Monday, August 19, 2019

Hong Kong Too


You shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; 
and from terror, for it shall not come near you. Isaiah 54:14



Hong Kong
Says no
We do not consent for you to rule over us

What is the price of freedom
Who is truly free

China too
Be free
Wake up in the arms of the Lord
Here in the land of the living
The Lord bless you and keep you

Do you know what it takes 
to break the back of 
Totalitarianism?

Faith.




Sunday, August 18, 2019

A Monument and a Name


Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the Lord say,
“The Lord will surely separate me from his people”;
and let not the eunuch say,
“Behold, I am a dry tree.”
For thus says the Lord:
“To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths,
who choose the things that please me
and hold fast my covenant,
I will give in my house and within my walls
a monument and a name
better than sons and daughters;
I will give them an everlasting name
that shall not be cut off.
Isaiah 56:3-5


The Lord God, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, declares, 
"I will gather yet others to him besides those already gathered.”
Isaiah 56:8

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Blame


You know what it is, the battle of good and evil. There is not a them, a monolithic group of citizens from somewhere else (or here) who are the enemy. It is not a country or a political party or the guy down the street. There are people just like us in the highest office of this land and others faraway, across the sea, where His hand holds us high: North Korea, Russia, China, Brazil, France, Iran. I mean everywhere, I am not picking just a few. We, us, people like you and me are everywhere in every nation. Just ordinary, powerful, not destroying, not plotting, just going to the grocery store.

You and I are here minding our own business, confused by the liars on the news calling us names. You get a name...and you... We each get one. It doesn't matter if they fit. You get called something and stuffed into a category. They want us to fight each other instead of the lie. Above all, they do not want us to look at the truth and understand. There is a great battle of good and evil in our world. You may think I'm your enemy because I voted for Trump, but I am not your enemy.


The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10



Monday, August 5, 2019

Tea


Tea came and sat with her on the balcony. It told her great stories of a man from the East, a dragon, the end, a beginning. Fire erupted in her soul, but not the kind that burns, fire that fuels. The story continued. She loved the redemption at the end, and throughout, as each character came to life. In her hand, a cup of tea, in her mind a story, in her heart, praise.

She was from faraway, the land of scarves and swaths of bright cloth, and tea and sunshine, the colors more vibrant and the rain sideways. Her steps were safe, over stones set for her by the kindness of family. Her words were fire, the kind that heals, and her tea was strong and sweet.



Friday, August 2, 2019

Red


Though your sins are like scarlet, 
they shall be as white as snow...

From Isaiah 1:18



Isaiah 45


"Ask me of things to come; 
will you command me concerning 
my children and the work of my hands? 
I made the earth and created man on it; 
it was my hands that stretched out 
the heavens, and I commanded all their host.
I have stirred him up in righteousness,
and I will make all his ways level;
he shall build my city and set my exiles free,
not for price or reward,” says the Lord of hosts.

Isaiah 45:11b-13


Thursday, August 1, 2019

Feather


A prayer 
like a feather 
floats on the wind 
On the will of God
From a heart
Just a request
A question
It never stops floating there
With God
Being heard

For a person small and simple
Or a leader great or famous
For a disheveled man in a suit at a train station
For the President
The other one
Were you good or were you bad
Did they fool you too
I got an answer
You will too


He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; 
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. Psalm 91:4

Friday, July 26, 2019

Isaiah 41:13


For I, the Lord your God,
hold your right hand;
it is I who say to you, “Fear not,
I am the one who helps you.”


Thursday, July 25, 2019

Isaiah 41:10


Fear not, for I am with you; 
be not dismayed, for I am your God. 
I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, 
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. 



Sunday, July 21, 2019

Fools


And a highway shall be there,
and it shall be called the Way of Holiness;
the unclean shall not pass over it.
It shall belong to those who walk on the way;
even if they are fools, they shall not go astray.

Isaiah 35:8


Fools. Well, that's encouraging!


