Sunday, December 19, 2010


A congratulations goes out to Emily and Evan on this fine day! Indeed no one who reads this blog has any idea who they are, but I again reel in the wonder that is Biblical marriage, and I celebrate with them, as two become one.

An initial dullness seems to settle on me each time I finish a season of intensity and activity. I am presently there, and "Persuasion" was a welcomed edition to my night's activities. Creative juices are brewing and time is only needed for a bit more rumination until the push is on, and the products come forth. We creatures are habitually in need of reflection and afterthought, and as my Lord's birth is upon me, my days must slow as I condsider Him "from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name..." (Eph. 4:15)

I slept quite restlessly last night and the image pictured before I woke was of a man in a mauve vest, whose unspoken pronouncement was of the nature of my family's ties. I could not sleep longer and was quite groggy, so I rested my head and sipped my coffee to slow swigs of Ephesians. My eyes landed on the verse previously mentioned, and as quickly as my flesh had forgotten its Redemption, the Word soaked the cotton linens carelessly draping my eyes, and truth was so sweetly revealed to my condemned soul. Drink this my friends: " that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works so that no one may boast."

Recently I've been camping on a concept that I'm believing the Lord is wanting us all to believe. The context is the 4th chapter of this sweet book, and it is surrounded by our knowing of this incredible, eternal love of God that is simply beyond knowledge--let alone the feeble attempts this penman has in writing--nevertheless... These past couple years have been cloaked in prayers of obscurity, unbelief, and despair, but recently, in a shower of answered prayer, the Lord has graciously delivered my mind from its restless questioning of His goodness. I am again in the "hill country of perfect trust," and while my faith is far from complete, its object is restored in my mind's eye, as that which is most lovely and perfect in its allotment to this creature.

Vs. 20 says, "Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen."(4:20-21).

In ways, I believe I have been crippled without my knowing. I have been limping and lame and asking questions as an illegimate child, and not a son; the blood that has redeemed us is perfect though, and when we ask, let us ask in faith, without any doubting (James 1-regarding wisdom)... If you abide in Me, and My word abides in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you." (John 15:7) These here are some serious statements that I faintly utter as unbelief and false humility occlude my eyes, and but I am stepping out here folks, and praying back hell, with that power mentioned above... We want His glory, and not nearly to the degree that He vies for it, so let us pray according to that word which is in us, and as we wait, may we expect to see exceedingly, abundantly beyond all that we ask or think... Praise You, Jesus!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Created for glory

I sat in unmoving reverie this a.m, as the eyes of little children gazed, giggled, and smiled into mine. Music swelled and soothed as we recalled again the eternal One's entrance into time, and His condescention in donning the flesh of those He came to save.

A beautiful bronze baby found himself on the lap of Mary, and as the silence filtered in the sound, I was struck by the stillness of the magi, whose upraised hands beckoned to the posture of my soul. Their faces were softened with the goodness they were savoring, and in that divine wedding of the natural to the spiritual, our hearts soared upwards into the light of His presence.

My mind darted to its memory, and at once I recalled standing atop a glorious summit over the Pacific. Great emerald parrots perched in the foreground of the landscape as the most illustrious sunrise filled the sky. I remember sitting with tear-stained cheeks as I perceived all of the concerted warmth therein; a heat that could only partially thaw my heart, for I knew nothing of its Source. With every strain of my senses, I sought to gulp of the glory beheld, and with bowed head, I languished with angst and sorrow.

The suicide of my friend had left me grappling with eternity, and as I perceived the immensity that spanned the breadth of the earth, it seemed but a foxhole compared to the chasm then fixed between myself and my Maker.

Dear reader, I write this because you were created for more--you were created for glory. This world was never meant to be your home; its pleasures are not your salvation, and there is nothing in them with power enough to satisfy you; they were given to point you to their Giver. You have been given senses, that when submitted for their design, are meant to please you, and magnify the One for whom you were made. You were not made for yourself, and this world holds nothing that can permanently satisfy your eternal soul. You were crafted to reflect and adore your Designer, and your chief joy was to know Him who made you--who loved you, and endowed you with gifts with which to bless others, to enjoy Him, and to make His goodness evident to all men. Ephesians 2:4-5.

For those who are regularly accustomed to seeing and savoring Jesus, I invite you to reconsider your knowing of Him, and the degree to which He inhabits your heart. See Him, know Him, experience Him and the pleasures found in His right hand (ps. 16).

For those who know of Jesus in a manger, Jesus as a teacher, or Jesus as a good man, I invite you to consider Jesus as the One through whom you have gained your being. John 1:3 says, "All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men." I pray as you read this, that you might consider Jesus, and the hole that remains unfilled residing in the center of your chest. No one knows you like your Maker.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

It's late, and not time at all for a blog post, but I've missed so much the interplay of words that I must dabble with some this night. It was about 70 here today, and I hear that my beloved Montana is predicting -16 this coming week. Sweet injections of joy have been surging my soul, and while little introspection has been had, my mind fills with the wondrous ebb and flow of this life.

I boarded a train for Montana seven years ago, and had I known of the blessings to follow, I would have never dreamed a life to be my own. Unfortunately, it takes a looking back and savoring to assess this, but nevertheless, I've been heaped with earthly joys I never expected to receive. I landed in Shelby, MT and bumped along the long dirt roads with insane anticipation and insurmountable felicity. My first home scene was a bluegrass showdown, and in typical Nellie fashion, I was so overwhelmed with sensory overload that afterward I took to the field for lone cartwheels and deep praise of God. I remember being blasted down in awe seeing Steamboat and Twin Buttes for the first time, and I continually lost myself in the Lord in that dear place. The year blew by, and one became five, as I endeavored to part with that place so dear to my soul.

I sit here in Columbia, South Carolina with a heart full of praise to the Giver, and open hands to Providence's amassing grand favor. Our God is good, and it is only in Him to bless His children, whether we see His blessing, or behold the passing fringes of His robe. He loves you, reader, and desires you deeply to know this, and Him.

