness hidden under my capacity to do things,
hidden under my knowledge and intelligence
hidden under my casualness, security and humor
hidden even in times of prayer

I knew I could either run away or discover who I really am
I knew I was very close to learning how to "do" ministry
the very way we have learned how to "do" church

I needed to be born again in Truth
and my gentle guide through all this is the Paraclete
the One who answers my cry
in the embrace of mercy and misery.

the Spirit blows so quietly over my earth, that if I am not attentive
I run the risk of not recognizing the Presence of God -
He is hidden in the cave of my being.
He promises that I will find Him there.

God told me that I had to seek the path where there is no trail
but I am discovering His signposts in the people He brings alongside.

Monday, November 07, 2005

touching moments

when we are not in touch with our own brokenness
our priorities are seldom in personal relationships and acts of love.
we create a false world made up of pretence and appearance
rather than true encounters.

in every person there is a part that is afraid of healing
that does not want change
a brokenness with which one has learned to live
and which seems safer than the unknown.

through our wounds
the power of God can penetrate us
and become like rivers of living water
to irrigate the arid earth within us.
thus we may irrigate the arid earth of others
so that hope and love are reborn.

we must not turn aside from our pain
our anguish and brokenness
our loneliness and emptiness
by pretending we are strong
but go deep within
down the ladder of our own being
until we discover,
like a seed
buried in the broken
ploughed earth of our own vulnerability,
the presence of Jesus,
the light shining in the darkness.

to see the beauty of the tiny flower
emerging in the vulnerable earth of our being
something so deep
so fragile
that if not careful
you can walk on it
crush it
ignore it
or pass it by

this flower that waits
to spring from the source of our being
melting from inside the coating of ice
and coldness
gently dismantling the carefully built barriers
that have been constructed
around the vulnerability of our heart
because of fear.

like the rebirth of the child within
the gentle
fragile child
hidden deep within
that has been clouded over
by the need to prove oneself
to be adult
or by the need to defend oneself
against others
and their exaggerated expectations

Friday, November 04, 2005

dimmed moments

I find it sadly fascinating that the scientists in this land are talking publicly about the fact that the leaves of the maple trees have lost their brilliance this year -
the colors are dull and dimmed,
dusty browns as opposed to crisp reds -

the scientific community attributes this to the lack of rain this summer

could this be a visible sign of the spiritual dryness in this land,
an unhealthiness of our spiritual soil due the past, recent and forthcoming legislation

Canada's symbol is the red maple leaf
our maple leaf is no longer red

the symbol of our land has been dimmed
like our spiritual atmosphere

our maple trees are dying a premature death
is the country about to follow?

when will we, the church, wake up
and repent for our apathy
so that the reign of the Spirit will once again come
and restore us to life.

the spirit of tolerance that has invaded our churches
that has invaded our parliament
that has invaded our leaders
that has invaded our laws
needs to be addressed,
and cast down.

does anyone else see this?

Thursday, November 03, 2005

who am I moments

the past few days have been filled with unsettling moments
the last piece of family lake property has now been sold -
after 4 generations
no more family toes being dipped into the Rideau
no more gatherings on the shores of that body of water

then 2 deaths, side by side
both neighbours
one always across the street
and the other around the corner
for all the years I lived under the roof my father provided

like part of my past being cut
pulled out

a disconnection
feeling adrift a bit

and now
this picture arrives

turns out it is my sister

but I could have sat beside her
without any recognition

these are very very weird
who am I

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

worship moments

Worship can degenerate into a selfish grabbing for the supernatural

There are those who sing with their mouth
But there are some who worship with their lives.

Worship shapes the human community in response to the living God.
If worship is neglected or perverted
our communities fall into chaos or under tyranny.
The world is hostile to worship.
Some Christians even get killed because they worship.
The world hates worshipers.

Workers murder worshipers
in one form or another .........

There is indeed this thin place,
this tissue paper
separating the material from the spiritual
where one hears the sweet songs of God

and all other sounds
are then simply meaningless

do we sing in response to words on a screen
or do we sing in response to Who we see ........

whose rhythm do we follow

what forges our ability to worship

whatever happened to our worship

are we willing to push beyond our dignity and our fears

do we have an undivided heart

if our worship does not cost everything,
or does not involve brokenness and sacrifice,
is it worship at all

does our worship etch an everlasting mark on God's heart

does God remember the way that we worship

true worship must kill us
and it must bring a sense of brokenness and humility into our body,
and spirit

is there a lingering aroma over our lives that continually fills the throne room of heaven
is our worship like fragrant oil, even when we aren't worshiping any longer --
does the aroma of that sacrifice linger

what if we, in a conscious effort of worship,
were truly in unity with one another

Monday, October 31, 2005

stolen moments

we each have a story
our own story
tidy or messy
light or dark
it is our own

not satisfied with their story
someone covets another's
and claim it as their own

piece by piece
word by word
event by event
they wrap it around themselves

it never truly fits
as it is not theirs
but for awhile
they manage to hold it together

like a borrowed cloak
either too long, too short
or too small

if one looks carefully
gaps can be found

but for a season
or perhaps only a moment

they try to make it fit

and when it is my story
coveted by another

when it is my moments

can the weaving
of the tapestry that is my life
ever again be complete

or will there always be a tear
with a ragged edge
mended by
a mismatched thread

Sunday, October 30, 2005

altar moments

My bending turns to prostration
when the blinding knowledge of who God is
and who I am
becomes a reality in me.

