Friday, March 30, 2007

thirst moment

who is this man Jesus
who cries

I thirst

this one who offers living water
that we would never thirst again

and who now cries

I thirst

this one who weeps

this one who groans

this one who bleeds

and cries

I thirst

these two words
echoing through the ages


Thursday, March 29, 2007

scott's moment

I have a friend
his name is Scott
he lives on the other side of the mountains
he plays in a band
he pastors in a pub
he is on a journey
below are his words from yesterday's travels

we are a people desperately in need of grace. few of us are not keenly aware of our own shortcomings. you probably don't need to tell me mine, i have a list longer than you have. we don't need to be excused of our personal evil, that we need to repent of. but what we need is grace. we need unconditional love in spite of who we are, not because of what we do. we need to be forgiven, even when we don't know how to ask. we need grace. grace is not something i can earn. not something i deserve. i thank god he does not treat me like i deserve, because i deserve hell. he treats me like i want to treat others. there are those out there who are hell bent on retribution. most of them are christians. i myself have lived like that, in days past. but the cost is too high. the bitterness slowly eats away like a cancer and rapes us of our joy. and i'm tired of it.
i'm tired of hating.
i'm tired of wanting revenge.
i'm tired of living in the past.
i'm tired of hanging on to the hate.
i too need grace.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

crocus moment

when we have the privilege of hearing the truth of someone's experience
then we are more likely to really see the bold spring crocus

it is the sacredness of this moment that is the key to freedom

one cannot force the flower to bloom any faster than it will
we can only express gratitude for the beauty that unfolds

some tend to do away with things that are slightly damaged
often people too are treated this way
when we dismiss people because of their apparent woundedness
we stunt their lives by ignoring their gifts
which are often buried in their wounds

we all are bruised reeds
whether our bruises are visible or not

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

crystallized moment

when wounded
we bend in the direction
of our wounding
and can crystallize there

once crystallized
we are only able to love
with caution
until we forgive

our release comes through our desire to be like Christ

Francis Frangipane

Bocca moment

introduced to Bocca Sunday afternoon
a man from Chad
a Christian
raised and taught in the midst of Arabs
immersed in the muslim culture

granted a scholarship
attended seminary in the US

won all sorts of awards
had all sorts of offers

mega churches
mega salary
typical US lifestyle
big house

chose to return home
to Chad
to be with his people
and tell them of this man Jesus

no salary
no big church


when asked how he is
he answered

my pockets are empty
but my heart is very full

this is one who takes off his shoes
because he sees a burning bush

Monday, March 26, 2007

do we really want to see the truth more clearly
the truth of the world
the truth of ourselves

for once we see
then we must face the responsibility
for what we have seen

Jesus has many lovers of his heavenly kingdom
but few bearers of His cross

many follow Him to the breaking of bread
but few to the drinking of His cup

God chose to embrace the cross as a man

what kind of love is this
that says

today ..........

with Me

Jesus opens the door to the garden of God's Presence
where we live in the warmth of His embrace
linger in the light of His kindness
abide in the hollow of His heart

let me never settle for less
than the simplicity of this

Sunday, March 25, 2007

remembering moments

on site
mostly out of sight
since last Thursday

850 gentle men
all sizes, shapes, colors
and ages

some came eagerly
others gently pulled through the doors by caring friends

the warm smiles of the volunteers

the vibrant depth of the worship
that soared
and floated
and quietly bathed

the humble hearts of those speaking
one by one coming for prayer
these men
giants in their field
with tears pouring down their cheeks
the sincerity of their thank you

the brilliance of their smiles
when returning after their session
their bone crushing hugs

the ones who now and again slipped through the door
simply wishing to sit
with one who was praying

83 of these gentle men
someone's son
someone's dad
someone's brother
someone's husband
someone's father
decided to surrender
and accept
the gift
offered to them by pierced hands

the stories
so many stories
I will never ever forget the stories

and so
since Thursday night
it has simply been
a ministry of presence
and a keeper of stories

Friday, March 23, 2007

awe moment

when Jesus visits
some stare but are blind
some know and are ignorant
but occasionally
one sees in holy wonder

such was the case on Thursday
60 some shepherds
around the table
everyone heard
but only a few saw