Thursday, July 18, 2019

Vampire


I am dead thirsty. I lap up the life of others, never quenching nor satisfying that longing within me for more. I am a vampire, always in quest of. I am enslaved by desperate pursuit. Ravenous and manic, I seek you. I come for you because I need the life in your veins. I need.

I can’t count my victims. Too many are they.

I see my next meal, a strange man on a vacant road. I approach slowly to stalk him. He is a lighted figure in a fold of darkness, as if he holds the sun within himself. His silhouette stands out against the evening. His mere existence is an annoyance to me. He neither cowers nor defies as I approach. He meets me eye-to-eye. It is infuriating.

His face is weathered, beaten and bruised, but serene. His hands scarred, horrific torment have they endured or given. Perhaps I have met a monster like me. I size him up. I can take him. The blood on his hands looks like it has been there for an eternity, though it has the stench of freshness.

He appears to know me. At the very least, he knows what I am about to do. And he doesn’t seem to mind. I attack with precision, injecting my fangs and drawing the blood. Slowly, deliberately, deliciously I drink in the depth of life from his neck. Almost instantly I realize this lifeblood is different. A surge, more like a punch, hits me head-on somehow. I reel, a bit, but return to the drink, drawing in its warm fulfillment. But again, it strikes me. It reaches me, deep within and takes me.

My limbs, my muscles, my entire being staggers and halts like a rushing freight train suddenly stopped by unseen hands. The cells of my body rebel, turning against me, and begin to transform. They are becoming something else.

As if I have no control over my being, they twist and coil without my direction or input. I am being remade. I find myself eagerly accepting this new thing, hungering and thirsting for it with all the desperation of my previous pursuit. Everything within me cries out. Astonished, I feel a presence seeping into me, filling my hunger. I am bloated with it, round and plump with this life. My thirst, palpable and parched, is satiated as if with a flood. I am overwhelmed.

I look into the eyes of my victim, a suddenly strong and invincible presence. His eyes are the color of me. His hands and arms around me, as though I were the prey, he does not look away. And in that moment I realize the blood on his hands is his own. This cannot be. A mythical creature, this; I do not believe in Jesus.

When he spoke he said my name as if he'd known it forever. I can’t tell you what that did to me. But I can tell you I will never thirst again, not ever.

I wrote this in 2008. It appeared then on a now closed site, Gather.com.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Soon



In days to come Jacob shall take root,
Israel shall blossom and put forth shoots
and fill the whole world with fruit.

Isaiah 27:6

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Perfect Peace



You keep him in perfect peace 
whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you. 

Isaiah 26:3

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Isaiah 19:23-25


In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, 
and Assyria will come into Egypt, and Egypt into Assyria, 
and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians. 

In that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, whom the Lord of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my inheritance.”




This is really hard to imagine in today's world. 
What would it take to bring these nations together? 

What do you think of ancient words like this? 
Can they be for today?


Monday, July 8, 2019

What would it take?


To know for certain God is real.

To know He loves you
and He sent His Son to take your place.

To know He hears you loud and clear.

To know He cares about what you care about.
It matters to Him too.

To know He answers you every time. All the time.

What gives one person this certainty
and yet another does not know?


Monday, June 17, 2019

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Lamb

For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, 
and he will guide them to springs of living water,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.

Revelation 7:17


Friday, June 14, 2019

Nations


After this I looked, 
and behold, 

a great multitude 
that no one could number,  

from every nation, 
from all tribes 
and peoples and languages, 

standing before the throne 
and before the Lamb, 

clothed in white robes, 
with palm branches in their hands, 
and crying out with a loud voice,

“Salvation belongs to our God who 
sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”

Revelation 7:9-10


Sunday, June 9, 2019

Friday, June 7, 2019





One 

word 

of 

truth 

shall 

outweigh 

the 

whole 

world 

Solzhenitsyn






Thursday, June 6, 2019

When?

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. 
And so we will be with the Lord forever.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Fiddler


May God bless you and grant you long lives.
May the Lord fulfill our Sabbath prayer for you.

