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The end of February marks the end of the 10th year this blog has been in existence. 10 years! Some years have been more prolific than others, especially lately. And these 10 years have seen many changes in my life. But here I am still posting . . . and rambling. I beg your indulgence as this post may be a little more rambly than usual.

I got on tonight to write an end-of-January blog (as part of the usual blog-a-month New Year’s resolution that’s more a flurry of ideas for blogs throughout the year than it is an actual resolution to write more). Got on to write one of those idea posts, one involving a YouTube playlist I’ve been working on and intending to share . . . . But as I was tweaking the list and getting it ready to post, another song came to mind that perhaps I should have included in the list . . . and off I went to find it. And it led me to other songs by the same artist–an artist I’ve appreciated over the years but haven’t exactly followed. An artist who has some really great newer (and older) stuff.

And I got distracted looking at songs.

And somewhere along the way, I found this one. I especially love the first few lines–because I’ve been reflecting lately on how different my reality is from what I always thought it would be when I arrived at this age.

I remember my parents at this age and thinking how much they knew, and I assumed that by the time I was “an adult” I would know everything and be the expert and always know just what to do and what to tell others to do. And adulthood is very much not that way.

It also seemed logical to think that at some point I would have “arrived” as a Christian and have all the answers and be able to tell everyone what to do. But that is not the way that it works. In reality, it’s very much like the horizon: you reach the line you thought was the end of the world and find that there’s a whole lot more still ahead of you.

And so . . . instead of the New Year’s blog I thought I was going to write today . . . I am quietly reflecting (briefly) on where I find myself here, at the end of 10 years of blogging, on the changes that have come and gone and the changes that are ongoing. Most of all, there’s a most important constant. And it’s really hard to put that constant into words because the constant is a person, the one I’ve been chasing and who somehow has also been pursuing me and finding me all these years.

I’m just going to borrow some of Andrew Peterson’s words to express this most amazing (and perhaps baffling, at times) constant–because his song finds a very strong echo in my heart.

After All These Years–Andrew Peterson

 

 

 

 

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This summer God brought the concept of praising Him to mind, and I found it to be something that I really do not completely understand, especially as I ponder what it is like to receive praise from others and to give praise to others. If you have any insights on the topic that you’d like to pass on to me–ways that you have learned to do this very thing–I would love to read them.

I wrote this senryu as I was doing my month-long senryu/haiku exercise in February:

PSALM 150

At the end of the day
At the end of the psalms
Praise the LORD

2-18-2011

It’s hard to know how to start a post that shamelessly advertises something you have more of a connection with than the typical 3 (or is it 5?) degrees of removal. Do I proclaim to the heights “I know these people and they are doing something beyond cool!” or does that make it seem too . . . something? Because really, they don’t need my introduction, but I am eagerly anticipating the next steps of this new venture in movie-making. Knowing them, it will be interesting and action-packed, and they will have more fun in making it than the averages allow 😉

So, here’s the link to the official movie site
<a title="Beyond the Mask movie site" href="http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1833252312/beyond-the-mask-movie/widget/video.html” target=”_blank”>http://beyondthemaskmovie.com/index.html

And here’s the wind-up and the pitch:

[http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1833252312/beyond-the-mask-movie/widget/video.html]

I’m excited!
(can you tell?)

Beholding glory
Comfort, trust, sufficiency
God raises the dead
2-8-2011
Christ arose and was seen,
Forerunner of believers:
We live through Him
2-5-2011

This last portion of the poem deals with the one word that seems to be impossible–hope. Because that is the message of the Resurrection. Hope. Hope for new life that springs from the inside and changes us for eternity. Hope because the One who knew no sin became sin for us so that WE MAY BE MADE THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN HIM. That’s hope. And not the wishful-thinking kind. It’s the hang-your-hat-on kind. The lay-your-every-waking-moment-on-the-line kind of hope. Expectation.

I’m standing at the tomb
His tomb
My tomb
Your tomb
Dare I hope to see an angel
Announcing over empty grave-clothes
The Impossible has happened?
Where does my heart,
My death-wounded heart go
to find Your Resurrection?
Like Martha, I believe
You are Who You Are—
God, the Son of God,
The Resurrection and the Life.
Can this belief become
the spice I bring to mourn the dead?
Here is where we dwell:
We dwell with Death—
death of loved-ones, hopes, and dreams
Should I really be
Surprised that You should die?
It’s not ok
But I’m used
To it, to death
There’s always one more tomb.

But Yours is empty
Empty, hollow, vacant—
Incomprehensibly absent
Is the corpse I came to find.
“Because I live, ye shall live also”
Was Your promise,
A promise just as impossible,
Just as improbable—
Teach me to believe!
For now, just help me trust
In You, the One I’ve come to know.
I know You’ll read my message
When I send to You saying,
“Lord, the one You love is sick, is dead.”
You’ll come, e’en though he’s dead,
Because You love him, too.
I’m waiting for the glory of God
Promised by You,
Incomprehensibly impossible.
Hoping, waiting, believing
That You defeated Death.

No resurrection?
Your faith is vain; dead in sin.
Have we been liars?