For the past three years I have been endowed with the task of tracing the dew marks beneath the fog. Many prayers have been uttered out, and into unaccounted obscurity, and with a hand breadth of hope I shot them up to Him. Spurgeon speaks of these long uttered prayers, and says: the mist will part, the way will clear, and as Isaiah 30:20 says, "Although the Lord has given you bread of privation and water of oppression, He, your Teacher will no longer hide Himself, but your eyes will behold your Teacher. Your ears will hear a word behind you; "This is the way, walk in it," whenever you turn to the right or to the left." Knowing not how, He will make the way for us. Ambiguity births clarity, and those frozen hopes begin to thaw and droop with richer clusters and fuller, more luxuriant boughs.

Our God is a God of hope, and as His faithfulness enters my mind, I am enlivened to think of my future. That unknown abyss need not be so bleak, and is rather an immeasurably deep pool of future grace, through which I will indefinitely pass. My grandma wrote these words to me, "I don't tell you enough how much I care and wish you the most of God's will for you. So often what is said the least, is wished the most. What a great gift God gave for a granddaughter." My dear grandma has only recently acquired this heavenly tenderness, and her words come to my heart as from God. If only we knew how affectionately He tends us, and how faithfully He watches over us. I am determined to stake out His faithful biddings, and I draw you, dear reader to this very thing, on this very day.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The mind is such a strange thing; the dwelling of intellect, and the filter of affection. Through it passes considerations of life, the trappings of death, and either the liberty or captivity of the contents passing through it. Considerable time ought be given to that which enters it, and as I sat yesterday stuck in traffic, I was contemplating all of these things.

A barrage of temptation lands upon us each day, and unknowingly passing images and allusions become the landscape onto which we play out our lives. I mourn this, for within the walls of our churches stand these same measuring rods that were never meant to assess our progress, and growth in godliness.

The New Testament is filled with paradoxes of the first being last, the least greatest, and the meek inheriting life, but yet what we celebrate are not these things. They present us with ideals, and we apply their concepts, but do we (I) believe them to be the truth of which we live out our lives? It seems we are still seeking as the world, that canopy of perceived productivity, and that "fruitfulness" that comes from having established a title wherein our good works might pronounced. I have no heart to squelch the offices affirmed by God, but the seeking of them beyond the seeking of Him is problematic to me. I think of Brother Lawrence who scrubbed pots to God's glory and got it; his heart was daily with Him, and he realized that it never ought be lived for the public eye, for all that will be tested and burned with fire in proving the veracity of the form (1 Cor. 3:12).

I mean never to stir things up for mere controversy, but moreso because I see a deadening happening in our lives where we (I) really allow the world's standards to affect my growth in godliness because the church assesses my outward progress. Good works ought to follow us because we are walking in the power of the Spirit. Goodness and mercy should be trailing behind us, and we should be those whose hearts are trained to evidence growth in grace in others, and work therein to overturn this damaging assessment of outward "productivity." God is glorified by our good works, and when we are connected to Him it is impossible for them to not come out; need we a covering of profession to warrant the authenticity of our possession? I challenge us this day, as I am so challenged by this all. We are to be faithful to invest the talents given, but beyond that, are we willing to invest them, and ourselves into Him, regardless of whether or not if ever amounts to anything we think it should? Could we be content to never have the recognition we so eagerly desire?

I write this on the day of my birth, as this day presents me a violence of emotion and thought. I raise all of these questions to myself, and felt that I must also inflict them upon you :) May you perceive the love that is in them.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

mini blurb

I simply had to post this this morning. I've been trying to amp up this truth to its rightful place, and I've felt oh-so-struck down in my daily living. This truth is one not loved by most, and hardly heralded much at all. For this reason, I'm waving this post as a banner and inviting you all to celebrate along, dipping deep in grace's fountain, and awaiting the strength that can only lead us to triumph.

Spurgeon's morning reading

2 Corinthians 12:9
"A primary qualification for serving God with any amount of success, and for doing God’s work well and triumphantly, is a sense of our own weakness. When God’s warrior marches forth to battle, strong in his own might, when he boasts, “I know that I shall conquer, my own right arm and my conquering sword shall get unto me the victory,” defeat is not far distant. God will not go forth with that man who marches in his own strength. He who reckoneth on victory thus has reckoned wrongly, for “it is not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.” They who go forth to fight, boasting of their prowess, shall return with their gay banners trailed in the dust, and their armour stained with disgrace. Those who serve God must serve him in his own way, and in his strength, or he will never accept their service. That which man doth, unaided by divine strength, God can never own. The mere fruits of the earth he casteth away; he will only reap that corn, the seed of which was sown from heaven, watered by grace, and ripened by the sun of divine love. God will empty out all that thou hast before he will put his own into thee; he will first clean out thy granaries before he will fill them with the finest of the wheat. The river of God is full of water; but not one drop of it flows from earthly springs. God will have no strength used in his battles but the strength which he himself imparts. Are you mourning over your own weakness? Take courage, for there must be a consciousness of weakness before the Lord will give thee victory. Your emptiness is but the preparation for your being filled, and your casting down is but the making ready for your lifting up."

“When I am weak then am I strong,
Grace is my shield and Christ my song.”

Sunday, October 31, 2010


The leaves linger on the trees in these parts, and I am quite thankful for the prolonged contemplation the warm days provide. Full days pinch out needed ponderings, and it seems this southern season has beguiled me with its extended donnings of sunny days. I get shallow at these times, and each thought comes as a skimming of events, without that needful rumination of digested experience. Such is life, and with the tarrying warmth, I linger here to savor some of God's goodness with you.

I am about to share a little rawness with you all (if there is anyone left:), so please be warned. I communed with a young man last night whose situation has awakened my spirit, and I must share it with you all.

I am unaware of how our conversation began. At some point, and in some way he began to divulge his life to me, and his current, complicated circumstances. He is, and has been sleeping with an HIV positive man, has contracted what seemed like a gaggle of STD's, and has had no real intention of preventing greater mayhem from occuring.

I asked him if he valued his life at all, and then listened in sadness and horror as his tale unfolded. I lingered long over my choice of words as my mind flashed to 18. He intimated of the stranglehold this young man has over him, and how powerless he is to do anything to stop himself. While he spoke, I slipped into memory where I recalled the depths of my own bondage, and the deeper horrors which were all present at that time in my life. I recounted my hopeless estate that was coupled with the talon-grip of sin's demands, and my own inability to do anything to loose its grip. I recalled that pit, and the cordial my flesh kept administering as I lost more and more control of myself and my life. I recounted the despair and the despondency, and then, with a brightness surpassing the multiplied degrees of darkness -- I recalled grace.

