Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Echoes of Eden

An old draft...
no idea it intent or the original inpsiration...
thought about cumpling it into wad for the trash....
final thought at the end.

"Cursed is the strong one
who depends on mere humans,
Who thinks he can make it on muscle alone
and sets God aside as dead weight.
He's like a tumbleweed on the prairie,
out of touch with the good earth.
He lives rootless and aimless
in a land where nothing grows.

But blessed is the man who trusts me, God,
the woman who sticks with God.
They're like trees replanted in Eden,
putting down roots near the rivers—
Never a worry through the hottest of summers,
never dropping a leaf,
Serene and calm through droughts,
bearing fresh fruit every season.

The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful,
a puzzle that no one can figure out.
But I, God, search the heart
and examine the mind.
I get to the heart of the human.
I get to the root of things.
I treat them as they really are,
not as they pretend to be.

Like a cowbird that cheats by laying its eggs
in another bird's nest
Is the person who gets rich by cheating.
When the eggs hatch, the deceit is exposed.
What a fool he'll look like then!

From early on your Sanctuary was set high,
a throne of glory, exalted!
O God, you're the hope of Israel.
All who leave you end up as fools,
Deserters with nothing to show for their lives,
who walk off from God, fountain of living waters—
and wind up dead!

God, pick up the pieces.
Put me back together again.
You are my praise!"

God still sees past the fig leaves.

Monday, October 29, 2007

contented heart

"If I am contented because I have what I desire, perhaps I am contented in that one thing, but that one thing does not furnish me with contentment in another thing; perhaps I may grow more dainty and nice and froward in other things. If you give children what they want in some things, they grow so much the more coy and dainty and discontented if they cannot have other things that they want. But if I have once overcome my heart, and am contented through the grace of God in my heart, then this makes me content not only in one particular but in general, whatever befalls me. "
- The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment - Jeremiah Burroughs

For more on God, life, books, etc...go to

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

yawn and stretch
I just spent and hour-ish...way too long on any account searching for human connections with common interest, beginning with favorite authors. I quit since the majority of those who have like taste in literature as I are aither 251 years old or live in Singapore. I guess I will have to stick to you beautiful people I already know. Here's to a glorious fall and a delightful brunch at a country creamery tomorrow with a precious friend.

Friday, October 19, 2007

jesus rescue me

Well, sometimes my life just don't make sense at all
When the mountains look so big and my faith just seems so small
So hold me Jesus, 'cause I'm shaking like a leaf
You have been King of my glory
Won't You be my Prince of Peace

And I wake up in the night and feel the dark
It's so hot inside my soul I swear there must be blisters on my heart
So hold me Jesus, 'cause I'm shaking like a leaf
You have been King of my glory
Won't You be my Prince of Peace

Surrender don't come natural to me
I'd rather fight You for something I don't really want
Than to take what You give that I need
And I've beat my head against so many walls
Now I'm falling down, I'm falling on my knees

And this Salvation Army band Is playing this hymn
And Your grace rings out so deep It makes my resistance seem so thin
So hold me Jesus, 'cause I'm shaking like a leaf
You have been King of my glory
Won't You be my Prince of Peace

You have been King of my glory
Won't You be my Prince of Peace

- rich mullins

Jesus I need you to be bigger than me today.
Break these chains that hold me down.
Trade my selfishness for the life of Your Spirit
Increase my passion for you.
Let it outweigh everything else.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


"One can never see, or not till long afterwards, why any one was selected for any job. And when one does, it is usually some reason that leaves no room for vanity. Certainly, it is never for what the man himself would have regarded as his chief qualifications."

My favorite excerpt from the Silent Planet - in The Space Trilogy by C. S. Lewis. An extraordinary read. I think I get it in overview, but in actuality I'm sure I comprehend very little. It stretched my thinking and caused me to consider eternal culture from a new and yet deeper perspective. Even if you wouldn't consider science-fiction your preference....try it. It's completely unique. After all it's C. S. Lewis.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

number 6!!

