Apekdechomai (Assiduously Waiting)

Shifting sand and pulling waves

I struggle to keep my balance

Longing heart desire craves

Recall the accepted challenge

Cooling water ebb and flow

Await the next relief

Timely answers held in shadow

Faith beyond belief

New year dawns with stealth approach

Creeping near my soul

Time has passed with tears and love

A healed heart becomes whole

Paused behind the starting line

Poised to take my stance

Anticipation for sound of blast

Strength builds to take the chance

How long before the race is won

Seeps doubt into my mind

Eyes glance up and see the Judge

Hope rests in His sacrifice

A love so vast and worthy

A man so real and true

Jesus came to lay the track

The Way to make it through

This banner raised above my year

A word for hope and wait

Patience with excitement brews

Apekdechomai is the gate.

True Christmas

For those of us who are hidden

By the twinkle of Christmas lights

Cloaked by the carols and merry

Our souls are shining bright

The Kingdom where it all began

Shimmers in everlasting position

The most lovely of all gifts is waiting

Filled with glorious redemption

Tucked underneath a Savior’s arms

Born into a world warring and blue

He holds the sacrificial present

A knight in shining armor kind of rescue

The dreams in our hearts that lie dormant

Our childhood fantasies seem failed

In a blink of an eye they awaken

To the pain of His hands that were nailed

This holiday we know has been stolen

By the rush of shopping and glee

And so we hide beneath tears of loss

But this lament is not where He leaves

Shadows removed by the lights of love

The twinkle can reveal rather than hide

A tree represents the remnant of God

The stump that seemed dead reignites

Hands lifting high we give in worship

What our souls and ours hearts truly need

A focus away from our own selfishness

Notice places of hunger craving seeds

Shifting holy ground is shaken by grace

What was hidden can emerge in mercy

Tears salt the earth and we celebrate

Rejoice in satisfying what was thirsty

Christmas steps into the lost and weary

With the journey of adventurous souls

Come out of hiding with heads lifted high

Walk forth in truth of the ancient scrolls.

Treasures Will Adorn

Empty vessel poured out dry

Sweetness given and gone

What good is the emptiness

A carrier of nothing at dawn?

Rest for a time in the barren

Hope fills the space in waiting

Light and love preparing

Room for grace and filling

Take note of any blemish

Hidden when full of life

Hollow revealing places

Where healing needs more time

Persist in patient stillness

Sorrow comes and goes

Honest measured portions

Our loving Father knows

Time for lavish abundance

Time for wrecked and torn

Time for humble searching

Treasures will adorn

This world of strife and envy

Will keep my heart at bay

But diving into sweetness

I trust Him come what may.

A Father’s Pen

I hear a voice calling me

Bend with the wind

Sway like the trees

Lean in and give

Movements of creation speak

Listen to the leaves

Hear the silence

Let go and grieve

On a journey to a Kingdom

Swim in the ocean

Fall into wildflowers

Live now in the open

Endless love offers hope

Look for the light

Rest in the shadows

Stay in the fight

A Father’s pen writes

Step into words

Slow and believe

Story unfolds

New chapter draws me forward

Accepting new seasons

Open hands receive

Strength has reasons

A Savior’s heart plays music

Hands offer grace

Words give water

Reflecting God’s face

I can hear the notes of mercy

Soak in the song

The voice calling me

Was His all along.

Tossing Seeds

Drowsy from the rocking earth

Lulled to sleep by trauma

Only so much a heart can take

Of screens unfolding drama

Blink awake to find the truth

Defy the sweetened slumber

Reach for light and love and truth

Before darkness pulls you under

Wake up life and spiritual nature

Chip away ice from my heart

Heated by the melting warmth

Of creation, beauty, and art

Yes the evil rips my soul

Yes the pain is real

But I will never give away

The joy that kindness reveals

Passing people side by side

No words or glances shared

Agenda drives the scheduled rush

May I interrupt your solemn stare?