The words in John came to mind as hope filled my face "the thief only comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but I come that they might have life, and have it abundantly." (10:10) A deluge of words came flooding out on that poor fellow, and in the quiet of Rahab, us poor sinner's spoke of our need. We prayed and he shared more of his life until it was time to depart.

A temptation had been nagging me at work, and as I pulled away from his house I was humbled -- yet again, to have these truths nail me as they do. Sin promises something that only God can give, and the One that gave it all, is the only One to satisfy. Vainly we corral our desires into empty vaults which require more with each deposit made, when that blessed One, with arms outstretched is there waiting. Allow our Lord to harvest great wreaths of grace from His hand in your life, and tell of it, for to some, the savor is of life.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Do you know of that solemnity that accompanies any great depth of emotion? That deep, inward reveling of the creature that follows meditation upon ineffably wonderful truths?

Mid-terms have been upon me, and the tyranny of the urgent has all but ravaged me in this time. It seemed that every nerve that could be tweaked, was indeed fried, and frazzledly I found my knees.

Prayer is a strange thing, for at times it is strenuously exacted, where at others its flow is unending and life seems impossibly lived one moment without it. I felt corked Wednesday, and every attempt at words was futile. I tried to read. Fury. Meditation, sin. The Spirit elapsed time, and as rain first falls hard on dry ground, softness follows those pelting penetrations.

Confession came in a deluge, and as one thought was uncovered, multitudes came tripping on its heels. I opened the Valley of Vision's "Need of Grace" to: "Thou makest me possess the sins of my youth, and the dreadful sin of my nature, so that I feel all sin, I cannot think or act but every motion is sin." Surely a man cannot stay here, but to be graced with sight into the horrifying caverns of his depravity is but a gift. Linger long in confession, for the flesh will tempt you to say "this is enough," but with each uncovering you will soon find that each good circumstance is couched and coveted by that vessel in your bosom, and it must certainly be exposed and changed.

The following line in "Need of Grace" is "return again with showers of converting grace to a poor gospel-abusing sinner. Help my soul to breathe after holiness, after a constant devotedness to Thee, after growth in grace more abundantly every day." The gospel is not so sweet to the man whose righteousness exceeds his own understanding of his crooked heart, but the grace of our Lord is ineffably wonderful to the sinner who has both seen his heart, and known His grace.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My desire for the pen has been almost incessant, but time has simply not made way for desire. Encroaching deadlines should convince me to not sit for this post, but it seems that I must. My sweet mother's birthday was the 7th, and every intention to arrange some words has vaporized in my scurrying about.

I have been in Psalm 23, and misty thoughts have hovered dually regarding my Master and mother's care. I thank God for my dear mother, and especially for the wonderful and practical ways she has nurtured and tended to my life. My love of gardening, canning, and beauty stems from her, and truly no one has ever loved me as my ma. I suppose my understanding of unconditional love comes from her, and never has someone so selflessly given of themselves as she. I often treat her, like my Lord, with that kind of familiar irreverence that is damning, and inexcusable. Like my Lord though, she is gracious and slow to anger, and I am ever thankful for her! Thank you God, for the ministry of mothers.

My psalms class has landed me long in Psalm 23, and a day arrived for deck sitting, so, with whispering maples above, I sat in my chair while my Shepherd lead me off. The first line--nay, first two words held me captive, and as the text unfolded I found some trembling roused at "I shall not want." Philip Keller wrote a masterpiece on this Psalm called "A Shepherd looks at Psalm 23," and I highly recommend it. His study is from both a scholarly Biblical view, and that of several decades experience as a Shepherd in the mid-East. He takes this endearing piece, and with his wind worn hands, leads you to the stream where he sits you down to smell the dirt that feeds the sheep, therein strengthening every simile to nestle down perfectly in the believer's bosom. This day I was not in this book, but my eyes landed on the words of Matthew Henry, "More is implied than is expressed, not only, I shall not want, but, "I shall be supplied with whatever I need; and, if I have not every thing I desire, I may conclude it is either not fit for me or not good for me or I shall have it in due time."

These words landed as the timely drops beyond my windows, and I've concluded that I must post them somewhere blatant. These are the sweetest promises to a soul, for even through the valley, I have a Shepherd, leading, providing, and arranging my days and years through the tender orderings of His Providence and care. I have a Shepherd who gave up His life for His sheep, and continues arranging "goodness and lovingkindness to follow [literally pursue] me all the days of my life." Tomorrow beckons an answer from me, and I am told to answer him with the sufficiency of today, and look myself to the whirling of the lilies, whose glory shames my toil, and chastens my want.

Friday, October 1, 2010

October 1

My morning reading in Spurgeon has colored my soul in fall. He spoke of the fruits of seasons in our hearts; of the old and new, and what harvest the Lord is desiring to make in us. It's not felt like fall, but I am applying this notion to my heart, as I so desire to remove the old leaven--which is so paralyzing to progress.

I am here in this new place, and the unshakable and pervasive thoughts have been of my intensity and my seeming inability to function at the normal levels of human experience. This has always been my problem. I feel things so deeply, and I estrange myself from people because I just can't seem to temper this blasted inferno that rages within.

The words "beach comber" came to mind this morning. I had no real idea what this was, but I felt like one. Passing through any number of scenarios seems to present both an unwritten script, and a seething mass of unrealized potential and unspoken sorrows. I'd quite like to simply perceive these things, but instead they enter and imbue the very nature of my soul. A sifting takes place and that filter of experince and scripture begins combing through the scenario and the weights perceived stack up in my heart. I have felt like an onlooker most of life, and one that must run around on the outskirts of society for I know not how to simply be as others are. I seek not to complain of this, and as one posted earlier of the Clay answering to the Potter, I instead desire to seek out how I might adorn the gospel with this cracked pot.

We are common clay, and the ways of man are not unique. The isolation present in my mind and because of my fears is akin to any one of my readers sentiments, and as I bear the commonness that feels so peculiar to me, I hope to enliven your hearts as well. I know not how this be done, but as I feel always on the verge of some revolution, I again stir. A revolt from that which is common and customary, and out into fearful and unreserved trust. . . Hmmm...

So, here is the journal photo of hope, Deb and Dorothy. I tried to unite the prisms and yellow idea, and it is was before the suggestion of green came along. Also, the photo above is from last year this day. I chuckled when I read of it, for my wrestlings were just as todays. Abrupt and random as this is, enjoy. Thank you mom and dad for being so wonderful to me.