My newest nephew, Isaac Roah Shafer, arrived Saturday the 15th at 6:26 pm. He weighed 8 lbs. 9 oz. and was 21 in long. The first two days were scary as he made a trip to the ER Sunday night and had a high fever all day Monday. It was eye opening for me to watch my sister go from praying for enough love to care for her sixth child to sitting with her through tears asking if after all they have gone through this year, would God ask for this son back so soon. God has been so kind to us in healing his little body from whatever it was. He is gaining "chub" and cuteness every day and there is certainly no shortage of love for him to thrive on. There is so much more to say, and many more pictures to follow. I am loving having my niece's digital camera to play with.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


Every day they pass you by.

Some blend in as they stand quietly in the shadows on the corners of the out of the way places.

Others race past on the roadways, an indistinguishable blur of hurry.

Some may sit quietly beside you, as comfortable as a familiar idea.

Many will brush past as you go about your days - they don't know you, nor you them - yet in that touch of an instant they shape your life.

Some will arrive with a flourish that will not let you ignore or refuse. They force their way in to your routine. At first their unusual presence rubs a raw blister on your soul. With time it will harden and callous.

Still others will stand silently by for days, weeks, even years, waiting to be noticed. When you do notice is will be be as they finally walk away and you will ache with the awareness that you have missed something beautiful.

Some walk by in clusters, giving you nothing but a surreptitious glance; yet the urge that they are important - somehow - leaves an imprint on you heart.

Then there are those who will disdain and disregard you with haughty superiority.

Some will patronize you with condescending charity.

Many more you will never see at all - ever.

Every day they are there.
Every moment.
Look into their eyes; catch a glimpse of their souls.

Each one is a commonplace miracle.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Todd Agnew - Better Questions

I have come to really enjoy and appreciate Todd Agnew's music over the past year or so. Today I purchased his latest release Better Questions. I am not even through the entire album and I feel moved and encouraged by his honesty and authenticity. I think that some Christians cringe at that word (authenticity) as if it's too humanistic, but I think it's a concept we could explore more thoroughly in our own hearts and then in our conversations in our church community. If this is something you seek and want good company in your journey check out Listen, read the conversations and think about who you are in relation to Christ. What are your hard questions? In the purest way I can muster, I want a man with a heart like this with whom to share my journey.

if You wanted me

I’ll admit I’m glad we’re not disciples
Out on a lake paralyzed with fright
‘Cause I’m afraid I might have laughed at Peter
Until he stepped into that stormy night

If you wanted me to walk on water
Why’d You make the solid ground seem so right?

I’ll admit I’m glad I’m not King David
Ruling over everything I see
‘Cause I think I’ve fallen for more than Bathsheba
Your creation’s a temptation for me

If you wanted me to love you only
Why’d you make the moonlight sparkle in her eyes?

I’ll admit I’m glad I’m not John the Baptist
In a jail cell waiting for my day to die
‘Cause at least down here I know what we’re chasing
And it’s hard to trust Your dreams are so much better than mine

If you wanted me to die to myself
Why’d you make me fall so deeply in love with life?

If You wanted me to surrender
Why’d You make these hands able to hold on so tight?

And if You wanted me to be like You
Why’d You make me like me?

The following is a quoatation from the Bio of Better Questions:

“When we ask questions, God gives us answers, but they’re answers that are going to help draw you to Him, not answers that are going to help you be right,” he continues. “He’s not going to give you the answer that will let you think, ‘Oh, I’ve got it all figured out now,’ He’s going to give you the answer that is going to pull you in to Him, because that’s what you need."

To those of you at Christ Community Church who share this search and challenge me every time I see you - thank you. I am closer to my Savior because of you.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Aurora and the search for Goliath

Rachel....I heard the small voice whine.

Me: Yes, Aurora.