 

2-5-2011

My friend posted a book excerpt that touches on the state we are in now–a state of missing something and longing for it and trying to get it back again. The book calls it “the feeling that quit at the Fall.” (Searching for God Knows What by Donald Miller)

Read the excerpt here–http://meditationsfortheliminal.blogspot.com/2011/03/from-searching-for-god-knows-what.html

It struck me that he calls it a feeling. And it is a feeling. And the absence of it is a feeling. There’s an Adventures in Odyssey episode about God’s search for man that has Adam talking about what it was like after the Fall. His ultimate word on it all was that nothing could ever be the same again. And I’ve been pondering that. Especially in the light of the human relationships I know and enjoy. There are certain things that can happen in our relationships that take away the friendship, the openness, the trust that was there. And nothing is ever the same again. And there is an emptiness, a hole that needs to be filled. That’s what we are looking for as a human race–we are constantly seeking that condition that relationship that existed before the Fall.

The thing is that it goes both ways. It’s really easy to see the loss on our side. We, the offending party, lost the trust and the relationship and the ability to know and feel secure in God’s love. But He lost something, too. He lost us. Anyone who has ever been sinned against, who has ever been betrayed, lost the ability to trust someone, been deeply disappointed by son or daughter or student or friend knows this feeling. And God, being God, must feel it more deeply than we feel it.

There are only two paths away from a fall like this. And neither one is the same as before the fall.
1)  Things can be worse than before. And they usually are. There is distance, pain, separation, distrust, shame. And lots of other things we generally call “negative emotions.”
2) Things can be better than before. And that actually seems almost impossible. Miraculous at best.

But aren’t all the best things in life truly miracles?

This post should, most likely, be some piece of poetry . . . preferably by me and not someone else . . . or so I’ve been told 😉

However, since it’s late at night and I shouldn’t even be up right now, let alone on the computer,
And since I haven’t written any poetry lately,
And since I haven’t gone through old poems in a while to see if there are any new ones to post,
This will have to do,
For now =)

So I had forgotten to add a link to a blog that contains some student writings that are really quite fun: Around the Writer’s Block. Check out the pantoums. And if you want something to sink your teeth into, there are the essays =)

And then there is the blog of the friend who does cakes for a living–you should totally check out the pictures! She’s amazing! Cakes by Suzy is as fun as the name implies =)

Finally there’s the one I found most recently. Meditations for the Liminal is not for everyone, though there was definitely something there for me. It’s primarily for those who have found themselves hurt by those who looked very spiritual and turned out to be modern-day Pharisees (probably because they themselves truly knew nothing of God’s love). It’s for those who are “liminal” as the author explains: those who have found themselves “in between,” so to speak–not easily categorized as “Fundamentalist” but also not willing to deny the things that are fundamental to a relationship with Jesus Christ. I have been moved by the way the blog explores Who Jesus is–something that we all find ourselves coming back to again and again as we grow in our Christian lives. Growing closer to God and learning to be more like Christ inevitably leads us to ponder what Christ is really like. =)

So now I am going to conclude this post and head for bed . . . maybe. 😉

Another excerpt from an old journal:

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Does water whisper to the trees? I suppose only a tree would know. But You’ve been whispering to me. I cried in staff devos on Thursday as Faith spoke on finding solitude with You. My heart longs for it–even as I fear it. . . . Perhaps that’s why I wait so long to come to You each day. Maybe I think that if I can somehow accomplish something before I ope Your word, I will find praise for my actions in its pages, a “well done” from Your lips, and see not the muddy, bumbling girl I truly am. Ach! Who knows!
But deep in my heart, I do thirst for solitude with You.

(found in one of my journals as I was browsing today)
Monday, February 9, 2004

A beggar at the gate, I come
knocking, waiting, head slumped
On breast, worn out yet work never done.

But yesterday I was maiden fair,
damsel, waiting, eyes searching
For a champion, someone to take my cares.

Now, today, I am a serf,
menial, waiting, knowing
My desserts are found on meaner tables.

So, why do I even bother knocking?

Why are beggars beggars? A lack, a need, even at times, a want. Beggared by circumstance–a wound, a disease, a fire that takes livelihood and all–or beggared by self–inability to keep ourselves afloat, we let go of the dignity of self-reliance and we ask, then we beg.
What do beggars beg for? A crust, a crumb, a bone. Anything to keep themselves alive. Dare they ask for more? A seat at the table? a full plate? Dare I ask–tonight–for sustenance and MORE? I have nothing to pay for it. Idiot that I am, I spent my last doit on other things–some worthless, I suspect. But my meagre salary could never hope to buy a prince’s place at the king’s table. What am I thinking?

Make me a window, Lord.

Let my life be clear so that Your life will shine through me. Let others look at me and wonder what is inside that glows so brightly, invitingly. In all I do, in all I say, in all I think, reflected on my face, let others see You. And may what they see make them want You to live Your life inside of them.

Make me a window, Lord.

Let me see outside my little world as You see. Let me see the beauty around me, beauty You have made, beauty You are still creating. Let me see Your hands busy working everywhere, and especially amid the ugly scenes of our lives. Let me see the opportunities You give my little hands to join You, working alongside You as I work alongside my father and my mother sometimes still. Open my eyes to the moments that I can bless others as You always bless me. Let Your light illuminate the truth that secures me in all places that I go.

Make me a window, Lord.

When it is dark outside–when the night closes in around me and I cannot see clearly–let me look at my window and see Your face reflected: You alive in me. With You inside, no night can be too dark.

Make me a window, Lord.

“And, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.”  ~ Matthew 28:20b

Oh, God of dust and rainbows, help us see That without dust the rainbow would not be. ~ Langston Hughes

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