Not even the tick of time is heard
only the ragged rending of my heart fills the silence.

God always gives me the grace:
the question is, will I accept
and allow Him to tear out by the roots
the shrubs of my own will.

In response to the overwhelming cry of the Holy Spirit living within,
wrapped in the swaddling clothes of trust
I cry
come Lord Jesus, come.

Entering the realm of pure faith
the stones of my emotions are hurled at me by satan

This is a thin place
only a tissue paper
separating the material from the spiritual
where I hear the sweet songs of God.

A very tiny breeze whispers,
Come higher
live within the enclosed garden of My love.

I rest, put my folded hands in my open heart
And allow God to tell me that which He wishes me to know.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Friday night moments

while at a soaking prayer evening last night
I was struck by the diversity

a bit surreal
this place, an office by day,
now carpeted, wall to wall, by bodies
fat, thin, tall, short, old, young
male, female
black, white and several shades in between and around

and in a moment I saw
the only common thread was brokenness
some more
perhaps some less
but all broken nonetheless

we were together
and yet separate
each one alone before our God

fueled by pain
or loneliness
or fear
or love?

I am not sure of the others
only my own

Jesus showed me His side
His wounded side
asking if I would touch that wound

it was through this wound
the "church" was birthed

just as through the wound on Adam's side
his bride was birthed
through the wound on Jesus's side
His bride was birthed

and I knew the only way
to touch that wound
on the side of Jesus
is to touch His church
touch His people
one by one

there is a broken body
we are the broken body

there are moments in the touching of one another
when Jesus is brought into the brokenness
the Wounded entering His wounded.

Friday, October 28, 2005

unspoken moments

In the end
we will remember
not the words of our enemies
but the silence of our friends.
Martin Luther King Jr.

discovered the truth of this today


on the other hand
I also was offered
and accepted
a "job" today.

a surprise in this season of my life

not sure where it is leading
but I am looking forward to the journey.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

this moment

people rush in
and people rush out
and even when they were there
they were not there
they were in the moment ahead
or the moment behind.

some people who come in for just a moment
are all there
in that moment.

my life goal is
to always
be here

Monday, October 24, 2005

Sunday moments

It was raining again ........

I was awakened very early this day
An emergency concerning someone with heart pains ...........

At church to pray with my pastor
I felt and tasted his heart pains
The very ones he tries so hard to hide

In the sanctuary
Feeling and tasting the heart pains around me
I reached high in my worship to grab onto the Hand of God

My pastor spoke of the desperation in some
His words releasing a river of hearts
That streamed to the front

Tears rained on the altar
As the Heart of God
Drew us all with powerful tenderness
Deep into the wounded side of Christ

The programme for the morning
Out of preference for the Presence.

Moments of God's heart
And the hearts of His people

Then the long drive through the rain
To be with another heart
Heavied with sorrow and responsibilities
And yet lightened in hope

There was a stilled body
And although now an empty casing
One could see he had been a handsome man

Now freed
To limp and struggle no more
To dance and jump and laugh
And delight in Jesus
For all eternity

The hip replacement
Replaced by a
Heart replacement
In a moment
Of God's mercy and love

God writing straight
With the crooked lines of a life

As the rain continued to pour down
There were piercing moments of brilliant Son-shine
As my heart
And the heart of my friend

It rained on the drive home too
Inside and outside the car

Moments of Jesus' tears of intercession
Mingling with mine

It rained all night
Dawn birthed a new day

It is not raining today.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

middle of the night moments

The principle of exclusion
Identity or worth is achieved by excluding all but the chosen. The terrible price we pay for keeping all those other people out so that we can savor the sweetness of being insiders is a reduction of reality, a shrinkage of life.

Religion reduces the huge mysteries of God to the respectability of club rules, of shrinking the vast human community to a “membership”. But with God, there are no outsiders.

Christians are never alone before God: we are always united with other human beings, we are an integral part of one another, it is Love that binds us together. Love is a person. Love is God.

We hold each other’s heart, turn to one another and blend with each other in the heart of Christ.

Sadly we often allow unity to pass through our fingers while our hands are lifted in prayer.

Friday, October 21, 2005

cocoon moments

Today I have been thinking, feeling and seeing cocoons – with an acute awareness of the butterfly possibility within but feeling the ever tightening wrapping of the cocoon

Begins with a pupa – some are uglier than others, some are quite fascinating, some fat, some thin, some short, some long, some with hair and some without. Sort of like us?

