Thursday, May 23, 2013

New blog

I'm in the process of starting over new... Come see me at

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

New Life

I can't seem to get this writing thing going. Pray for me. I know I need to do it -- I delight to it, and yet I find so many other things - and reasons to hold back the words. Of late I've been amiss over the need to redo this blog and to make it what I'd really like it to be, but with the fleeting time and my technological deficiencies, I've been held back. Soon!

For now, I have a few short thoughts which I will be spewing out without filter.

Last weekend I took to reading Revelation. I'd not been there for quite a while, but seeing that I am in Butler for a spell, as was I last year -- and the pastor in Pittsburgh is still covering this book, I decided to return there. I was incalculably blessed by what I found, and my heart was nearly ripped in two with joy and sorrow. Revelation depicts such an extreme contrast of the righteous saints who persevere in their love for the Lamb, and the wicked men who refuse -- despite much opportunity and provocation -- to repent and turn to God. I was chilled by the callousness and enlivened by the Kingdom to come; a real place which will one day be my reality. "And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb." Rev. 21:23. "For the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.” Rev. 7:17

The next morning the sermon came from Revelation 22, but we spent the majority of our time in Genesis 3. He spoke of the Garden, and the connection and fulfillment seen in these two scenes. We saw that from Adam hence it has been and is a time of testing for those on the earth. Our obedience and allegiances are continually sought and tested here, and thankfully we - unlike Adam, are counted righteous through grace and not our works. Revelation 22 ushers in an entirely new period - the Genesis of the righteousness of the people of God - no longer imputed, yearned for, sought after, but eternally purchased and attained by the blood of the Lamb. The time of testing breaks into an eternity of rest, and the people of God, with their hearts, souls, minds, and bodies forever cleansed and renewed, enter into the rest of God in perfect peace and awe. This is such terrific news!

I've been rejoicing in this and continually marveling in how great is the task of wrangling a soul. Try though I may, it is only the Spirit of God that can produce any good thing in me, and it is that Spirit which can ever and only sustain that thing. I come, of course to the burgeoning treetops and swaying valleys and ask myself, did I doubt the life before I saw it here, though it was hidden and appeared dead? No, I believed and hoped that spring would follow winter and as it has I desire to replant the spiritual seeds in my soul trusting the harvest will come as He wills it. I stay near the Son, not lamenting my weakness, but leaning in as the flower to the light - doing only what it instinctively knows to do - finding its strength - its life, in another. So must I do this, and you.

There are also fruits for us all which are withheld for our good. Our understanding of the reasons may not be clear, but so it is. If we think on the thing, our hearts begin to melt and we wonder how to do without it. Our sight becomes blurred and our resolves weaken as everything steady begins to totter. Friend, look with me to Him. I can offer no solution for why things are as they are, but I know this to be true: turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace. Desire only weakens as it is found satisfied in Him. I say this with leaking heart - not to go to the fountain once and be filled, but to find the Fountain and daily - moment by moment, go back and draw the water with springs which bubble up to life everlasting.

Here are some photos of late. The cows followed me as I went past them. All of creation displayed obedience and I thought of Romans 8:21 "that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. 23 And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body."

Monday, January 28, 2013

Large Rocks

Joining with Amber ( on Mondays for concretewords, where we practice writing by communicating the abstract through concrete things – a chair, a tree, shoes – and today The Rock.

I first awoke to a great drawing breath of several drunk, Irish farmer's. I'd reached my post alone and after nearly two days of travel, I slid quickly into sleep. I was introduced to morning through a great cacophony of snores.

I had sea legs from the planes and any previous composure had been left in America. I booked a ride south and hastily made passage to the interior of the island, though I did not know where I was going.

When I arrived there, I realized that my anxieties had not been left behind. Those old familiar taunts had not even changed tone and were now shouting their accusations, to which I had no response. I succumbed, as always, and cried to a stranger in the general store that sounded like my aunt. I stopped and stared at a beautiful lady on a blanket and couldn't move. She seemed like she needed me as much as I her, and so we ate beets in their broth, and after sleep she drove me down the road in her car without a floor. She left me by the roadside and informed me that hitch-hiking was plenty safe.

The sun was nice that day and it seemed not too high in the sky. I'd assumed that rides would soon arrive, and that the centimeters on the old map would translate to a time of tea. I waited and I began to pray -- though I did not yet know to whom I was speaking.

Rides came and so did dusk. I arrived at that glowing hour. It was Passover and I celebrated it for the first time with two Israelis on holiday. I hardly slept and went to shoe horses in the morning.
The days thereafter broke and crumbled into a cinder-like path upon which I faltered; the contents extended to weeks, and within them I arrived at the Milford Sound, Fjordland National Park, New Zealand.

Our tour guide was a fabulous Jamaican named Scott. Within moments we were dunking our kayaks into the sea and bobbing into the sound which heralds "the most violent weather changes in the world."

We poked about and the winds picked up. Before long we were at the shore of the most monstrous and craggy rocks I'd seen -- coming out of the ocean. These beasts are at 8,000 feet and are singular rocks. They massed there like pebbles in a puddle and I wept.

My friend had taken his life three weeks earlier and I just didn't get it all. Where he was, who I was, and most terrifyingly, Who created such mysterious monstrosities whose dust could blot my life? I reeled. Seals had been following our school and I reached out to one. It let me touch it and it twirled beneath my fingers. It followed us most of the way back and tutored me some more. The clouds gathered thickly and cussed out their rain, and beyond them -- all amidst them were those ranges of rocks, those foreboding mountains that spoke to my lostness, and the knowledge of Him who seemed to have etched them with His finger.

I bowed that day in terror - not to the mountains, but to their Maker I did not yet know. He led me to Himself fully some days later, but that day implanted a yearning and a delight for Himself and mountains that will be with me all my days.

Monday, January 21, 2013

From the

As I consider a writer’s voice, I wonder how it is for you. If we all have one, I wonder about other things, other things that most of us have. Like your scale, for example. If voice is cadence and music and space, how you write out the matter in your life and the meaning it gives, what about your scale? It’s certainly different than mine. So how is it for you? — On Mondays I write out spirit by practicing a little with the concrete things in my life and maybe in a fictional life. If you want to join this small community with these prompts, send your readers this way, and link up below at any point this week. Practice writing, the craft; share it with us. Next week’s topic is Rock. Make sure to use #concretewords on twitter. Thank you always for coming here and walking with me.


I see scales, sometimes hung as a necklace -- heavy and binding, hemming and secure. Their weight is of consequence but despite their own function, their substance is incalculable. These weights, with their cups and their arms hang right above me, and pronounce either a sagging grace or an embattled truth.

We are told: "Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart." (Proverbs 3:3) And thus the scales are weighed. I imagine this life as a series of tracks upon which I walk, bridling my steps in moving aright; the reins of my soul being tugged, tightened or lost by the fingers of grace within. The grasp is kept beyond me, while the principle is ingested within. The life of the Spirit in me totters and tilts as I struggle to apply and maintain in equal parts these two seemingly paradoxical themes.

In the pictured scales rests a small blaze and a green leaf. I see life and death and the power of my tongue. I see a forest I can catch with one flash of hard-struck truth, an injustice I pass over as I am on holiday with grace -- or the weeping wound that might be cured with one collective cordial of equal parts both.

I see equilibrium in these scales, and the kindness of a God who grants stability. I see a remedy to the ailments I inflict, and a constant gauge about and within that strikes down, builds up or restrains all that restricts clear passage on this narrow way. These scales contain inexhaustible reserve of grace; one scale tips and the healing tonic of the other drips and fills until they hang there side by side.