Thursday, March 22, 2007

journey moment

On the Journey to Having a Heart of Flesh

I experience my heart of flesh
as both limited and unbound.
This perception may be an indication of personal integration and maturity;
I am sure it is also due to increased openness to the other
and the mysterium of life.
Like every other person,
I have physical,
and emotional limitations.
My almost-sixty-five-year-old heart of flesh
puts limits on the activities I can do.
To push beyond these very real limits
is to choose adolescence over adulthood.
And yet,
within my heart of flesh
there now resides an unbound spirit of optimism,
and spiritual hunger.
Some of my heart's chambers, formerly closed -
probably because of fear and no small amount of personal doubt -
are now open and almost demanding nourishment.
My heart of flesh is reminding me -
daily -
that I have a finite time in this earthly realm
and that God
and those who truly love me
want me,
for my own sake,
to live more fully.
Judaism teaches me that after death I will be asked:
"Why didn't you live more fully and intentionally?
Why were you not more you?"
I have reached a stage of life in which I am giving to others
from a heart of wisdom;
yet I see myself not as wise
but as enlightened by those
who have walked hand in hand with me on this journey.
Physical limitations have encouraged me
to enhance other modes of sense and self
the way a blind person sharpens her senses of hearing and touch.
Some of the vessels within my heart of flesh are worn and tattered.
But they have developed new offshoots
and are enriching my life at every moment.
Where blood no longer flows,
God's spirit now oxygenates and liberates.

Rabbi Albert M Lewis

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

wednesday moment

and so the challenge

to love
to lay down my life for my brother

and when my brother
is my enemy (hostile, unfriendly, antagonistic, opponent)

to still love
and lay down my life

somewhat easier
although still a challenging choice
to love from a distance

but God
being God
has asked this to be a close up love
a close up laying down my life

sometimes the enemy posture is not obvious
just a rumbling in your gut that something is amiss
the odd little word
an awkward prayer
a look
a gesture

then suddenly
what was hidden is exposed
a betrayal
a broken promise

and we
am called to love this one
to be willing to lay my life down
for this one
who means me harm
this hostile force

I have come to realize my struggle in this
is all centered around whether or not
I absolutely trust the One who asks this of me
this One who has already laid down His life for me
when I was yet His enemy

I must learn to die well
in this loving of my brother

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

silent moment

like Samuel
we need to learn how to hear
in the making of me
the element of silence is immense
either God gives us words
or we merely give an opinion
our speaking
must come out of our listening
what we say
must come out of what we hear
there is a silence so vast
it has a life of its own
it is not the absence of sounds
but rather the presence of something very old
very still
very watchful

Tuesday moment

But now for a brief moment
grace has been shown from the Lord our God
to leave us an escaped remnant
and to give us a position in His holy place
that our God may open our eyes
and give us a little reviving
to raise up the House of our God
and to restore its ruins
Ezra 9:8-9

Monday, March 19, 2007

Sunday moment

gathered around communion last evening
a question arose
when did the confines of our imprisonment
become so comfortably familiar
that we no longer desire
to choose freedom

and is not reaching for the abundant life
rejecting what communion is all about

and if so
what does that say about our relationship
with the One who desires to commune with us

the glory of God
is the human person
fully alive

human beings are a mixture of the presence of God
and the absence of God
Jean Vanier

we create through our choices

the images of possibilities as carved in stone and rock
hidden forever
under the sea
unless our choices call them into being
until they become visible
become reality

it is not so important as to what you achieve
as to what kind of human being you are becoming
while you seek to achieve
Jack Frost

Sunday, March 18, 2007

friend moment

being with a friend in great pain is not easy

not knowing what to do or say
makes us uncomfortable

it is enough to hear in words
with touch
or with loving silence
I am your friend
I am happy to be with you

a short time fully present
is much better than a long time
filled with noise of why we are too busy to come more often

Saturday, March 17, 2007

missing moment

there was a moment
37 or so years ago
when another woman's baby
was placed in her arms
to hold
care for

she knew he would only be in her arms for three months
but even so
it was impossible to hold back
and she gave her whole heart

too soon her heart was heavy
and her arms empty

the birth of her babies
one by one
filled her again

her heart enlarged now
she simply had more to give

then her grandbabies
one by one
were placed in these same arms

and the love flowed
like a waterfall
from a place deep within

and yet
through all the moments
of all these years
there is the missing
of the one who is absent

not a day goes by
without a wondering
about this baby
long ago grown into a boy
and now a man

is he well
is he happy
is he fulfilled

is he loved
is he loving

as an unexpected gift
seven years ago
another mother's son
was placed this time not in her arms
but in her heart

this son
a gentle man
a husband
and a father

each one for a season

and again
each day
of each week
of each month
of each year
will bring a moment
of wondering
of missing
of the two


never easy

Monday, March 12, 2007

burning moment

during worship yesterday
a prayer was whispered

may we become the song we sing

I have been pondering this ever since
in the awareness
that worship means
to draw close
to kiss

and it is a kiss
that symbolizes
the greatest betrayal in scripture

we so easily sing
allowing astounding words
to fall from our lips


if we do not truly mean
the words we sing

does our worship
burn the face of Jesus
like Judas' kiss

Saturday, March 10, 2007

measure moment

ancora imparo

the measure of love

is to love

without measure

I am still learning

Friday, March 09, 2007

remembering moment

I just received a call from California
to tell me that a wonderful giant of a man of God
has slipped from the hands of his family
into the pierced hands of the One he so loved