The pupa crawls around for a season and then attaches itself to something –
And starts to wrap itself up, one strand at a time, until it is completely encased and no longer bears any resemblance to what it was – and can no longer move at all.

A new season arrives and a tiny little opening starts to appear at one end of this sarcophagus. Almost imperceptibly, this tiny little opening enlarges and when the time is right, something starts to emerge. This something also bears absolutely no resemblance to the pupa, the creator of the cocoon. It is a painful, slow emerging, one wriggle at a time, until the escape is complete and a damp, tightly folded multicolored something is seen. During the passing of moments a stretching and unfolding occurs – wings are identified, a body is evident, heads, eyes and colors that take your breath away – there is an acute awareness of the fragility of this thing of beauty – an elegant exquisiteness. Any touch at this moment, damages so intensly that death is the result. Eventually what we see and know as a butterfly shakes itself free of any cocoon residue and flies off, doing exactly what it was designed and created to do, in the shortness of the life it has been given.

And I have been thinking about myself–

Am I in danger of attaching myself to something only to eventually begin wrapping myself up, with strands of religion, legalism, deferred hope, shattered dreams, words given that have been broken, denominationalism, compromise, tolerance, rejection, fear of man (to name a few) – winding each strand around myself so slowly, so carefully that, although I am the wrapper, I am not even aware of the wrapping, until eventually I am completely encased, not recognizable and not able to see.

And then when the season changes and I dare to begin to emerge, will hands touch, trying to shape – or trying to quicken the emerging before the right time – and in this assisted emerging, I die.

I do not want to spend my life as a pupa not fully allowed to develop into what I was created to be.

I do not want to spend my life in a cocoon, wrapped in the dark, imprisoned.

I do not want to have hands shape me in their “assisting”

You see, I have been the pupa, I have barely existed in the cocoon and for very, very brief moments from time to time I have flown free in the shape and colors of my destiny.

But I do feel it all beginning again ……….

A pupa, being asked to attach myself to something ……..

Thursday, October 20, 2005

first and last moments

I have been thinking about the process of dying
and the process of birthing -

I have friends involved in both processes at the moment ..........

and it seems to me there are contractions involved in both
the contraction enabling arriving
and a contraction enabling leaving

it is no small feat to travel the birth canal
and enter the world

and it is no lesser a struggle
to step from the world
into eternity

the contraction enabling an entry
necessitates pain and hard work
and is it not the same,
the contraction of leaving -
there is pain and hard work for the one leaving
and pain and hard work for the ones left behind

hands are required
someone receives the newborn into their hands
Someone receives the born again into His hands

the hands receiving the newborn should be clean
the Hands receiving the born again must be pierced

the birth canal
the valley of death

life emerges from both
a "momentary" life
an eternal life

both these lives
involve Blood
a Cross
and a Death

the womb of our life
can become a tomb
filled with the death and stench of bitterness, offence and unforgiveness
or it can be a womb
filled with life
a life of peace, mercy, grace and joy.

and I know of tombs
that have again become wombs

we have that choice

and today
all I can do is pray
for both my friends
and give thanks
for the two processes
and the two lives
about to emerge

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

salty moments

it is raining today

In response to everything I had seen
I began to cry.
In the silence of God
My tears flowed
Until it seemed they filled the earth.
And I knew that Christ also cried.
Perhaps this crying was a deeper entry into His silence

In the depths of this silence
God opened the eyes of my heart.
The deep silence of God hovered over me
I was deep down in the silence of God.

In this great silence of God
When I could not pray with my lips
The words were pronounced by my heart.

Touching the sky and rooted deeply in this silence of God
Is a cross made out of wood.
The Son of God hung on this wood,
On this cross full of splinters.
On this cross God bleeds.

I lay down peacefully in a garden
And the Wind,
Which is part of God's silence,
Passed by whispering,
That was one of the tests
God tested you and did not find you wanting.

is it simply raining
or are the heavens crying
salting and softening the scars of the earth
with the tears of its Creator

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


why blog?

if someone else reads my thoughts
does that validate them?

if there is a truth for me
and someone else disagrees
does that make it no longer a truth?

is it important
that anyone else would read my wonderings

and if so,
to whom is it important -

to me?

and if so,

but for today at least
I will have two journals
one that I will reveal
and still
one that I will not.

and why is that?

re-gifting -

I have heard of this over the past few years
sort of makes sense
certainly brings a few laughs now and again

causes one to wonder 'tho about the giver
and their choosing of the gift
would there be pain in the rejection
and re-giving of their gift

there is one gift that cannot be re-given

the gift of a heart

can be accepted
treasured, valued
held close


can be broken
tossed away
trampled upon

but cannot be re-gifted

ask Jesus.

Monday, October 17, 2005

wondering moments

and I wonder
why am I doing this
what am I opening up
and who would care

and yet

I take a deep breath