Thursday, September 30, 2010


This sweet gal is due today, and I'd ask you to lift her up to our Lord. I've witnessed more change in her life in one year than almost any other I've known. Blessings on you, Kate, as you enter into motherhood, and as you continue growing into the lovely lady God has created you to be.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Well friend, I never did get to post you a note. I will commemorate you and your sweeties instead, and promise to pray sweet scriptures of grace to your soul.

I've been gripped with nostalgia this day, and the pitter of the rain has seemed to soften the sweltering state of my soul. Old friends glided through my mind and into the present with that captivating calm known only to familiar frames. I resound with you, Joyelle, and I pray that God might grant contented grace to consider the past with the relishing sort of glee that comes with fall, and stays until the present is tender enough to embrace again. While I seem to stand continually on the turnstyle of change, I am lingering a bit longer in memory, sampling those trusted delights of time worn fellowship crowned with understanding. What is this longing so deep, to be understood; to know and be known? Huh.

Monday, September 27, 2010

I am blessed

It is raining this day, and after a month of heat, I welcome this repose. I am supposed to be getting ahead on homework, but it seems that is the last thing I am able to do. It has been busy here, and I've not taken proper time to process life events, so it seems this day is appointed for such things.

I've before mentioned a woman, unnamed, that the Lord brought into my life last year. He has so sovereignly used her, and it seems that He has tightly bound our hearts, and the hearts of her daughters to one another. I want to praise God this day for His unexpected provisions, blessings, and abundance in my life.

She is precious and wise. She knows me, and loves me. It was her appointed task yesterday to draw out, lightly chasten, and redirect my eyes to the truth I'd been unable to see in my life. I've known something was amiss, but I just couldn't pinpoint it. I was airing my heart of its aches and all of the things that seemed to be vacant therein, when she stopped me.

She opened to Colossians and pointed to a passage. "I pray this for you everyday, and it seems to me that God has been answering every request. Is there something I'm missing?"

(Please note that grace is an adorning wreath upon her, and these words brought immediate beauty back into view.) She continued to remind me that God works with us individually, and His blessing is often vacant in a material, literal way, and present in His communion and transmission of truth to our immortal spirits. I stand amazed at how blinded and deceived I've been in my thankless state. I've overlooked His favor in so many ways and disconcerted myself with what seemed to be missing and necessary to my finite mind. How many gifts lie strewn about our feet that serve as triplines in our quest for what lies just beyond! Perhaps it is only my thankless heart, but I think not.

He is, for those in Christ, interested more in conforming us to the image of His Son, than the image of our peers, friends, or culture. He will do what seems best to bring this about, and because He is good, we will be blessed. I am so thankful for this reminder, and couldn't help but share. For what are you thankful this day?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Ofttimes the contents of a day are simply too much for the common courtesies, and at nightfall I must have some bouyant plucking inlayed on deeper bass. My pen scratches furiously at these times, and this frenzy falls without much warning. The ills seem all too much, the gaiety inappropriate, and and my donning of some external persona or beautification--impossible. It's that icy February rawness slapped right in your face.
A question was raised to me tonight that held no inherent value, and was not delivered with any intended plaguing. The man delivering it had no idea its effect, nor did I when it burrowed in my mind. I am thinking of Psalm 42:3 "...they say to me all day long, "Where is your God?"

My plans are often asked of me, and I have no response to those that are seeming to insinuate "where is your God?" -- or better yet, "what have you missed of His leading?"

It is not that I haven't, or don't think of this--often, but the answers are not yet mine. Psalm 131 says, "1 Oh LORD, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty; Nor do I involve myself in great matters, or in things too difficult for me. 2 Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; like a weaned child rests against his mother, my soul is like a weaned child within me.

Spurgeon intimates, "Comparing all the Psalms to gems, we should liken this to a pearl: how beautifully it will adorn the neck of patience. It is one of the shortest Psalms to read, but one of the longest to learn." The psalmist is succinct in his wording, but profound in his speaking. He declares that his involvement is fixed simply upon the realm wherein the Lord has placed him, and he decidedly mixes not with the unfurling events of Providence. Surely this is David, who will be king, but for now, his soul is contented and at ease; resting while matters above him are carefully selected and arranged to unravel at His charge.

I am always struck by this, for the "great matters" and "things too difficult for me" all refer to Providence, and that vain wind-grasping that Solomon alludes continually to in Ecclesiastes. I am to make it my aim to lead a simple, quiet, and godly life--with all humility, while being ready always to tell of this glorious hope. Perhaps I am making circles here (it is 2am), but my soul is stirred to adhere to this word, and to call you to it as well. Who amongst you rests as that weaned, contented child? Whose soul is quieted and composed? Who involves himself not in these difficult matters? Whatever our experience, place in life, or the stacked heap of spiritual advancements we seem to have made--until our souls are consistently coralled as this, let us guard our lips, and look not to the outward of man, but to that kernel that is him. .
Again, it seems to me that much is said in silence, most of which is crowded with noise. Silence is deafening, and it is much preferred to push through to activity than press in to hear. I believe the Lord is weaving such silent beauty on the broken loom couched up in our souls, and that foolishness alone would desire the product to be prematurely removed. I am exhausted

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

David Nevue played his piano rendition of "Amazing Grace" as I hung up the phone with my aging grandma. She mentioned in passing that is is hard for a woman to have all her grandchildren off. She spoke of our physical absence, but as much she mourns the emotional presence that simply does not exist in many of my cousins. My heart hurts for this sweet woman who has struggled so to do what she knows to be best. She quickly transitioned to the Hoops' crops, the third cuttings of hay, how it dropped to 44 the other night, and how a mama bear and her cub ran in front of their car the other night. "The cub crossed right over and ran straight up the tree!" She gulped with glee and went on to speak of her latest canned pears, peaches, applesauce, and carrots to freeze. The sweet thing is 84, has osteoporosis and has known sorrow. Her slight frame tells a story her lips can't pronounce and I love her so much this night! Oh how dreadful is the curse of death and the pronouncement of the end of this time, and how I long for unbroken life. I always revert to sweet Psalm 90 and the span of life as a sigh, a short tale, or a watch in the night and am reminded of how quickly that vibrant morning grass withers in the noonday sun. I want to hold onto everything, and that very grip that keeps love must loose itself to let it to pass. I am sorry, but I hate this truth, and if it weren't for my Lord conquering death I'd find all too many cases for despair. He is a hope -- the fullest spanse and greatest fulfillment of any and everything we've ever desired, and it is only, and always fitting to look unto Him. Consider Jesus.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Orphan Girl - Gillian Welch

This struck me straight, and I hope it reaches you all as well. Let's pray for these little sweeties across our globe, and ask that our Lord might connect our hearts to one and minister in that tender, sullen, spot of despond.

