Wednesday, August 30, 2006

washing moment

on Tuesday
uncovered my feet
at the time
I did not fully understand
and even now
am only able to catch a tiny glimpse

this morning
in the street clinic
where it is my deep privilege
to wash
the feet
of my friends
who find themselves
living outside of all walls

these beautiful ones
who have so captured my heart
had quietly arranged
their own agenda

they came together
in all their finery
gloriously colored, spiked and wild hair
nails polished maroon

they came together
in their desire
to wash
the feet
of the one who had come to do the washing

when I asked why
there was a wish to do this
they answered
that they had learned
while having their feet washed
that it is the very best way
to tell someone you love them

so they gathered
on the floor
at my uncovered feet
and as they washed
they allowed me to lay my hand on each head
and quietly speak the Name of Jesus

and I learned
it is immeasurably more difficult
to be washed
than to wash

but I also learned
that this was necessary
to dismantle any remaining wall

there is now no more
me and you

and I felt
the heart of Jesus
as these broken reeds
these lost lambs
these tender shoots
the washer

be still moment

my pain
this deep agony in my soul
has someone else's name on it
who am I
but a fading flower
a breath in the breeze
a wave upon the ocean
who am I
that the One whose voice calmed the sea
would call out through the rain
and calm the storm within me

Monday, August 28, 2006

church? moments

during the last five days
I have spent time with the following:

a woman who believes the seven books that she has written during the last few years are in fact the seven scrolls mentioned in Revelation
that she is the birth mother of the church that is to come

another woman who believes she is a direct descendent of David and is being urgently called to Israel as its prophet

another couple who believe they are the two witnesses described in Revelation

I have not been spacing out on some fringe planet: all the above people are presently within the church

this morning I had breakfast with a gentle unassuming shepherd who literally walks the floors at night weeping for the sheep who have been placed in his pasture

in the heart of the whirlwind there is quiet

Friday, August 25, 2006

word moment

and what about those
who read the words of God
every day for a lifetime
and yet
never know
the Word
of God

cost moment

salvation is free
discipleship costs you everything

unfolding moment

what would it be like if we lived each day
each breath
as a work of art in progress
a masterpiece unfolding every second of every day
a work of art taking form with every breath

awe is the breath of our soul
and wonder guides our journey

our world overflows our narrow measurements
and begins revealing the dimensions of our God

Thursday, August 24, 2006

hand moment

I have been pondering over the last few days
the story of the man with the crippled hand

this story is found in three of the gospels
with only Luke mentioning the fact
that it was a right hand that was crippled
perhaps Luke noted that with his physician's eyes

in any case
some things I have noted

this all took place in the synagogue
on the Sabbath
in the midst of pharisees

there was a man
whose hand was deformed or crippled in some manner
we are not told if this had been since birth
or was due to an accident
or an illness

in that time
a deformity of any sort
was a source of shame
and this man
would have been very very careful
to always keep his shame a secret
hidden in the folds of his robes

suddenly there is Jesus

asks this man
to stand up so that everyone can easily see him
to stand up in the midst of the pharisees
to stand up in the synagogue
to stand up on the Sabbath

asks him to hold out his hand

did not say which hand
giving this man the choice
of holding out his good hand
his perfect hand
for all to see


holding out his crippled hand
exposing his source of shame
in the midst of the pharisees
in the synagogue
on the Sabbath

and this man
to be healed
to be freed of shame

and what would my response be
if Jesus
asked me to stand up
in the midst of the pharisees
in the sanctuary
on the Sabbath

and expose my crippled hand

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

trust moment

when God calls
and man says no
is it fear of man
or lack of trust in God
that causes a hesitation
a stopping
I believe
help me in my ............
lack of trust

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

communicating moment

The single biggest problem in communication
is the illusion that it has taken place

George Bernard Shaw

Friday, August 18, 2006

calling moment

I can hear you softly calling
I can hear you call my name
so tenderly
You call me Your beloved
and I am changed
as I hear you say
come walk with Me
in the cool of the day
come talk with Me
let My love enfold you
we will walk hand in hand
through the garden
come away
in the cool of the day
if you listen very carefully
you can hear the angels singing
come, come away
Scott Brenner

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

coming moments

geese are flying overhead
the leaves of the Maple are changing their color

the winds of fall
will soon erase
the footprints
of summer

one moment

I had a set schedule yesterday of preparing foods, large quantities, for a upcoming gathering of ministry leaders this weekend
When starting to cut and chop suddenly God ambushed me, causing me to see how what I was doing related to the body of Christ
All these different colors, shapes, sizes, aromas, flavors – each one in itself beautiful, providing nourishment

