New Normal

Shedding the scales of the old ways

Believing the new ways will come

Forced to exist in a smaller domain

There is nowhere to run away from

A heavy storm of sickness and fear

Has washed across the earth

Page after page in a never ending chapter

What was our previous life worth?

Missing the chaos, we want to return

To places we knew too well

Somehow we know this is crazy

Yet our heart is too desperate to tell

The longer the pause, the more we settle

A chance to consider the past

Maybe this reset and unwelcome halt

Reveals we were living too fast

Reaching for things we thought would bring joy

Pursuing pleasure and lust and money

We forgot how to feel the pain of too much

And bitterness tasted like honey

A new normal set into the rhythm of life

Hidden things come bursting into view

Some things are dark and some filled with light

Most of which we already knew

The power to choose when the world opens up

Holds a chance for the life we desire

I pray that the chaos cannot recover

And the shadows don’t kill back the fire

There is a smoldering spark of redemption

Patiently waiting to burst with a hopeful flame

All we must do is fill with God’s love and recover

Knowing our stories will not be the same.

Shift

Weightless but grounded

Like a feather in dirt

Softly kept freedom

Rises above the hurt

Wakeful with prayer

Salted with grace

Voice spoken words

A smile on my face

Breathing in deep

Life upon lungs

Another day opens

Where yesterday hung

Light upon shadows

Like waves upon sand

Washing away

Mistakes of my hand

Morning brings promise

An unopened gift

Carefully unwrapping

Joy takes the next shift.

Memorial Day Tribute

Gratitude gleams in the sunshine

Reflecting on tears that have fallen

Red, white, and blue, stripes given

From a hero who walks life uncommon

A call of the duty that beckons

Brothers and sisters in arms

They take up the cross that burdens

To protect and keep love from harm

Pause and reflect on the cost

Notice the eyes of those who have served

Join me and pause to see them

These warriors with hearts submerged

Sometimes the rough exterior

Will hide their hidden kindness

They deserve the searching

Treasures found in exteriors that blind us

Losses and pain kept secret

Heavy like balls and chains

Lets us be seekers with gracefulness

To bind mercy in the life unchanged

Honor to those who gave their lives

Forgiveness for those who remain

Hope in the promise of Jesus

Who’s love sacrifice was one in the same

He is the only Redeemer

The One who understands our pain

No matter the life we walk while on earth

His love and healing will stay

I lift my hope this Memorial Day

For those who are lost and alone

That the sadness you feel would be planted

Into beauty this fought for freedom can grow.

What Love Does

When you give your heart away

There is floating in between

A place of honest giving

Trust in how it will be received

The truth in giving love

Is to draw from our Redeemer

The One who gave it all

To the frail and flawed receivers

Faded flower calling in colors

Take a second look before you pass

New does not always mean best

Return to the the richer past

Knowing and loving and being true

Words to solve a puzzle

Understanding why is not so bad

Soak into my loving nuzzel

The question of how does not matter

My heart has been rooted in God

Loving a man that is in a battle

Is a wife’s holy and graceful nod

Moving to the next me brigade

Is nothing compared to commitment

A vow to be what I could not be

Without my Saviour’s commission

A love was protrayed in agony

A sheep praying for her wolves

Nailed to a cross with a silent prayer

Sacrifice is what love does

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.

 

True Treasure

Dusted with joy

My waiting is sweet

What seems like forever

Light quickens defeat

Shadows uncovered

Hidden from view

Trapped voices start singing

Dead life becomes new

Like flowers through concrete

Hope reaching for life

Defiant in darkness

Beauty reigning in strife

It’s not in tomorrow

It’s not yesterday

It’s how we are living

With what’s given today

Taking a moment

Feel my feet on the ground

Imagine earth spinning

Yet stillness is found

Sun and moon rising

With each orbital spin

Daytime gives way

As light comes to an end

Eternally focused

I know light will reign

Dark only for moments

Heart fills with good gain

A small life of waiting

Like seeds in the field

Bursts into a harvest

True treasure revealed.

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.