Rory: (Age four) No one wants to be my Goliath and let me hit them in the head with my slingshot. See.... I'm pretending this block is my rock, but no one wants to pretend with me.

I tried not to let her see me laugh at her seriousness.

Me: Well, Rory, I think maybe they think it won't feel so good to get hit between the eyes with a block.

Rory: (Pause for careful condsideration.) Well. Maybe if I hit them in the knees it won't hurt so bad.

Me: Maybe not, but they still might think it will hurt.

Rory: I'll just go find Daddy. He'll be my Goliath.....

Me: (to myself) should I warn him....?

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Power of Addiction

This is the power of addiction. Whatever the object of our addiction is, it attaches itself to our intense desire for eternal and intimate communion with God and each other in the midst of Paradise—the desire that Jesus himself placed in us before the beginning of the world. Nothing less than this kind of unfallen communion will ever satisfy our desire or allow it to drink freely without imprisoning it and us. Once we allow our heart to drink water from these less-than-eternal wells with the goal of finding the life we were made for, it overpowers our will, and becomes, as Jonathan Edwards said, “like a viper, hissing and spitting at God” and us if we try to restrain it.

“Nothing is less in power than the heart and far from commanding, we are forced to obey it,” said Jean Rousseau. Our heart will carry us either to God or to addiction.

“Addiction is the most powerful psychic enemy of humanity’s desire for God,” says Gerald May in Addiction and Grace, which is no doubt why it is one of our adversary’s favorite ways to imprison us. Once taken captive, trying to free ourselves through willpower is futile. Only God’s Spirit himself can free us or even bring us to our senses.

(The Sacred Romance , 133–34)

From The Ransomed Heart, by John Eldredge, reading 223
Ransomed Heart Ministries

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Prayin' for my man

I want to give kudos to a recent article by Carolyn McCulley on Singleness is an "issue" on the hearts and minds of most of us 20-30 something ladies, so I am always thankful for encouragement or instruction in how to keep my heart and behavior acceptable as I wait....not so patiently many days. Carolyn said the following in her fourth point of how to be attractive in a godly way as we wait to be pursued:

"Proverbs 30:19 says that the way of a man with a maiden is amazing and wonderful, something too profound to be easily understood. So if Scripture says this is a mystery, why should we expect that some formula or method in the latest singles self-help book is going to solve it? When you think about it, it is amazing that two sinners can be drawn to each other (at the same time!) and then make a pledge to stick it out for the rest of their lives. Frankly, the longer I observe the mystery of marriage, the more I am in awe of God’s sovereign ability to bring two people together. So pray for the gift of marriage for yourself and your friends, pray for the single men you know to find a wife, pray for your pastors and your church to help single adults get married, pray that God will conform you as a fruitful helpmate to your future husband, pray for a humble man who listens for God’s voice—and then pray that God speaks your name to him."

I love specifics when given an assignment. So if you'll excuse me I have some prayin' to do.
To read the entire piece go to:
Also note the link to Carolyn's blog - Solo Femininity

Monday, July 16, 2007

musings from years past - revised

Even As I am Known

The mask - heavy
Life - tawdry
A cheap, simple show
They did not know

The day - long
Life - provoking
Testing patience to its end
Oh, if one knew

Time - stangnant
Life - ominous
Looming tiresome and dull
Should they know

The mask - safe
Life - fake
This is not real
None can know

One day renewed
A stranger somehow understood
How could he know

The time now precious
One heart cleansed and true
Delivered by his knowing

The mask now old
Cast aside, discarded and abused
They'll never care

One day eclipsed
Life finished
In his gaze all will be shown

One time soon past
A shrunken, helpless waife
Knows glory, grace, eternal life

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

book review - surprised by children

I just finished reading surprised by children by Harold Myra. It is the story of how God led a white American (Norweigan) family to provide foster care and to adopt black children into their family. The children's stories are tragic and inspiring. Not all ended happily or should I say positively. Some stayed only a short while as toddlers then returned to live with their birth families. A few became a lifelong part of their family. Harold journals his journey as an older dad raising a second family as well as his thoughts and feelings on interacting with African-American culture in the 70's.