I am an orphan on God's highway
But I'll share my travels if you go my way
I have no mother no father
No sister no brother
I am an orphan girl

I have had friendships pure and golden
But the ties of kinship I have not known them
I know no mother no father
No sister no brother
I am an orphan girl

But when He calls me I will be able
To meet my family at God's table
I'll meet my mother my father
My sister my brother
No more orphan girl

Blessed Savior make me willing
And walk beside me until I'm with them
Be my mother my father
My sister my brother
I am an orphan girl

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The color of Hope

Tomorrow I head somewhere in the south Carolina country, and 150 or so grad students commence our time at the "grad retreat." The topic is hope, and in attempts to ready my journal, I was trying to picture the color of hope. If you read this and have a second, let me know in which color you picture hope.
The other night Pandora played me a song called the "Wagoner's Lad" by a group called the Duhks. I've not known of this great old ballad, but quickly my mind carried me off to a broken fence and dusty road where I was collecting little chicks in my apron. The lyrics were a sweet blur of autumn and I couldn't quite make out their meaning. After discovering the song's words, I mourned a bit and set my thoughts on womanhood. The first stanza goes "Oh, hard is the fortune of all womankind, she's always controlled, she's always confined, controlled by her parents until she's a wife, a slave to her husband the rest of her life."

Indeed, for most cultures of the earth, this song rings true, but I want to set my mind aright. The curse presents the plight of mankind (Gen. 3), where the man will desire to rule his wife, and the woman, to overthrow her husband in usurping his authority. Neither pictures the essence of harmony each person seeks when entering that covenant, but hope is not lost, for God always presents the remedy to such things, and I want to reside there -- in feminine freedom.

My heart slipped out the other day while eating lunch. I'd been daydreaming about floral earth tone linen when I proclaimed that I'd quite like to wear aprons as part of my wardrobe. It seemed perfectly normal until my words reached my co-eater's ears. I asked her then if she agreed, and not remembering what she said, she gave some sort of no, and walked off with her tray. Feeling a bit rejected, I chuckled at my silly vocalized surmisings. Later I came back to these thoughts and realized that I am hopelessly feminine, and there's no real use in denying it. I love to split wood and drive tractors, but my furrows are plowed to reap beauty, and wood split to engender and spread warmth to those I love. I am a woman, not a man. I do not desire career, success, or worldly acceptance, and I feel I need to confess this. I've vacillated in these years, feeling a pressure to perform and yet no real desire to do so. My venue is the human heart, and if any remembrance should be left, I desire it be in love, and the impression cast by the presence of God. May we usher in, and be the bearers of both life and beauty in this hungry, confused world.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Gillian Welch - I'll Fly Away

The Weight - Gillian Welch & Old Crow Medicine Show

Parkfield jam - Paul Chesterton sings Nellie Kane

I couldn't resist... I love this song.
This is from Spurgeon's morning and evening book, and this really ministered to me... enjoy!

“Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea?”

Job 38:16
Some things in nature must remain a mystery to the most intelligent and enterprising investigators. Human knowledge has bounds beyond which it cannot pass. Universal knowledge is for God alone. If this be so in the things which are seen and temporal, I may rest assured that it is even more so in matters spiritual and eternal. Why, then, have I been torturing my brain with speculations as to destiny and will, fixed fate, and human responsibility? These deep and dark truths I am no more able to comprehend than to find out the depth which coucheth beneath, from which old ocean draws her watery stores. Why am I so curious to know the reason of my Lord’s providences, the motive of his actions, the design of his visitations? Shall I ever be able to clasp the sun in my fist, and hold the universe in my palm? yet these are as a drop of a bucket compared with the Lord my God. Let me not strive to understand the infinite, but spend my strength in love. What I cannot gain by intellect I can possess by affection, and let that suffice me. I cannot penetrate the heart of the sea, but I can enjoy the healthful breezes which sweep over its bosom, and I can sail over its blue waves with propitious winds. If I could enter the springs of the sea, the feat would serve no useful purpose either to myself or to others, it would not save the sinking bark, or give back the drowned mariner to his weeping wife and children; neither would my solving deep mysteries avail me a single whit, for the least love to God, and the simplest act of obedience to him, are better than the profoundest knowledge. My Lord, I leave the infinite to thee, and pray thee to put far from me such a love for the tree of knowledge as might keep me from the tree of life.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Columbia South Carolina is hot, but there are things that I quite like about it here. I never have to consider taking "warmer clothes," I swim everyday, there's no sign of cold weather, and things are still blooming strong. While I love cold weather, I am enjoying the beauty of this place and the privelege of being a minority. I picked up "Uncle Tom's Cabin" on Sunday and I'd recommend it for all. Here are some shots of the botanical gardens and zoo where my roommate took me the other day.
I have been incapable of relating my thoughts these days, and while little ah-ha's make their way into my mind, they seem to dissolve before time to record them comes. I've been wrestling with longings, and the desire of the human heart. When I pulled out of my Pennsylvania home, restrained tears fell, and for the first time I felt wearied of my coming and going's as a solo nomad. The thought seemed strange to me, and as I perused all of my wayward thinking, I deduced that I really did long for family and home. The years have lent themselves to questions in this, for reason of pragmatism and productivity (1 Cor. 7), but anymore it seemed all foolish, for at times I am very incapable in my singleness. I have reasoned that weakness is to display Christ's strengths, and pursued it no longer... This is true, but some things remain.

My last post was on the goodness of God, and the veracity of this element of His character. As I was considering this again, I thought last night of Psalm 73:25 that says, "whom have I in heaven but You, and besides You I desire nothing on earth." I bit my tongue to think of this, and how often I live apart from this truth. In the inner recesses where faith is distilled, this is true, but throughout passing days, I heave. The verse "for indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life" comes back to me, and I see my desire for any and all things on this earth are only indicative of my longings for the fare of my true home.

