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God-lover, singer, poet, writer, friend.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Great Ones

Such light! Brighter than a flame it burns upon his brow. The child has been with Him, for glory rests upon his face. Could a child see more of God than what is given to adults? Yes. There are those who hear God’s voice and hear it well though youth still clothes them in its innocence.

Akiane is one, a prophetic child who has walked with God in places most cannot yet follow. She has seen the waterfalls beneath the stairs of glass that God walks on. And the children of Mozambique who talk to angels and heal the sick, the children Heidi Baker mothers, they also know His voice.

Children? – yes. Faith-filled ones not yet grown up into adulthood’s unbelief. For these end-of-days they have been saved and the wisest of us all shall be perplexed.

Little do they know of doctrine – but they know Him. They know love . . . and we do not recognize the great ones in our midst.


Artwork: St. Joseph the Carpenter by Georges de La Tour

Friday, December 07, 2007

Blood Soaked Ground

Fight, my friends, fight on! Though you are to represent His love to this lost world of souls, it matters not – fight on! Strike the other down for His name’s sake and call yourself Defender of the Faith! Who cares if the wide world looks on or bends their ears and hears your violent squabblings. For sake of pride you thrust the other through, but at least your point was made, at least you protected the image of the faith . . . or did you?

And if you, out in the watching world, happen to pass by and see her, the church in all her glory, the one who calls herself the bride of Christ, if you pass by and see the blood soaked ground beneath her feet, know that it is not His bride you look upon. For His bride is on her knees in the dirt, seeking Him whom her heart desires. His bride is so busy loving this sad, broken world that she has no time to fight. His bride in meekness walks and would not defend herself, though religion come against her.

Her eyes would have a gentle light and her sword's edge would be reserved for him who hates the world of men - not for men themselves.


Artwork: Duel of the Women by Jusepe de Ribera

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Visions In The Night

Visions in the night you’ve given me, and now that I have seen your face I am ruined for it. The night shall never be the same to me, not since I have met you there. Dearest One, who wakes me in the night for sake of love to have a chat; to speak to such a one as me, who compared to your eternal age is just a babe.

In my blood your love runs, flowing from your Spirit into mine. I am devoured by desire for your Glory. And so I wait. Patiently? . . . not always. Pensively? . . . sometimes. With a yearning that no earthly thing can fill and with a heart that cries, “This is but a glimmer of who you are – there must be more!”

And visions in the night is where this started, where this love was poured into my soul. Your light has changed the night for me forever.


Artwork: The Spirit of the Summit by Frederic Leighton

Monday, November 26, 2007

Do Not Listen To The "Hiss"

Do not listen to them. Let not their voice steal your sweet devotion. If those of a religious bent should gain your ear, then tender faith is doomed. They’ll convince you God is powerless. They’ll whisper lies into your ears, “there are no prophets, there are no miracles,” until heart is poisoned by their unbelief.

So close your ears and keep your faith! Keep your wide-eyed wonder and amazement! Keep God as huge and wild and wonderful as He truly is! Keep far away from those whose minds are filled with knowledge, yet are fools still, else your childlike faith gets gobbled up by that meaner, harsher beast called unbelief.

You will know them by their fear-soaked words and pointed fingers that often mimic the Grand Inquisitor himself. Hold close the truth that God still moves and speaks in supernatural ways, for there is only one who would try dissuading differently. Do not listen to the “hiss” that comes from out their mouths . . . it is an ancient hiss.


Artwork: Portrait of Marie-Louise by Emile Munier

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Wrap Myself In Gray

It is one of those days. I wish to wrap myself in gray and hide. Let no one see my soul, my inner heart, for I fear they would not see a light glowing from within. Not today . . . perhaps another day . . . but not today.

The wind is irritating as it tugs upon my veil, tries to pull it clean away from face and eyes so I am seen for what I am – a fragile creature who does not feel very strong. I think no one needs to know that bit of truth, but someone seems to think so. Someone sent the wind to pester me. Some persistent, stubborn, gentle hand has set this thing against me . . . this pestering wind!