Being in youth work myself, I found much encouragement in hearing him tell of experiencing emotional wear and tear to the point of feeling ill, of needing solitude, yet finding inexplicable joy and delight through the children's questions and view on life and their need and acceptance of him as their father. He simply tells the story, but always brings it back to what God was doing in his heart and mind all the while.

Towards the final chapters Myra speaks of a French Christian from the 1600's named Fenelon and his book The Seeking Heart. The few excerpts he inlcuded have put me on a search to find and read the complete work.

"Do not resist what God brings into your life. Be willing to suffer. God prepares a cross for you that you must embrace withough thought of self-preservation." "Ouch," Harold says. Ouch indeed.

"See God's hand in the circumstances of your life... Nothing so shortens and soothes your pain as the spirit of nonresistance to your Lord. Do not reject the full work that the power of the cross could accomplish in you. "

"Embrace the difficult circumstances you find yourself in - even when you feel they will overwhelm you. Allow God to mold you through the events He allows to enter your life. The events of life are like a furnace for the heart."

"Never say, 'This is too much for me.' Depend on the Almighty. God's hand holds you. Do not try to look to far ahead, but live moment by moment before God. Let your anxiety flow away like a stream."

"Faith holds us in continual suspense - We're constantly 'up in the air'. We must simply let God act and let His will unfold."

Duh. Yet so hard to remember.

Myra comments that if the Christian life is the stuff of the Gospels then magnificent adventure equals big trouble. He says, "The adventure of faith draws us into the mystery and includes great and mighty things. But often the greatest things in our lives are rather small.

We just have to have eyes to see..."

Monday, July 2, 2007

people watching at the grocery store

I've never known grocery shopping to be so humorous, but between the squeaky carts and items the little old men were buying, today's outing was pretty entertaining. Some Mom had her son in one of those carts with the plastic truck on the front - only this cart had a defective wheel. It screeched so loud everyone in the entire store was aware of every move they made. It was annoying, sure, but the Mom's red face as she pulled up to the front desk and asked for a lube and filter service made it adorable.

What really had me giggling was the ingredients in the cart of one older gentleman. He reminded me of the old ranchers I used to see in the small town markets in Colorado. He had on a flannel shirt (yes, long-sleeved) which was snugly tucked into his dark blue jeans which were pulled securely up between his ribs and armpits. His face was wrinkled and his eyes, distant. The items lined up neatly on the seat of his cart were: a hoagie (grinder, sub, whatever) two jars of Sunmaid prunes and a toilet plunger...

Sunday, June 17, 2007

wrapped in mercy

Every Time I Breathe
Big Daddy Weave

I am sure all of heaven's heard me cry
As I tell You all the reasons why
This life is just too hard
But day by day
Without fail I'm finding everything I need
And everything that You are
To me

Every time I breathe You seem a little bit closer
I never want to leave
I want to stay in Your warm embrace
Oh basking in the glory shining from Your face
And every time I get another glimpse of Your heart
I realize it's true
That You are so marvelous God
And I am so in love with You

Now how could I after knowing One so great
Respond to You in any way
That's less than all I have to give
But by Your grace I want to love You not with what
I say
But everyday
In a way that my life is lived

Every time I breathe You seem a little bit closer
I never want to leave
I want to stay in Your warm embrace
Oh basking in the glory shining from Your face
And every time I get another glimpse of Your heart
I realize it's true
That You are so marvelous God
And I am so in love with You

Wrapped in Your mercy I want to live and never leave
I am held by how humble
Yet overwhelmed by Your majesty
Captured by grace and now I'm finding
I am free
You are marvelous God
And knowing You is everything