Held and Content- Thoughts on Hebrews 13:5

“Don’t be obsessed with money but live content with what you have, for you always have God’s presence. For hasn’t He promised you, “I will never leave you alone, never! And I will not loosen my grip on your life!” Hebrews 13:5 TPT

“Being content means to be possessed of unfailing strength, satisfied, to be strong; [thereby] to defend or ward off.” (Strong’s concordance)

We are warned against being obsessed with money and what it can buy. The correlation of this contentment-seeking mindset and God’s promise to always be with us means we will be stronger when we fill our lives and hearts with Him.

Obsession is a buzz word I hear all the time. “I am obsessed with _____”, fill in the blank. Whatever our newest delight may be, we want to possess more. I recognize this as our trying to fill the empty places in our soul that only God can fill. I am guilty of it too. But, I am becoming more aware of the constancy of unrest around me. Obsessive talk in our consumer saturated world is so common place now. We have so much, but we always want more. God gave me a picture of this unrest and why my soul feels so unsettled at times. Think of a glass of water. If you tilt it toward something else to fill it, the water inside sloshes and splashes out. Pull it back and water sloshes out the other side. Constantly tilting the glass reaching for more and then pulling it back spills what what is already inside. We are the glass. Our body contains our soul, the water inside. When we let God hold us and fill us, our soul is at rest.

Dreams and desires are good, but obsessively reaching is not. Whether its an ambitious career move, or simply choosing what to eat for dinner, our desires can become addictions leaving us feeling empty on the other side of temporary satisfaction. Being content in God brings a more peaceful perspective. I am less inclined to judge when someone rocks my world at work. I am less inclined to let the taste of food drive me, and am more content to let nutritious choices fill my body with healthy things. I do not need to want what everyone else has, or do what everyone else is doing. I want God to direct my steps every day. I want Him more than anything this world offers. And He will enable me to give to others in a way that leaves a lasting, peaceful kind of love, and hopefully, a touch of contentment on their hearts.

Lord, Forgive me for my obsessive tendencies. Forgive me for using money to buy things when I feel empty. Forgive me when I alter my choices from Your best to worldly less. Help me to recognize the barren places in me before I fill them with anything but You. Thank You for showing me the strength that comes from contentment in You. Let my life testify to the peace only You can give. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Abiding in the Vine – Thoughts on John 15:5

“I am the vine, you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” NIV

“I am the sprouting vine and you’re my branches. As you live in union with me as your source, fruitfulness will stream from within you—but when you live separated from me you are powerless.” TPT

Jesus is the source of freedom and fruitfulness. When we choose to abide in Him, He will abide in us. This is a powerful union. The purpose is to produce goodness or “fruit”. A branch that is cut off from the source of the vine will wither and eventually die. Remaining with the vine, our lives will produce the sweetest fruit. Depending on how strong the branch is, it may survive a while before withering, after being cut off from the vine. But without the continual flow of life sustaining sap, the fruit will be weak if it bears any at all. It is my choice to abide in Jesus, the true vine of life, and the fruit He produces is delicious.

When I am in the presence of someone whose life is sustained by Jesus, I feel energized. They have their own connection to the source of vitality. When combined with mine, I feel stronger and energized. God can do greater things with us together. Jesus is right there in the midst with us like He says in Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” On the flip side, when someone’s life source is anything else, it can feel as though they are tapping into me for their source of life, and I begin to feel depleted. The same goes for me. When I seek life through others, looking to them to come through for me rather than letting Jesus be my source of abundant life, I become clingy. Or I reach for things that are not life giving.

I want to share my life with others and love on them right where they are. I want to bring life the way God has brought life to me. In order to produce good fruit like forgiveness, humility, compassion, and kindness I must cultivate and care for my connection to Jesus. He is my life source and I must guard and protect my heart, the wellspring. The world pulls on me, so I must be careful not to become disconnected from the vine.

Lord, Thank You for Your life sustaining power. Produce in me a pure heart and let my life bear good fruit. Forgive me when I have disconnected from You and tried to sustain myself without You. Protect me and care for our connection as my vine dresser. In Jesus name, my true vine, amen.