And I find that I am not yet so weary that I yield. With all the little strength I have I clench the cloth and wrap it round me tighter and with trembling voice I speak, "You cannot see me yet! I am not ready to be undone!"

I have an inkling that this wind shall in the end prevail.


Artwork: Boreas by John William Waterhouse

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Glowing Faces in the Gloaming

Ooo, here we are again. Halloween is creeping up upon us. I love Jack O’Lanterns – those glowing faces in the gloaming, and children racing up to doors in silly costume.

And yet again the oft debated topic is flung among the forums: can we celebrate or must we turn off our lights and hide? Are we frightened of traditions that pagans once acknowledged or do we walk in Christ’s liberating power?

I for one shall not be bound by the elemental spirits of the earth. On the cross those demons were dethroned! No longer do they hold reign over the night, or over pumpkins, black cats or candy. Why let the enemy of our souls keep us chained to fear and superstition?

In all I do I bless the One who gave me the life to do it, the heart to love Him in it, and the liberty which no date upon a calendar can ever take away . . . three cheers for Jack O’Lanterns!


Artwork: Ghostly Gourds © Norman Rockwell
http://www.normanrockwell.com
https://www.artsy.net/artist/norman-rockwell

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Autumn Dance

It’s here again – Autumn! The brave storm clouds are gathering together, threatening to beat rain down upon our heads. I hope the wind returns as in so many other autumns and whips the rustling leaves into that feverish swirling dance of gold.

Can you not look around and see how it all works so orderly together – clouds, storm, wind, leaves – all meant to join in the autumn dance that was choreographed just for them. This is no accident, no accumulation of a billion tiny accidents that just happen to fit together as some scientists wish to think. I must laugh at the thought – accidents? All of it?? Scientists know so very, very little and are bound by such limited vision.

A hand created this, a voice spoke it into existence . . . And now I hear that voice in the thunder!


Photograph: swirling leaves, unknown

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Thin Ropes of Mercy

So there you are. Poor tired soul. Been adrift at sea for quite awhile now, haven’t you. If not for those thin ropes of mercy tethering you to that fragmented bit of salvage. . . you’d be drowned.

Now what? How does a shipwrecked life find healing anyway? Where is deliverance from the merciless wind that tears at your skin and the unkind water that grabs at you with its cruel, icy fingers. And that gray sky, that sorrowful gray sky that stretches infinitely on, that threatens to banish the sun forever from your gaze – who can call back the blue and bright above and drive away the gray forever?

I know who . . . and I know how . . . I know His name well. He is a brash lover of souls and a fearless one who is not intimidated by violent winds or cold waters that run perilously deep. He’s calling you – no, no, it’s not the wind you hear. It’s Him!
Open up your eyes, dear soul, your deliverance is at hand!

Artwork: All That was left of the Homeward Bound by Riviere

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Burned By Such A Flame

The days are darkening. Twilight has fallen lightly, but it is soon to pass and darkness deep and troublesome will take its place. And that is when His Glory rises best and shines the brightest – in the deep of darkness!

I feel the fire stirred within me, a thing that blazes in my eyes, a passion for the lovely One who’s faithful even when I have wearily lost my faith. It is this love that causes hardened hearts to soften as melted butter in a flame.

I do not mind being burned by such a flame, for I am softer for it, and I glow the brighter soaking in such Glory. Religion carries with it no heat of any kind – cold and dreary are its halls, and hearts wane weak and thin when nourished on its food. Christ does not live in such a place . . . and nor shall I.


Artwork: Resurgam by Sir Frank Dicksee

Friday, August 17, 2007

I Closed My Eyes

I closed my eyes on the journey for just a moment – or so it felt! Where flew the time and for how long were my eyes closed in sleep? I meant to rest, to refresh myself and rise again to journey; but months have passed and my limbs have barely moved.

This will never do! The day is new and bright and shiny like a copper penny. It’s time to rise . . . rise and finish the task, pursue the journey’s end. This is not the time to sleep or to fall into forgetfulness. If there is none to bring encouragement, then self encourage thyself.

