The Battlefield

nature people night dark

I know people who are warriors at heart

and others who are generals, strategists, planners.

Their efforts, results are not the same. What blesses one,

frustrates the other. We are positioned

on a battlefield to be found faithful,

that is all. But then again

I see through the eyes I have been given,

from a watchman’s post.

You may see it differently.

How might a warrior

perceive the lay of unseen land?

I am open to hearing your perspective,

long to prove faithful to all that God is doing.

There is a time to consider our POSITION in the building, the coming, the praying in, of God’s Kingdom. The Bible tells us our battle is NOT AGAINST FLESH AND BLOOD, but against spiritual forces of darkness in unseen places. And there is a call to each one of us, I believe, to stand faithful in our posting. To fulfill our God-given mandate to show up, be present, stay real and do good work as we are led by the Spirit of God. And we know that some days are tougher than others. But your toughest day may be my easiest, and my toughest day may look like a cake-walk to you. We are each one unique. We all bring DIFFERENT GIFTS to the table, and yet we are called to be FAITHFUL to the God we know to be FAITHFUL even when we are faithless. Let us ENCOURAGE one another, and seek to understand the differences we discern between us, even as we uphold the standard of Unity Among Us, one of the spiritual principles of lasting VICTORY in the heavenlies. Amen.

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A Rhythm that Clicks

analog antique blur classic

as far as I know

God is not in a rush—

would love to see us slow down

on the other hand, timing is everything,

making it essential, in solitude, to find a rhythm

that clicks

Not easy to find a way to “manage” our time that feels like we’re not the ones in charge of this all-encompassing thing called TIME. That feels like our movements, micro and macro, interior and exterior, our dovetailing with the larger, holy rhythms of God. And if you’re really battling with TIME, consider turning your back on the world of day-timers, stop-watches and appointment reminders and doing something larger and holier. Consider observing one whole day of rest, of setting aside a portion of the time you’ve been gifted to simply, but profoundly, get alone with God, your Maker, the one who marks and knows all of your days.

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Roses in Winter

Fearful things can happen. And do.

In this moment, we can get stuck,

for years.

In this season of our deep need

to be loved back to life, get through

to the other side, God is the gardener who knows

how to coax roses

back from wintery depths. And

whom he might employ—

to achieve this vision of loveliness

that never once altered

in his eyes.

This lovely rose is a photo by my son, Giovanni. Isn’t it lovely? Hard to find fault in this little gem of God’s Creation. And it’s like this with us, even after we feel stripped bare from our branches, uprooted from place, overlooked or unappreciated. There is this kernel of “unharmed” beauty preserved within us, speaking to the very heart of God’s redemptive, restorative, cherished plan for our life. Whether to promote or preserve us, or simply coax us back from winter into our summer glory, he has good things in store. Amen.

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Morning Devotions

eyeglasses on book beside pink rose on cup

the fire curls quiet, Violet purrs on my lap,

my mug is the mug of a poet, rounded

and spotted with roses—God’s Word

gives light and peace

for the journey,

long before sunrise a window opens

The spiritual practice of getting alone with the Lord, in a quiet space, first thing in the morning is essential to the well-being of my soul. I just find it very good to be immersed in the Word of God, first thing. It sets the tone and charts the course for the rest of my day; and in some traditions may be called “Practicing the Presence of God.”

This features in my NEW BOOK of poems, LONGINGS OF THE SOUL, a poetic response

His Love Never Fails

purple grapes

solitude: a vision of nothing

save the power of God to meet us where we’re at

and graft us in, a frail branch, isolated and lonely,

to a fruitful vine, bursting with health

vital and enduring

When we get alone with God there is this opportunity for him to pour His Life into our life, to renew the inner man or woman. To feed and strengthen the things of the soul; to restore our faith when it may have run dry or gone untended too long. Solitude is a time of Coming, not Doing. It is a rich (and rewarding) spiritual practice.

This features in my NEW BOOK of poems, LONGINGS OF THE SOUL, a poetic response