We looked through 1 Cor. 15 on Sunday night and talked about what is to come. I sat there in such a tension as I realized again how vaporous and fleeting is my existence, and how dogged I ought be in light of this. My captivation with creature comforts must subside as I draw inward and beg of my Master to give me His eyes to see, His hands to heal, and His words to speak as I seek to live most fully as a pilgrim in this land that is not my home. Please join me this day as we consider these things.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Greetings friends. Thank you for traveling along with me on this journey; I am quite glad you're along! I am thankful you've made your way here, Joyelle, and I hope your first wedded months have been bliss!

I am experiencing that kind of restful felicity that comes from delight in God, the unfolding of His will, and the charitable endowments of grace received from the savoring of His word. If possible, open and marvel at Psalm 84.

It is presumed that David penned this Psalm, and surely the ardency of his person is perceived in this work. Longingly, he considers the swallow (whose voice is always praising!), and reckons the nest which is afixed to the place of his love, and he yearns to be there. Surely, the building is not his love alone, but representative of all that is loveable and beautiful; God Himself and His holy presence amongst His people. The Psalmist longs to be there--to worship, and to be consumed with his praise and the presence of the godly. Verse five says, "How blessed is the man whose strength is in You, in whose heart are the highways to Zion! "

Consider this with me, for the man in whose heart lie the highways to Zion is the man who, by dogged practice has rutted heartpaths that lead tirelessly to the Fount Everlasting. Continually that heart pants and rests never until it reaches and makes its praise in Zion, the holy habitation of God. He sees the duties of religion as the sweetest on earth, and to be perched in a nest on the eave of God's sanctuary would be sweeter than the head of the finest table at any king's court. His reflection turns also to those making pilgrammage to Zion for the yearly feast, and how their desert wandering is blessed with rains deposited into their hewn pits, and figuratively how the Lord causes the life of His followers to flourish in the covenant of His love.

The psalmist swells as he considers his longings and his repository of praise is amplified as he concludes. "The Lord is a sun (life-giver, sustainer, beautifier) and shield (protector, conqueror), the Lord gives grace and glory; no good thing does He withold from those who walk uprightly." Consider this lastly with me, for, these words are to crescendo in sweetest refrain to the heart that belongs to Him. "No good thing does He withold..." Child of God, grace is to be traded with grace, and greater good is given in plenty to the heart whose paths lead to Him.

"Better is one day in Your courts than a thousand elsewhere..."

Monday, August 23, 2010


Much has transpired these days. I drove to South Carolina on Wednesday, and arrived at my destination through heavy rains at 2am. I acquired precious friends at the Charlotte airport and traveled the duration with their sweetness. They were arriving from Montana, and my mind was first filled with those sweet tales of jeans and sweats and misty mountains. Ugh, I do love that place! I spent the next few days with these dear one's before they headed home to Turkey. I tell you, transition is eased so sweetly in the presence of those you love. When I said goodbye to my friend I rolled along to my new residence, and the tears followed shortly thereafter. Those first days are hard, but they've mostly passed, and as orientation was today, the Lord is showing up all over the place. I am scheduled to take some insanely wonderful classes that begin tomorrow, and the community at this school is just incredible. I must share some verses from yesterday's sermon, but for now...
Lovingly yours,

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Valley of Vision

(From the collection of Puritan writings)

The valley of vision
is the place of paradox.

Here, the one who wants to save his life
loses it for the sake of Another.

Here, strength is perfected in weakness,
and the greatest is the servant of all.

Living in the depths,
we see Him in the heights,

Learning that the way down
is the way up,

To be low
is to be high,

And to bear the cross
is to wear the crown.

Yeah, I needed to hear this :)
This morning I was awakened quite early by a dream. I've been grappling much with some things these last days, and they've all surfaced greatly this morning. My stomach has that dull sort of ache that comes from something I am incapable of resolving, so my Lord lead me to the stillness again this day.

When this blog began last December, silence had been placed upon me without my choosing. A very significant relationship was revoked without explanation, and only choice words were sprinkled that have burrowed like nettle in my mind. The months that followed were maddening in their confusion and dejection, and in the quiet of those colder months, Silhouettes on Silence was birthed. My soul was supported during those times by the saturation of grace that had been deposited lovingly by my Maker. I came to see much in this time, and it seemed I contemplated every last scenario, and every interaction humans might have. I concluded that the heart of man is unfathomably selfish and wicked, and that it is simply by an unknowably powerful grace that we might be saved from it. I purposed in my soul to live more according to this truth, and to not give to others what they deserve--what I deserve. I want to give grace.

This morning I was stirred again (intensely) because this ache is not gone, and a new one lies beside it. Imposed silence and a revoked explanation -- scenario two. I feel a bit of a heaving, and so I exhort you, as I do myself, to speak the truth, and of course with love. Any soul can weather truth, but what does a man do with silence?

All nature tells us of the value of cauterizing a wound; (searing it so that healing may occur) and I reiterate this for our speech and relationship. Ecclesiates 3:7b says there is "A time to be silent and a time to speak" and I pray we will labor to discern what might be the most loving, and least cowardly way of interacting with those of whom the Lord has given us.

I leave tomorrow for South Carolina and suppose this might be a downer post, and so I apologize. I crave in earnest that we might all attain to the standard which has been set, and so I grieve. Grace be with you all in uncharted measure.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


It's been a wild and unexpected go these last days; Wednesday my mom told me she was taking me out to eat, only to find my two other conspiring friends along on our way to the Wildflower Cafe. We supped on delicious Peanut Curry over live guitar worship music, and finished off on outstanding Euroyogurt. The next day I got a flat tire on my bike while trying to help out a friend, and then my car stopped dead in the road Friday on the way back. I rushed home to eek out an apple and peach pie, pack for Boston and head off for a picnic. It was a most lovely time with a grand group of folks. Friends were visiting from N.C with their newest of 11 chilluns. We had some wild games of duck-duck-goose and I scuttled home a little late for our 4am departure to Boston..