Jack Frost
gathered unto the fathers

we only spent a handful of moments together
but those moments
changed the course of my life

the seeds of those moments
planted hope in places of my heart
that were arid and dry
places where I did not think anything would ever grow again

I give thanks
for the life of this man

54 years on soil and sea

forever now with God

communion moment

last evening was spent with a special friend
a gentle man
of humble spirit
who hides in his own nothingness
knowing how to abandon himself to God

real greatness is often hidden
and unobtrusive

my friend wrote music
for words I had recently put on paper
thus setting the words free
allowing them to dance
giving them color
and shape

we shared communion together
giving deep thought
and careful words
to the making of communion

fine flour is made by the crushing of the individual grains
fine wine is made by the crushing of the cluster
fine music is often made by the crushing of a past life

song moment

there is a song going on within us
a song to which we need to listen
it fills us with surprise
we marvel at it.…
we would continue to hear it.…
but few are capable of holding themselves in the state of listening to their song.…
intellectuality steps in
and as the song within us is of the utmost sensitiveness
it retires in the presence of the cold
material intellect.…
yet we live in the memory of these songs

even the days
when the memory is as hard to grasp
as the shadow of the wind

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

quiet moments

people who don't sit quietly
at the end of the day
and think of all its moments
are like people
who come home from a trip
and never unpack their bags

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

still moments

the last three months have been a blur of activity
good activity
but an awful lot of it

and I have a passionate thirst
a smudge of a memory
an ache hard on my heart

a deepening need
to pass through a day
without passing it by

taking time to watch
the slow dance of dust in the sun

the contemplative in me
almost strangled
but still alive
craves the quiet of the now
and I am longing to touch
the seamless garment of silence

to enter a place of stillness
letting out noises become a distant hum
and listen not with my ears
but with my heart

Monday, March 05, 2007

wail moment

wail, my soul, wail
cry to the Lord for His church
wail, my soul, wail
for the church is in pain
she lies in the dust of a thousand roads
no one stops
the Good Samaritan is not seen
at the bend of those roads yet

shadow moment

my arms last evening held a five week old
newly birthed
this morning an 89 year-old
readying to die
and I am struck by the preciousness
the brevity of life
the dash between born and died
the foot prints left behind
the touch that yet lingers
the sound
the fragrance
the shadow of what once was
a vapor
a mist
as I lit a candle
while praying for my friend
I saw its shadow
and I pray
the glowing shadow of my heart
will long be seen
and felt
and touched
when I reach the other side of the dash

Friday, March 02, 2007

believe moment

I still believe in the church
where sinful men are helped by sinful men

I believe in an authority
that stoops to wash a poor man's feet

I believe in a banquet
where sinners learn to love
eating in company with their God

I believe in man
fashioned in mystery by God

I believe in a joy
that no threat of man can take away

I believe in a peace
that I know in moments
and seek with boldness

I believe in a life that lingers after this
a life fashioned by God for His friends

I believe in understanding
in forgiveness
in mercy
in faith

I believe in friendship

I believe in eternity
and the hope it affords

I believe in God
Who is good

I believe in Christ
who is the light in the story

I believe in the Spirit
Who brings chaos into order

I believe in the God of Abraham
and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ

Thursday, March 01, 2007

stuck moment

I am stuck in a moment
that I do not know what to do with
and so
by releasing it into the never never land of blogging
I will become unstuck

it is sort of weird I confess


there were moments
when I felt so absolutely

that I actually did not know what to do with them

and so
have remained stuck
in the wonder of them

maybe I should not even try to become unstuck

but that might preclude me from experiencing
moments like those ever again

and so I sit here
at my keyboard
loosing those moments
through the tips of my fingers
onto the keys

but the wonder of it all remains
like a soft rainbow cloud
around my heart

maybe being stuck
is not so bad .......

horse moments

some days are good
and I can stretch out into them
like a wild horse
loosed from its tethering
thundering across an open plain

some days I'm more like a wild horse
backed into a stall

door moment

the prayer of quiet

the greatest dream a heart can hold
is to be a keeper of the door
a servant in the house

so many blind ones
with outstretched grasping hands
feeling for a door
knowing there must be a door
yet never finding it
so I stand by the door
ready to take hold of one of those blind grasping hands

people die outside the door
others live on the other side of it
because they found it
opened it
walked in
and found Him
so I stand by the door

there is a need too
to watch for those who are frightened
by what they see and hear inside
and would like to run away
for them too
I stand by the door

if I should go in too deeply
and stay in too long
I might forget the people outside the door

thus my place
near enough to God to hear Him
and know He is there
but not so far from others
so as not to hear them
and remember they are there too

so I stand by the door
a servant in the house