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Nothing left to say

No one to impress

No fancy prayer to pray

or store to window dress

No arguments to make

or promises to claim

No property to stake

No stamping with His name

I’m surrendered here upon His open sea

Adrift in currents of His sovereignty

Yet tethered to the cosmic timeless One

He is the be-all and end-all’ to me

This Meadow

I played in this meadow

Watched the saplings sprout

Lay down in the grass and watched the sky swirl

suppressed a laugh as I

Waited for someone to come find me

I worked in this meadow

Watched the young tree grow

Lay down in the wheat and watched the dark clouds roll

expressed a sigh as I

Waited for someone to bring me water

I lie in this meadow

Beneath the mighty oak

Feel the push of invading roots and pine for the sky

suppressing my breath as I

Wait for the Son to call me out

This is my piece of earth

Borrowed for a short time

Him and Himalayas

Jesus

You melt the snow off my Himalayas

You take the pressure off the bottom of my sea

You fill my thin Martian air with oxygen

And you’re the breeze that blows through my Death Valley

Greek Salad Church

My wife picks out the olives in a Greek salad and gives them to me. I think we do that in church too. We pick out the pungent, flavorful, and potentially embarrassing things and eliminate them from our spiritual meal. We don’t employ the gifts of the Spirit, sing in the Spirit, get on our knees, pray aloud, preach about Hell or the Second Coming.

We have Greek salad without the Greek elements. We make noise. We have the crunch and our own choice of dressing. We’re in control of the ingredients. I’m not saying let’s get out of control with anchovies or jalapeños – like handling snakes or always needing to fall under the power.

But, dang – the crunch, crunch, crunch of the predictable!

Well, Paul did say, “In Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek,” so, I guess we’ll have to stick to the common Caesar salad, and “do as the Romans (all socially-acceptable churches) do.”

How about some purple onions! Hallelujah, brother! Did you feel that!

As geologists dig into the earth, they come across different strata of soil and rock. It seems in our attempt to revolutionize our society, we have dug down to an even lower stratum. Let me attempt to put them in descending order of their exposure and destruction:

civility is built upon

mutual respect, which is built upon

recognizing individual worth, which is built upon

equality, which is built upon

recognizing the innate rights of human, which is built upon

the belief that those rights come from God.

The bedrock of civilized society rests upon God.

When there is no recognition that our rights and basic worth as humans are innate and come from our Creator, then humans become the center of existence. They establish purpose, meaning, and administration of the world, essentially becoming the arbiters of life and death, work and even play.

Then society is taxed with the job of making everyone equal, and since they have no absolute standard, this task is one by the exertion of power. Whoever has the power, can enforce their will. Even when the goal of power, which ostensibly is to establish security and stability, has been accomplished, the exercise of power doesn’t end because giving up power is risky to the powerful.

So, can we get back the layers we have uncovered and disturbed? Not likely. It takes time to build a civil society, and an uncivil one is too busy trying either to survive or keeping others from doing so.

What if there were no moral prohibitions

And you could do what you wanted

No consequences, no risks, no secrets

Simply

Plowing headlong through barriers

Wallowing in sheer physical pleasure

Entertaining any and every fantasy

No self-government, no rule of any kind

Everything saccharine, frothy, sensational

Of course, nothing would get done either.

Self is a terrible master

and a very regretful slave.

Morning Glory

I’ve never seen a morning glory, tame

inside a garden or a picket fence

They’re rather deck the hills and lace the lanes

like virgins teasing wanderlusting men

Freedom Writ in Water

John Keats, an English poet, who died at the age of 26, asked that his epithet read:

“This man’s name was writ in water.”

Is our freedom, too, writ in water?

What exactly is freedom?

Freedom to live where we want, buy what we want, go where we want? No.

Freedom is in the soul, in the conscience, on the tip of the tongue.

Freedom is invisible. That means we can’t see when we have it, or when it’s gone.

We can, though, see its opposite: censorship, shout downs, clampdowns on writing, ideas, beliefs.

Restriction is seen in the streets, in the media, in the church.

Freedom is lost in the soul and the mind before it is lost in the streets and the marketplace.

It is lost in the psyche before it is lost in the public square.

We can write freedom in water, but it disappears forever.

Dream Come True

I dreamed I lived on some pastoral farm

We had some animals and painted barns

A bubbling stream where I could wade and fish

A sky of stars to look up at and wish

I dreamed I’d stroll in peace o’er grassy hills

And laugh as grandkids ran the Elysium fields

And treasure holidays with our three boys

and relish freedom from the city’s noise

What I failed to see was that life’s dream

was altogether different than it seemed

My most amazing fantasy is true

I had the dream of dreams, and it was you!

I’d live in a choking, busy concrete town

I’d live on watery coffee, rice, and beans

I’d live and sleep on cold and barren ground

But I’d never live without my greatest dream

More Than a Peeling

I clean lint out of the dryer

it’s tiny pieces of my clothing after drying them

I clean the ring around the tub

it’s tiny pieces of me that I lose after a bath

I pull the calendar month off the wall after it’s over

It’s tiny pieces of mortality I lose after spending my time

Now I can read a newspaper through my thin towels

I can read my veins through my thin skin

I can read eternity through the thin calendar pages

It’s my disappearing act

So when my clothes, my body, and my life is gone

I’ll truly be

more than a peeling.