I have always had a hard time sticking to things.
And yet I have published here
Over 200 days straight.
And I am holding my feet to the fire
When it comes to the story I am working on:
One project - one thing at a time.
And the goal is to finish by the end of the quarter:
One more month.
And I keep at it day after day.
Yet I am tempted to work on other things.
But I must finish one thing before I start another.
I think that is the key.
I lay down my life.
But what does that mean?
I don’t know. Or perhaps I do.
That I let go of all that I had hoped…again…
Which is all that He has promised,
At least my hope of receiving it in this world.
And in that, He says, there is hope
That it will surely come
When I am gone.
What a surprise?
And I feel it in my chest.
The promise that I haven’t long.
And so I baby this old frame. I treat it gently
With the hope that I can get it all down before I go.
Work, work, work.
Writing down the words
That are etched upon this flesh.
And I hear the sound ring out from the unseen place.
I hear the call of Him whom I serve.
“Work, work,” he says,
“Waste out what’s left of your life
And let me be the thing that you desire.”
Put the knife away, I say.
Put the knife away.
Go back home
And humbly pray
For faith to win the day.
There is no battle left to win
No struggle yet untried
Except the battle in man’s heart
To grapple with the lie,
The lie that we inherited
From fathers brave and true,
Fathers who believed that they
Could make the choice for you,
Who hoped that if they gave their lives
That they could make us free.
But don’t you see, nobody’s free,
Not in the way you think.
Because it doesn’t come that way.
And yet, there's One,
A hallowed Son
The Man of Liberty.
He did not fight to save his life
Yet set the captives free.
And we must fight
To be like Him.
To turn the other cheek.
We must fight to own the right
To walk among the meek.
Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven… Matthew 5: 38-45
For those who beat their swords into plowshares,
There is no need for Christ to appear in the sky.
He has already appeared within their heart.
Their thousand years of peace
Have already begun.
I have found that most of the time
People don’t know what they are angry about.
For that reason, it is better not to be angry.
It is better to choose peace.
Anger leads to war
And there are few
Who do not choose war
When the fires of rhetoric are kindled
And billowed by the machine.
And anyone who has harbored anger is at risk
No matter how righteous their cause appears.
You don’t even know yourself until then.
But if you could see ahead
To what you might become,
You might forsake your anger before it’s too late.
I don’t know what to write about today.
Perhaps I could write about the mountains.
There is no good or bad there, just beauty.
And that, it seems, is good.
Perhaps that is why people have written about nature.
In nature, there is a rest for the human mind.
It is a place where we can forget
About our endless pursuit of goodness
And about our inability to find it.
In nature, in beauty, there is mercy
If you can calm the mind enough to find it.
And that’s the best I have to offer today
An escape into the mountains,
A romp amidst their mercy.
An escape from endless thinking.
God bless you all.
When it comes to diet I am not a purist.
But there is still a part of me
That believes that I should be,
That I should remain unspotted
From all that defiles the belly.
And to be honest,
I really wonder if that part of me is right.
I wonder if I would be healthier if I could eat “right” 100% of the time.
But it can also be confusing.
For one thing, I haven’t always had the means to eat just right.
I haven’t always had a choice.
And those times are actually easier.
You eat what God places in front of you
And trust that He will preserve your life
If He intends it to be preserved.
It is much harder when you have the means to make a choice.
Then you have to do your best to be “good”.
But as in all things, there is a balance.
And too much “good”, I’ve found,
Isn’t good for me.
I’ve found that there is an untamed part within
That, if I try to eat too pure,
Will sabotage my efforts.
And so, I do my best.
I strive toward the goal of health.
But I also let myself partake in things,
Now and then, purely for the sake of comfort.
And I shun the shame that would well up and say it’s not alright.
And this seems to keep the animal part of me at bay.
It keeps the hungry monster from lashing out and taking over.
And so strangely, I eat better by not trying to be perfect.
I believe that I have found the pavilion that covereth His hiding place.
Or at least, I have found a few of the principles that define that place.
Not surprisingly, it lies on the outskirts of the culture.
Surprisingly, it moves and you must move with it.
But it is real. I have felt the shade of its sheltering canopy.
And I have also felt that shade move in an instant
And known that it was time to move on.
Scripture is the Word of God.
And God speaks to those that listen.
Few listen, but those who do
Have heard no less than scripture.
They have heard the very Word of God.
And that Word is no less binding upon them
Than what we have canonized as scripture,
Perhaps more binding, for it is God’s very word to them.
It is personal. And it is incumbent upon them to heed and to obey.
And if they obey God’s Word to them,
If they treasure their personal scripture
More than all the world,
Then God will speak again,
And again, and again, and again.
And His Word will spring up inside them,
A spring of living water welling up to eternal life.