I noted the exact positioning of the seeds deep inside and how there appeared to be tears when the womb was opened preventing the seeds from releasing the life within them

Once chopped up, all these pieces were thrown into the pot – although the pot was very full, each piece remained separate from one another – each color separate, each flavor separate, each aroma separate, the nourishment provided from each piece separated from the piece next to it

It is only when the heat was turned on that each piece softened, that the edges, the walls, of each piece started to break down.
And after that, it was necessary that everything be blended together, a grinding process until I could see anything individual, only the whole

And the color of the whole was made up of each piece
And the flavor of the whole was made up of each piece
And the aroma of the whole was made up of each piece
And the nourishment from the whole was made of each piece

And then the leftovers, the cores, the skins, the stems, the seeds – there was a choice to throw them into the garbage or throw them into the recycle bin so that in their dying they will provide life

And how this is all like the body of Christ
We each are a piece
With a flavor
With a color
With an aroma
Able to provide nourishment

And how we resist the heat that is necessary to soften, to break down our walls
And how we fight against the grinding process, the rubbing against one another, the blending with one another
And how quickly we cut and dice and then throw one another away

And how Jesus so desires that we be one, that we meld with one another, that we give of ourselves to one another to provide nourishment for the hungry, that we be the bread for those who have no bread.

The aroma is in my kitchen but there is a passionate longing in me to experience that aroma outside all walls

neighbour moment

we become neighbours
when we are willing to cross the road
for one another

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

dawn moment

your Lord
will turn your bitter tears to sweet perfume
mend your broken heart
pour warm, fragrant oil into the deep wound
My heart is fused with your heart
in your grief I am one with you
I will fill the vacant place
My arms will hold you and you will not fall
My grace will sustain you and you will not faint
My joy will fortify your spirit
My smile will dispel the shadows and My voice will speak courage
I will keep you and you will not know fear
your feet will rest on the threshold of heaven and I will hide you in My pavilion
you will have My constant care
I will not leave you for a moment
I will keep you from despair and deliver you from confusion
by your light others shall be led out of the valley
by your courage the weak will be lifted up
do not look back
keep your face toward the sunrise
for I will rise fresh daily in your soul with healing in My wings
never stifle the cry in your heart; I put it there
My joy springs forth most abundantly in souls that have been soaked in tears
the tears of devotion and longing for Me
My grace will be poured out like a tumbling waterfall
you will wear My love like a cloak
and I will whisper My words in your ears

Monday, August 14, 2006

journey moments

the destination is in the journey
we are not conditioned for this type of journey
and can only water the road with our tears

we need to desire to journey well
bringing honor and glory to Jesus

too many do not live in the present moment
either looking ahead
or looking behind
instead of finding God in the present moment

there is a place in Jesus
where the past and the future leave us
the meaning of our lives emerges
in the surrender of ourselves
to an adventure of becoming
who we are not yet
the sucking sea tugs at my feet
the cold cry of the seagulls
waves steal the footprints of summer from the sand
beneath the silver moon

the stillness of the stones
the sea polished stones
welcome me as I wade ashore

an unseen Hand
places communion bread on my tongue
and peace seeps into my soul

and He will hold out His hands to us
and we shall fall down before Him
and we shall weep
and we shall understand all things
then we shall understand all
and all will understand

Lord, thy kingdom come

Saturday, August 12, 2006

this moment

loving is not something that I do
rather it is something to become
and becoming that
I become a little more of who I am

all that matters is what you love
and what you love is who you are
and who you are is where you are
and where you are is where you will be when death takes you across the river
you can't avoid the journey but you can wake up now
and see where you've been
and where you are going

love is the willingness to give up a part of yourself you think you know
to discover a part of yourself you never knew existed

when you love
you complete a circle
when you die
the circle remains

if you listen to the smallest flower growing from a crack in your heart
you will hear a great song
you will feel it touching you
around you
embracing you with light

move outside
where you can feel rain
and sun
and wind
where you can begin to climb the tree that is growing in your heart

Friday, August 11, 2006

Friday moments

life can become a bow whose string is broken
and from which no arrow can fly

when everything is being crushed out of you
sing and match each note with a tear
drown in the sorrow of the song
and in the song of the sorrow

a living cathedral
dedicated to God’s glory

peace moment

Ultimately, we have just one moral duty;
to reclaim large areas of peace in ourselves,
more and more peace,
and to reflect it onwards to others.
And the more peace there is in us,
the more peace there will also be in our troubled world.
Etty Hillesum