Boston is an interesting city, but I must say I have a much more interesting and entertaining brother living there. He is wonderful. Upon arrival we walked through town and got some barbeque, and made plans for our next day's fishing excursion on Boston harbor. We had a relaxing and incredibly unprofitable time fishing, but a wonderful time being with brother. We went to a most exquisite Argentinaean restaurant, and I was pleasantly entranced by the sensory delights of my skirt steak, squash and sweet potato mash, summer veggies and 2008 Malbec. The walls were pale yellow and brick with cobalt ceilings. The decor were tanned hides and glossed pottery plates, and the many beverages came in terracotta pitchers. (I love a lot of things, and I have eaten out more in the past week than all year--which has been special.) Mmmm...

Despite the glories, it seemed that conflict hung on the fringes of all interactions with my pa, and this morning as I was reviewing these things with my Lord, some verses came to mind. I've been considering much my role as a Biblical woman and my verbal communications with those in my life. All believers are called to have honest and gracious speech, (Ephesians 4:15), but it seems there is slant to this I must consider. God has graciously created females to be the bearers of life; in human females this ought apply to both physical offspring, and to the kind of gentle kindness that is uniquely life-giving and feminine. A few weeks back I heard a radio show with an Elizabeth Elliot recording, wherein she asserted that the role of women at most every age is specifically to mother and nurture the world. I was both challenged an excited by this, for my heart flutters to nurture--I was also supremely challenged, and bowed in humble ineptitude at my flawed speech, and unsubmissive spirit. Human nature innately points fingers without considering personal responsibility, and I am stuck here. I am called by God to be a gracious, kind, and truthful woman who honors all I meet, whether their conduct calls for it or not. These verses challenged me greatly: Proverbs 12:18 "There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing." Proverbs 18:21 "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit."

I often forget that my struggle with those closest to me is not a mere matter of our differences, but a struggle with the unseen agents against us. Each step of obedience disarms that stronghold, and by good works wrought by the Spirit evil is overturned. Perhaps you can relate?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

It seems that there is a quota of social ills that land upon my ears that, once reached are no longer brushed aside. I have been spending time in the Old Testament, and have been amazed at the parallels addressed by the prophets of old. Similar issues are raised and the man of God is continually brushed aside and downright scorned for his "archaic" and "harsh" statements against the people's sin. As in times of old, as now, sin is deadly, and the allowance of it is fatal--not loving. My heart has broken over the pain of my friends, but I confess that within me has been festering a fire like Jeremiah's that wants to shout from the rooftops that Jesus is Lord. I see cracked pots of immorality that promise pleasure and deliver pain, the alleviation of anger that alienates friends, the glamour of riches that estranges and restricts the soul, and every other entanglement that ensnares, deceives, and sullies the soul that was created to radiate God. Jeremiah 2:13 says, "For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, to hew for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water." The world and its goods can be very convincing in its principles and modes of operating, but the truth is that more often than not, the masses are deceived and their attainments and aspirations are blossoms of dust, and plants without root.

I've been going basic again, and my heart has been revived as I consider the work already accomplished by our Lord at Calvary. I often dwell on the good done by the hands of my Master, and neglect that His good works were all preparation and the result of His connection with the Father, and His being God. Jesus came to this earth as a man, and exemplified the pinnacle of human existence, but he came as more than an example and a teacher. Jesus is Savior, and all other good terms, but He is firstly Savior, and the only One provided. Jesus came to accomplish the Redemption of a fallen race of humanity that was inextricably estranged from their Father--their Maker, because of the barrier of sin in their hearts. I hate the reality that Jesus came to die--(and because of humanity's hatred of Him), but thus reports the gospel of His grace. Indeed the gospel is "good news" today, as it was in day's past, and the temptation more than ever is to adulterate its contents to make it more palatable to its hearers, and more inviting than condemning. My lack of love can be a stumbling block for this message, and woe is me if I add offense to the cross because of my hard heart, but 2 Corinthians 5 says that it is the love of Christ that controls/compels us to speak the unpopular truths of the gospel, and to urge and persuade men because of the impending reality. Redemption is the sweetest song of the earth, and the reason my soul sings at Spring and can whistle in winter; purpose is breathed back into the Creation whose brand-mark is the Lord.

Monday, August 2, 2010

My time at the grandparents held more sorrow than joy, but the highlights shined so brightly that they almost occluded those less shimmery. Making peach jam with my grandma and taking long runs with my cousin were tops, but the pinnacles of my joy were times spent in the Word, and a visit to my dear, sweet friend Jane's.

Jane and company are on the road to organic certification, and that old plot of earth up Dingman Run is being restored to its former fruitful capacities. There are few places that bring me more joy, and few people to whom my soul is knit as so, so it must be shown...

Saturday, July 31, 2010

the wailin jennys - deeper well - live Thunder Bay Canada July 12, 2010

Last night I was greatly priveleged to see the Jenny's at the Mauch Chunk Opera House in Jim Thorpe, PA. My dear friend and I were beyond blessed by their titilating harmonies and sweet, soulful melodies. They performed this Emylou Harris song last night and I've wondered how often my heart thuds with this intensity for long gulps at that Deeper Well.

Much has transpired these days, and the Lord has been at work; I hope to share some more highlights soon. Enjoy.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

tour de france

I was introduced to the Tour de France a couple of year's back, and each year my love for this competition grows. There are three weeks of grueling stages to the tour, wherein the brutes begin in Monaco and then climb the Pyrenees and the Alps, and sprint their way into Paris to conclude. The terrain is enough to get me hooked, but the strategy and perseverance involved in these men's lives is just astounding. The men cover 2,241 miles in three weeks, and these weeks happen to be in incredibly stifling July heat. Today was the time trials, and tomorrow is the last day of the tour.

I've been inspired by these men, and so yesterday I decided to hop on my stylin 1970(ish) Nishiki road bike for a ride. I really enjoy biking, but I am not good, it was really hot, and my admiration grew. I had a lovely little adventure though, and had some great little stops. The gal at the check out at the general store down the road has decided to backpack in New Zealand, and so I handed her off my lonely planet guide. After I'd shared how safe and great it was, she booked a trip. I was surprised and decided I needed to share some "must-sees"...

I rode past the "Forget me Not" guest house, raw milk farm, and other old PA stone structures. I ended where my friend and her kids were swimming and appreciated the dip. The way home was lovely and I spied my dream little cottage that I'd love to render and deck with charm. I huffed up the hill home and entered the house as the thunder started.