But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. John 4:14
It seems that the only true refuge is in peace itself.
We can choose to be at peace with what is.
And that kind of living, peaceful living, I think, is the answer.
When the glory of this world is revealed,
It will pass away.
And as it does,
A new and higher world will come.
There is peace in the low valley
That cannot be found upon the gilded hills
There are two worlds.
But to the untrained eye,
The inhabitants of each walk side by side.
The first world is the ordinary world.
Its constituents conform to societal norms.
They walk in time to the beat of the loudest drum.
And they are motivated by the desire for personal profit.
Like I said, it’s the ordinary world,
Ordinary people wanting ordinary things
And doing what they have to do to get those things.
And then there is the other world.
For now, the other world is relegated to the outskirts
Because they do not conform to societal norms.
They bend themselves to the will of a still small voice
That whispers out of the heavenly realm.
They are motivated, not by personal profit,
But by the desire for otherworldly gains.
But soon the balance will tip the other way
When the cost of ordinary becomes to high
And the returns become too low.
Ruin, in short.
Ruin will tip the scales.
But some will hold onto the ordinary world until the end.
They will cling to the rails even as the ship goes down.
I shirk to think of it.
Nothing is for certain.
And nothing is permanent.
I have no idea what the future holds.
Sometimes, I think in terms of preserving what I have,
Not in the maintenance way that is useful
But in the worried way that is not useful.
And I have to let it go and trust.
I am better than I once was.
I am more filled with faith.
But I am not perfect.
Nothing to say today.
But in the white and grey of the clouds upon the distant horizon
And in the familiar mountains that shelter my little valley,
And the green and yellow of the leaves
And the feel of the grass beneath my bare feet,
In all of these is my childhood.
And I am going back to those days
When I was too young to have opinions.
Lone windy peaks rising from the ocean’s shore
Windswept and lonesome - perfect.
Their breath pours over me
And heals my battered soul.
And the ocean lap, lap, laps upon our feet
Cooling the sunbaked rocks,
Reminding us to love each other
Even when we have no reason to do so.
The gift of money is the gift of choice.
Poverty and deprivation are a lack of choice.
And wealth is the abundance of choice.
We cast our votes for who should have more choices
By where we put our money.
This makes me desire to give more
To those who make my life so rich.
A fast of forty days,
A withdrawal from the world,
Wanting to go deeper into the unseen realm,
Deeper into peace, gratitude, and trust.
Very little comfort food, if any.
No messages, no dogmas,
No words except His
And most of all
To fast from thinking,
To fast from trying to figure anything out.
Only to listen and draw close to the source,
To let Him be my counselor, my provider, my everything.
I am so tired of trying to figure things out.
I have stared into the heavens wide eyed
Until my eyes have nearly burned out of their sockets.
And it is more than my mortal mind can comprehend.
I surrender to not knowing.
How sweet to return to simple obedience,
To move forward acknowledging that I don't have all the answers,
But listening intently for the whispers of Him who does.
I can tell when a section of writing is almost done
Because I stop paying attention.
I'll read an entire section
And then realize that I've been thinking of something else.
Before that things stick out and keep me alert,
And thinking about what's wrong.
So when I begin to get bored, it's almost ready.
Isn't that funny?
What if, when we moved, we left everything but us?
Think of all of the moving expenses we'd save, and all the time.
And when we arrived at our destination, the house would be furnished.
And when someone moved into our old house, it would be furnished.
What a joy! What a surprise! What an adventure!
It would not be perfect.
You might have to replace a lumpy mattress
Or a can opener because you don't like that kind.
But what peace! To know that every house is furnished!
And what if, instead of planting crops to our increase, we left before the harvest?
And what if everywhere we went we found the ripening crops of others?
Then we would sow where we don't reap,
And reap where we don't sow,
And we would not complain
Because we would be in good company,
And all would be provided by an unseen hand.
John 4:36 "...Already the reaper draws his wages and gathers a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may rejoice together. For in this case the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. I sent you to reap what you have not worked for; others have done the hard work, and now you have taken up their labor.”
We are fathers, mothers,
To those that are ours
Even if they're not.
And God knows just who
And so do we if we listen.
The kingdom coming is an unseen kingdom.
It approaches with clouds for a covering.
In other words, you just can't see it.
But you can feel it if you want to.
If you're quiet. If you listen.
If you feel after it.
And if you do,
You can enter into the unseen place.
You can be wrapped up within the cloud,
Covered by the pavilion that covereth His hiding place.
And there you will learn a new law,
A new way of being.
This is how His kingdom comes.
And eventually, the world will be split in two
When those with eyes to see are shown the thing that was hidden
And those who could not believe are left without
With the wreckage of their earthly hopes.