May God make you good mothers and wives.
May He send you husbands who will care for you.

May the Lord protect and defend you.
May the Lord preserve you  from pain.

Favor them, Oh Lord, with happiness and peace.
Oh, hear our Sabbath prayer. Amen.


Sabbath Prayer
Fiddler on the Roof


Monday, June 3, 2019

Isaiah 60:17-18

Instead of bronze I will bring gold,
and instead of iron I will bring silver;
instead of wood, bronze,
instead of stones, iron.
I will make your overseers peace
and your taskmasters righteousness.

Violence shall no more be heard in your land,
devastation or destruction within your borders; 
You shall call your walls Salvation,
and your gates Praise.


Friday, May 31, 2019

Are These Poppies?





Are these poppies? 

"Yes," he said. "Do you want to hear a story about them?"

He liked to say he was older than dirt. He truly was, I believe.

"I remember the dead," he said. 

"There was an invisible soldier. It was long ago, before you and all of your people. He wasn't really invisible," he continued, leaning in with a smile. "But sometimes people think they are one thing or another when they are not. Do you know you are like that? You remind me of him. He was brave. Who am I kidding? He was naive. That works too, you know," then a subtle nod as if he were recalling something specific, and back to the story.

"His name is unimportant, to you, but its meaning is central to the story. Lion-hearted. He had no fear. He was obedient. If he had an order he followed it. You are like that, getting better each time," he nodded again and smiled. "Lion, I'll call him."

He went on, "Lion was stick thin when he was a child. He was not only small, he felt small. He felt insignificant, invisible, tiny. His voice was a peep. His toys were small. His heart was small. His imagination was small. Oh, but he wanted to be a hero, to fight and overcome."

He paused for a moment.

"No one else saw him coming," he chuckled. "But I did. I was the only one aware of his capabilities. He was not invisible to me!"

He hit his chest like a proud ape. It made me laugh. 

"I'd been on patrol that day with the men. The enemy was hiding all around. They were giant. My men were not. But their size made the enemy easy to see and I watched them. They surrounded us, plotting and planning, waiting, thinking. It would be to no avail, I knew, because at the crucial moment the enemy would not move ahead. They would remain cemented in place and my men would march on by, step by step, without realizing how close they'd been. It can be a good thing not to know. Knowing is sometimes just a distraction."

I nodded. I still didn't know what happened.

He smiled, "I'm getting to that."

With a glint in his eye, he continued, "Lion was the first to see the soldiers, some wounded, some already dead. They were stacked. Yes, stacked. Someone had done this deliberately. They were dragged and placed and unable to move unless the one on top sprang to life. The message was clear: fear us. I saw my men, one by one, assume fear. It blinded them and they began to scatter and search for cover. But not Lion. He couldn't reach the man on top. He couldn't move the man on the bottom. He could not see around them or past them or through them. Lion closed his eyes, bowed his head, and said a prayer in a small, tiny, stick thin voice that became stronger with each word. He was shaking when he started, but not when he finished. 

'What are you doing,' one of his men hissed from the safety of an overturned tree.

Another added, 'Stop!'

'Why?' Lion asked.

Why indeed? Why stop?

He pointed to a tall tree in the distance. It was standing upright.

"That's the one they hid under," he said, assuring me it was true. "It was one of the things changed by Lion's prayers. First, healing for the man holding all the others down, then for the others. One by one. There was hardly a break between his prayers for the injured and for those who were only hiding. Tiny, lion-hearted Lion stood and prayed even when the enemy returned, even when the firing started again, even when the dead soldiers stood up and the living ones snapped back into place, as if their injuries had propelled them. His men began to stand with him, only some of them at first, and then, when they realized the enemy could not hurt them, the others; not bravely, to be sure, but obediently, and each of them became brave because of it."

He paused and asked me if I understood.

"God moves," he explained.

"And the poppies?" I asked.

"The poppies are for remembering those who were lost," he said. "But they also remind me of these men. In the end, we didn't lose even one that day."