Today I had my last day of work at the Glasbern, and while a little unplanned, I am quite glad to be done. I head to the grandparents Monday for peach preserving and quality time, and then to Boston thereafter for time with my bro. I am entering this new season sooner than anticipated, and look ahead curiously, wondering what good might be uncovered down south. The Saw Palmetto and other prickly plants will have to hold my attention for a little while... Thanks for traveling along!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Last night I dreamed some strange scenes. I awoke startled, and looked at my phone for the time. My friend Angie texted me (the main character of my dream), and notified me that she was engaged. Angela will be marrying Zach on November 27. I am confident that their union will collectively influence this world more than many hoardes of people, and for this reason (and many others) I rejoice. Their individual commitment and passion for the Lord is noteworthy, and I just can't imagine how gloriously well they will spur and propell one another. Best wishes dear friend. I don't have an "Ang and Zach" picture, so I will put an "Ang and Nell" one instead :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010


My friend is home from California, and tomorrow we commence in our canning of beets. Tonight I picked the most robust and will showcase them for you all. We have had the driest of summer's for PA, and so much so that the farmer's claimed defeat at the 4th of July. It has been dry, but at just the right time, we've received ample rain. The first rainfall was an inch and a half, and the other day we had close to four inches. The grass is green again and the garden is beeming. The beauty of Creation is overwhelming, and I ask you all, is it frustrating that you cannot capture and ingest a sunset or cloud scape? The moments flea, as rapturous as they may be, and how does one recall or properly praise Him for them? Also, how are sinful, foolish attitudes able to rule my heart in light of such immensity and grace? I cannot answer, and so I spend a good portion of my days arranging artful soliloquys in my mind that rarely make it out, and this week I've been smiling at Psalm 65.

Last year I meditated on Psalm 65 in a cafe with cobalt walls in Mammoth Lakes, California. The previous night we'd scaled the far end of Yosemite in a snowstorm and heavy fog, and this morning we crawled over mountain passes that made my little car moan. The verses "who establishes the mountains by His strength, being girded with might" resounded in my mind all the day. The mountains were craggy and severe, and for some hours I lost myself imagining I was in northern Afghanistan where the people live scattered at 17,000 feet. I envisioned the Hazara people in their huts cooking on smoky dung patties, discovering anew that a loving God had etched those foreboding peeks with His fingers. What joy would overwhelm such a soul. It overwhelmed mine, and I stared, lost in hope for those people.

The verse "You visit the earth and cause it to overflow; You greatly enrich it" (Ps. 65:9) came to mind with the rain this week, and it happened to be the Psalm on my yearly reading chart. "...The stream of God is full of water; you prepare their grain, for thus you prepare the earth. You water its furrows abundantly, you settle its ridges, you soften it with showers, You bless its growth. You have crowned the year with your bounty, and Your paths drip with fatness. The pastures of the wilderness drip, and the hills gird themselves with rejoicing. The meadows are clothed with flocks and the valleys are covered with grain; they shout for joy, yes, they sing." (10-13).

Monday, July 12, 2010

Here's one to any Montana friends that might view this blog ... A week or so ago I spied a name in the reservation computer at work that was entirely unique, and seemed to only possibly be connected to one [set] of person(s). This morning at work I greeted a couple by the name of Rocky and Joyelle Funk! Unfortunately for them they spent their honeymoon in the company of someone that knew them, but fortunately for myself, (and the rest of the crowd in the dining room,) the love of God was spread abroad in the hearts and minds of those present.

It was recently remarked that weddings and babies are consistently new to us, and regardless of their being present through the ages, they are ever fresh and wonderful. This young couple possessed a unique glow as they bowed this morning, and I believe the older folks present were actually taking note of some very distinct qualities radiant in them. My heart smiled deeply this day, and I took to prayer for the marriages in my life, and that they might not be weary or faint in their covenant, but resolved and strengthened in that harbor prepared as a refuge for their love.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Song of the Road

I lift my cap to Beauty,
I lift my cap to Love;
I bow before my Duty,
and know that God's above!
My heart through shining arches
of leaf and blossom goes;
my soul, triumphant, marches
through life to life's repose.
And I, through all this glory,
Nor know, nor fear my fate--
the great things are so simple,
the simple are so great!
-Fred G. Bowles

I began my morning in the rocking chair on the porch with coffee and 2 Samuel. I've been struck by David's life these days, and the depth of integrity the man possessed when he walked in intimacy with the Lord. His heart stood in awe of His words (Ps. 119:161), was tremendously blessed and gifted of God, and yet in the height of it all, was lead astray.

I finished my reading and headed out back to inspect the plants. The clouds were spread like cheesecloth, and draped the antique sky with vapor doilies and deep inlets of the truest blues. My eyes assessed our current delight: the blueberry bushes. So many analogies have been forming as I pick those little gems. One bush dwarfs the others and is full of rich clusters, while the others long branches drape and complain with their slow ripening, and sparse specimens. Proper pruning was lacking on our part, and the result is the slack harvest of the present. My mind skips back to David, and the evening upon his roof when it was the time when kings go out to battle, and he instead was home.

The nature of summer causes a tossing of previous rigors, and invites a beautiful repose of gaiety and joy. Warm breezes whisper of darker months and train the heart to praise for this faithful change. Longer days call us outside, barefoot, bronzed and beaming. But, as mentioned above, they can lead us out onto the roof when we are to be at battle. I read an excerpt on Sunday that penetrated me so deeply it was as if I'd been entirely unfeeling for the past weeks. Complacency had convinced me it was the peace of God.

Our danger is this, and not merely for the gross sins, but for the more deceptive one's, wherein we drain our vitality and zeal for the friendship and impotent promises of the world. We sow seeds in dissolving soil, and allow our garden to erode. God's grace is amazing, and thankfully His faithful hand will prune and pare us back to reach that great harvest of righteousness. Listen to Him friends, and tuck yourself back in to the single-minded first love He so desires and deserves from us.

I finished the day picking black raspberries and driving past waving soybeans, and the silver backs of leaves. My dear friend handed me a note at our departure, and its contents depicted that perfect tension of enjoyment that comes from a disciplined heart of love. On beauty:

"Your eyes will see the King in His beauty. They will behold a far distant land." Isaiah 33:17. "Beauty is God's handwriting." -Charles Kingsley. "In every man's heart there is a secret nerve that answers to the vibrations of beauty." -Christopher Morley.