The path is yet before you . . . go on . . . pick it up . . . start again where you left off!


Artwork: Asleep in the Woods by Arthur Hughes

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Soaked Clean Through

I shall soak it up until I’m filled with it - Your presence, dear One - tender, fiery, till I am soaked clean through and that glory divine glows from me as it does You.

Here I am, a vessel of dust, and yet, Christ, You choose to dwell in me. What wonder is this! What astounding love that chooses to love broken ones like me; and not just love, but transform into something incredible and new.


Transfixed I stand, as Glory falls upon me and soaks me through.

Artwork: Divine Light by Arild Rosenkrantz

Thursday, March 22, 2007

A Relic?

Has church become a relic? Is it a tired building ready to collapse? Do cold gray skies still shadow it with the iron cast of religion? That is changing. God is building something new in a people that know Him well and love Him intimately.

The system, regulations, and dress codes have to go . . . and Jesus is dismantling it all. Yes, He is. It is He who raised up Brennan Manning, and the book Velvet Elvis He inspired. Jesus has been laboring to save His followers from the burdens and deceptions of religion.

I know, for I am one He saved. When I began to shed my pharisaical garments, I met with opposition. Those who were still bound accused me of rebellion. Why? Because I would no longer bow to the spirit of religion. I would not obey the regulations forcing conformity upon me - their clothing, their worship style - the list went on and on.

The religious spirt is thousands of years old and liberty it does not like. It hates it when it cannot control a person. But when Christ has set you free - you are free indeed! I learned the lesson well and to Him alone I'll bow.


Artwork: Monastery Graveyard in the Snow by Friedrich

Monday, March 19, 2007

Mother-dear Has Lost Her Way

There he is. Safe - he thinks. Inside that warm place, learning his song, his song that he alone is meant to sing. The One who made him, loves him more than any other, hears his song. It rises up to Him with ebb and flow of breath.

But tomorrow is a different day. Tomorrow is the scheduled date when she who was meant to be protector of this little life will bring it to a silent end. The song that he was meant to sing will not be heard by us who dwell in the lighted world.

Mother-dear has lost her way. She ends this little life not knowing of the song. Unaware that creation is missing a voice that it was meant to hear. But there he is today learning his song. Safe - he thinks.


Photograph: fetus in womb, unknown

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Door To The Unknown

It awaits you on the other side. As easy as pushing open a door, so it is that easy to step into. But you must walk through the door. You must brave it, dear soul. Your destiny lies on the other side - are you afraid to find it? Are you frightened of the unknown? Do you wish to calculate your chances of success before you dare? That will never do. If you think too much you will think yourself right out of it!

Perhaps a wide, strange land lies on the other side; a place that will demand your courage; a place that will require every bit of faith you own - and then some. That is a good thing. That is exactly where you need to be. And all that is holding you back is that little door, that door to the unknown. The “unknown” is a very good thing.


Artwork: Psyche Opening the Door by John William Waterhouse

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Over the Waters

England, I am coming! Most certainly the way is being made. Him who is beloved decided it is time, so now I must prepare. I do not know how, that has not yet been given to me; but I know that it is time for change - now I must step out in faith.

So I have rid myself of all the things I own . . . yes, sold them all away . . . and I shall live with friends until the door that I’m to walk through opens up. Already there are shiftings and introductions being made for places I might stay. How amazing! I know no one there in England, but God, through His divine intervention, shall open up a place for me. God is good and I need not fear what lies ahead. I only need to wait and watch and be amazed at what shall happen in the year to come.

I look out over the waters and say, "England, I am coming!" It is time to live the dream.


Artwork: Muse at Sunrise by Alphonse Osbert

Monday, January 29, 2007

Brave the Wind

Climb in and let it take you where it may. Climb in - don’t be afraid. You know a child wouldn’t be afraid. A child would brave the wind and thrill at the prospect of being carried who knows where. Be a child again . . . be brave!