I give you my smile and honest face

I’m searching for the story

A glimpse into the page you’re on

Acknowledging your glory

Give me a second, a gift of your time

A holy interruption of silence

When words and laughter enter in

We pierce the mundane in defiance

Tossing seeds of encouragement

Will land in the hungry soil

Growing roots and sturdy footholds

Harvesting good fruit from our toil.

 

Life In Spite of the Scars

This Holy Book, where life is found

Rips up the hardness in my heart’s ground

Voiceless pondering, things of old

Solitary mining for treasures and gold

Lonely places in a discarded life

Filling with redemption as the bride of Christ

Hope and mercy, graceful love

Lands on the runway from Heaven above

No need to hurry or scrape for a chance

Your desires are known by a Father’s glance

Abiding in strength, when others see weak

I am learning to listen to a Man who was meek

Yeshua, Jesus, Mighty Counselor, I Am

Light in the darkness, like pearls in a clam

A heart that is open, and eyes that will see

Partake in the goodness meant for you and me

Do you sleep in peacefulness, and wake full of joy?

Life is a gift, like a child’s Christmas toy

Morning by morning, new life and new day

Truth and purpose, on my knees when I pray

No matter your worry, your sins, or your doubt

This Lover of souls will not leave you without

Redemption comes to you right where you are

In the middle of darkness, in spite of the scars

The wounds that burn will find ways to inspire

Your path has been lit by God’s Holy fire

He will use you to bring justice and might

Take up your armor, and prepare to fight

Your orders were written in the ink of blood

Rise and renew what sin has undone

We will never be ready with perfection in view

But sowing with hope, He will make all things new.

Surrendered to Seeds- A Secret Lament

The battles and questions do not give way

When hope is spoken come what may

Years of prayer and faithful trust

Leave us in waiting, ashes and dust

With lifted eyes we’ve hoped to see

Our desires answered, binds set free

Betrayals and sickness, cancer and loss

Seemingly drowning like leaves under moss

We find a comfort in secret lament

Rich in darkness, soil prayers are sent

Surrendered to seeds despairing to grow

Silently pressed into earth below

Quieted language and resting in dirt

We learn of sweetness being honest in hurt

Sadness and tears soften the ground

Water and salt clears sight and sound

We listen for breathing and look for light

In passionate peace grows strength and might

Husks of hope will break open in time

We wait together holding, yours, ours, mine.

 

Written in honor of Scott and Kaleen ❤️

Beauty and Truth- Thoughts on Philippians 4:8

“Finally, brothers and sisters, fill your minds with beauty and truth. Meditate on whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is good, whatever is virtuous and praiseworthy.” (Philippians 4:8 The Voice)

Here is a final attempt to show the Philippians (and us) the way to experience peace. The battles of perplexity and anxiousness are won first in our thoughts. If we can fill our minds with the light of truth, all things will be seen more clearly. If we find our way to the beauty, and behold what is lovely, good, and right, our hearts will settle. Even when faced with the most difficult situation, or a person causing us to despair. We have no control over how or where they stand. Where I stand matters more than anyone or anything else. And what I choose to let my mind be filled with will determine my response. My actions are what others see. My words are what they will hear. What flows from my heart into the world will tell of the well it draws from.

My mind is the engine which generates judgement or love. Since God is the judge, I must generate love. Loving God should fuel loving others the way He loves me. I want to generate this love. So I must determine my steps by filling my mind with beauty and truth. What I let my heart feed on is the fuel for my life. Because my heart is the wellspring of life, I want to filter and protect its contents. Just like my water filter at home. I go to the best source of water I have, and then let the filter clean what I cannot see. Instead of judging others based on what I see, I want to let love and God’s truth be the filter. So much in our world seems dark, and yet I have seen light in otherwise dark places. Situations that seem to be lost causes, or stories of terrible events at the hands of people have moved me to look for the heart of the matter. Not to excuse but to look for redemption, the way God redeemed me. God loves with an unconditional love, and this is the way I am to love. It is a difficult thing sometimes, yet each day is a chance to judge less and love more. When I ponder judgement, my pride takes a shadowy stance on my heart. When I ponder how to bring forth God’s love and fill my mind with how He sees, there is light and peace.