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Thursday moments

after spending last evening worshiping with friends
today was spent in prayer with one of God's chosen and anointed shepherds

the cries were deeply sad
and somewhat reflective

and I suspect
if the truth was told
not all that unique


how did my relationship with You become a job

I was there once
now how do I get back there
responsibilities, people, worries
what do I do with all that
You are all I want
all I ever needed
is that true?
if so, how have You turned into a job

what is my bread for this day
how often have I not recognized my bread
how often have I not tasted my daily bread
because my mouth was filled with junk food

how often am I not desirous of my daily bread
but rather seek bread for tomorrow
for all my tomorrows
how often am I not accepting of my daily bread
because I wish or have a taste for something else

how many times do I not recognize my daily bread
because I have asked for what I want
what I am desirous of
and thus do not recognize what You have provided

my wants are greater than accepting the needs You have provided

how do I lift my eyes from the snakes seen in the midst of the people

Jesus, what would it look like if we allowed You to do what You wish to do
what might You do if we invited You to have Your way with us
what would it sound like if we allowed You to speak

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

simple moments

I ran
in the rain
and the wind
and the mud
until I could only sit down
vaguely aware of clinging to the nail scarred hand

early in the morning
in a cabin buried deep in the woods
I came out of hiding
and ran home
into the arms of Father

esse quam videri
to be rather than seem to be

what if I discover that I myself
am the enemy
who must be loved

the opinions of others
exert a subtle but controlling pressure
on the words I speak
and the words I stuff
the fear of ridicule
the enervating fear of our peers
can create an appalling mediocrity

I look at my life
and see how I have filled its emptiness with people
as a result
they have a stranglehold on me

it is necessary to wrestle with God
to find my identity

there is a simple sacredness to life
when I sink down
into the centre of my soul
grow still
listening to Abba's heart beat
while God holds me silently against His heart

Monday, August 07, 2006

Friday, August 04, 2006

more manna moments

the hour when evening closes the land for prayer

God walks with us through all our memories
until they become a peaceable kingdom

heaven: the never ending unlocking of the inner chambers of God

certain wounds of the spirit never close

and He will hold out his hands to us
and we shall fall down before Him
and we shall weep
and we shall understand all things
then we shall understand all
and all will understand
Lord, thy kingdom come

we should enter everyone’s situation: to understand all is to forgive all.

behind all the words we use about God lies a mysterious reality that we cannot name

we need to have our complacency disrupted

unwavering trust demands a degree of courage that borders on the heroic

do not seek clarity: seek trust

Jesus looks not for medals, diplomas or honors, but for scars

the moment you press your ear against Christ's heart
you hear Abba’s foot steps in the distance

show Me to those who have seen Me and to those who have been near but are afraid

we have taken Christianity from the city and imprisoned it behind altar rails

our love is a need
His is a gift

the meaning of our lives emerges in the surrender of ourselves
to an adventure of becoming who we are not yet

humility is stark raving honesty

our own worst enemy is always ourself
and Jesus has told us to love our enemy
to make the enemy our friend

the call of Jesus is to stand utterly alone
when the only alternative is to cut a deal at the price of one’s integrity
an often heroic act of love

we all are the happy combination of mysterious dignity
and pompous dust

when being is divorced from doing
pious thoughts become an adequate substitute for washing dirty feet

listen to the Rabbi’s heart beat
God is love
Jesus is God
if Jesus ceased loving
He would cease being God

manna moments

I have been spending many moments in the poustinia this season
well nourished by the manna
that is new every morning

your task is simple, walk with Me
retrace the steps down the cobbled road of your life
let Me refresh the weariness of your defeated days

return where you come from changed
no longer at ease as you were before

bend down low sad daughter
bend down and drink
I am the water of the well

My pulpit is a hillside
My congregation a woman at a well

so many die
before they learn to live

in every man there lies a zone of solitude
that no human intimacy can fill
it is there one encounters God

one is always looking
perhaps finding is simply looking further

to large groups of people
Christianity has become synonymous with a temple service
and that is precisely why other large groups of people
decline to touch it

faith is the courage to accept acceptance
live in the wisdom of accepted tenderness

fall into God
trust in Him in the midst of my life
into His heart I entrust my heart

the way of trust
is a movement into obscurity
waiting for God to act
in the desert of the moment

whisper a doxology in the darkness

only the love of Someone
who has drunk the dregs
of my cup of pain
is believable

the sheer gratuity of grace
rustles like refreshing rain
on the parched ground of pharasaical piety

Jesus Christ - the unsetting Son

the voice of God
causes the lands of the desert to rejoice

it is hard to be silent
it is hard to stop and know God in the quiet
but it is there I get my peace
to come through whatever hits me

the Voice somewhere deep down whispers
all is well and all will be well

hear the sounds of the trumpets
and the ringing of the bells
go where I go
out into the world of lonely people

all the unspoken words of affection
may never be spoken
if you do not speak them today

I am held silently against the heart of God