It could take you past the rock; it could pull you round the cape; or it could lead you far into the deep and blue beyond. What are you waiting for?


God guides the wind, as He controls the ebb and flow of tide and moon and makes the waves to carry you where He pleases. The wind of change is strong today - such a fine day for an adventure, don’t you think?

Artwork: Child's Future by Arthur Rackham

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

A Garden Awaiting

It is right there. Can you not see it? Can you not see the flowers that returned for yet another year? Can you not feel the sun that silently crept into the garden without you noticing? Ahh, but your eyes are downcast. The flat, gray stone is all you see; the cold mud and hard brick beneath your feet is all you feel.

Look up for it is coming . . . look up for change is near. So close that you can touch it if you just stretch forth your weary fingers. The world is alive with sweet color - do not keep your vision in the gray and rain and dismal days of old.

There is a garden awaiting!


Artwork: Poor House in Melk by Leopold Blauensteiner

Friday, January 19, 2007

Fair-a-day

Fair-a-day, Fair-a-day, is this a fair weather day? I see the choice is mine. My magnifying glass is in my hand; but what shall I turn it to? Shall I tilt it down upon the roots beneath my feet, make them ever larger, till they appear like giant snakes from which I cannot get untangled? Shall I direct it round me till my eye is full of the duties that abound and the stuff of earth that tries to cling and cloy?

Or better, I believe, I should swing this glass above me and gaze upon the heavens where He abides, make Him ever larger, ever mightier, ever dearer in my eye, till soul is filled with the hugeness of Himself and I, though small, am certain that He holds me. That would make for a better day, a fair day, a day which I would like to walk through . . . so there is my answer.


Photograph: Magnifying glass and world, unknown

Thursday, January 11, 2007

A Breaking Sound!

Restoration! A trumpet sounds it from the heavens. Restoration is coming down to meet you, and all the years the locust ate, the worm destroyed, shall be restored. What joy to watch those who have long awaited God’s changing wind finally see it come.

This is the year, the season, when desires long held shall be fulfilled. I heard it announced from heaven - but not in a whisper, not in a still small voice - not this time. I heard it in a trumpet blast! A raucous trumpet blast . . . a thundering sound, a breaking sound, a crashing through the walls sound!

And you know who trembled when they heard it. You know whose little pinched faces paled with fear at the mighty blast . . . the darkness is in turmoil.


Let the restoration begin!

Artwork: St. Jerome (detail) by Ribera

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

I Will Never Make You Carry That

It is simple. If it were not, my back would have broken long ago beneath the weight. I simply followed Him. Regulations were not heaped upon my back by Him who is the kindest of them all. Men have tried to do that - but never Him! He has always gently removed those nefarious back-breaking religious burdens that men have tried to lay on me and said, “No, my child, that is not for you. I will never make you carry that.” And suddenly I feel light on my feet again. Suddenly I walk with a lilt in my step, as I realize the only thing I need to do is love Him.

It is that simple. Too simple some would say. But, no, that is how it is. He did all the work and by faith in Him we reap all the life . . . simple!


Artwork: He That is Without Sin © 2008 Liz Lemon Swindle
http://www.greenwichworkshop.com/swindle/

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Blind Ones

Will we not ever learn that God is far beyond what our paltry knowledge can grasp? Can we constrain the wind? Can the ocean be tied up neat and tidy in a box? God touches people in ways we cannot always understand. But some have a problem with that. There is a great league of Christians who are frightened of the supernatural; thus in their fear they deny the power of God.

Oh, they have faith. Yes, indeed. Great is their faith in Satan’s ability to deceive and lead astray, greater even than their faith in Christ's ability to keep them in the truth. And because their trust in Satan’s power outweighs their trust in God's, they're fearful of the supernatural deeds the Holy Spirit is doing in the church today; and so they disown those brethren who would dare to speak of visions, dreams, and prophecy.

What a sad lot that refuse the very riches that Christ holds out to us . . . are they not really the blind ones?


Artwork: Return of Tobias by Le Sueur