Heavenly Father, You are a good and gracious God. Out of Your Heavenly Kingdom flows life and redemption. Thank You for sending Your Son Jesus to us as a human just like me. I am moved to tears when I think of this love. You did not reign down judgement, but sacrificial mercy and grace. Yes, there are consequences for sin, but I leave this judgement to You. Help me to see with Your eyes, and love with Your heart wrapped with mine. Let my hands and feet be in sync with Your plan and will for me. Fill my mind with Your goodness and truth. In Jesus’ name amen.

Bound to Endure- Thoughts on Psalm 25:5

“Escort me along the way; take me by the hand and teach me. For You are the God of my increasing salvation; I have wrapped my heart into Yours!” David (Psalm 25:5 TPT)

“…Lead me into Your truth… I wait…” (NASB)

The Passion Translation threw me here, so I dug in to find how waiting was translated into wrapping my heart into God’s. Language is one of my favorite things, and what a delicious treat I found! By search and discovery in the Hebrew Lexicon, the root word in the Bible for waiting is ‘qavah’, meaning to twist or bind like a rope. So where does waiting tie in? (Pun intended!) Reading further into this rich word I found clarity and insight. To wait involves strength to endure. And to ‘qavah’ is to bind, be strong, hold fast to the hope of God, and to wait on Him. With Him. Bound to His heart.

God has used one simple word to blow my mind this morning. I am learning more by trying to understand less. Lofty concepts built on simple truths are inspiring, and I am reading several books with great insight and wisdom. I appreciate the wonderful lessons learned by others that are shared in black and white. But where God is taking me is foundational. If I bind myself to God first, I have the strength I need to endure. My story can inspire others. Yet true peace and wisdom comes from each unique journey taken by a heart bound to God’s. My strength lies in the simple yet profound and life changing act of binding my heart to His and letting Him escort me through life. I am never alone, and He will not change. Attaching myself to anything or anyone else must come second. People and circumstances will change or fail me, But God never will.

Lord, Unwrap my heart from unholy things. Forgive my carelessness with my soul. I bind myself wholly to You and seek to grow in strength while I wait for my future to unfold. Help me to live with integrity and yet not push others away. Let others be drawn to Your heart through me and lead me away from anything that separates me from You. Protect my life with Your covering and let the blood of Jesus purify my heart. In His name, amen.

Hearts in the Harvest- Thoughts on 2 Corinthians 4:16-17

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NIV

Paul puts into words so beautifully why we do not lose heart. We- meaning those who have surrendered our lives and hearts completely to Jesus. He speaks of being afflicted, crushed, perplexed, persecuted, and struck down, and then points to the miracle of being renewed day by day. This is the opposite of what makes sense in the face of so much hardship. A full surrender to the eternal hope of God’s care is the key that unlocks the chains of trouble in the physical world. There is an eternal glory without end on the other side of this world, and our current troubles can be viewed as light and fleeting when we believe this truth, and let our faith guide and guard our hearts.

I find myself struggling to communicate the depth of my hope sometimes. To say I have surrendered my heart fully to Jesus seems to fall with flippancy on the hearts of those in the midst of despair. I feel the need to explain my own pain I have walked through to justify my hope journey and faith walk now. I was gently reminded this morning that my first commitment is to God. My own disciplines and cultivation of the intimacy and relationship with Jesus is where my hope springs from. I must tend to this and let God tend to the ways He uses me in the lives of others. I can’t save the world on my own, but I can live my life as a testimony of God’s saving grace. I can love and I can speak of the wonder of God’s power in my life. I can stand in the gap, lifting prayer as the bridge for those who so desperately seek answers to their pain and hardship. It is only when you choose to surrender fully to God that freedom will come. This is a personal choice, and one I have to make day after day.

Lord, thank You for the hope You have planted deep in my heart. Let the harvest come. Thank You for the renewing power of Your love. Let the harvest come. Help me to guard my own heart and cultivate the tenderness of compassion and humility while serving the needs of others. Let the harvest come. In Jesus’ name, Amen.