Friday, July 27, 2007

Early Morning Reflections

Early Morning Reflections

Awake and Semi-conscious
Pondering and exploring
The depth, height, bredth of Your love for me

In the moonlight, I run to You
With open arms and heart full of love
None other can satisfy
The longing in my heart only for You

In Your eyes, pools of pure passion
Absent of all selfishness
Only true and holy desire
For me to come to You, to be with You

Each day bringing me closer
To the bridge so many have already crossed
Which will leave my body absent
And will leave me present with You

So much pain around me
Sometimes in me as well
So much suffering and loss
And yet, as long as I have You, I lack nothing

So strange to have lost so much and yet to have all I need
You tend my every need, and often my desires
You and I, forever, unchangeably one
Gratitude floods my heart and soul

In a crowd sometimes alone - Yet never truly alone
I hear Your voice, I feel Your touch
I know You are there, closer than my breath
Desiring me and loving me so much more than my mind can comprehend

I run to You, leaving it all behind
Worries, pain, trouble - now far behind
My eyes locked on You - Only You
And I behold You, as if for the first time

You welcome me with open arms and open heart
You hold me and tell me how You have missed me
And oh! Have I missed you!
You bid me come to stay with You, and I am overjoyed

Waves of joy and love wash over me
Taking away all but what You have placed in me
Healing the deep wounds
And leaving me with fullness instead

Deep within the heart of Your palm
I rest in the safety of knowing
No enemy dare follow me there in Your hand
For I am securely Yours

And now, as I close my eyes once again
Resting in the comfort of knowing
I have only touched the hem of Your presence
Yet one day, I will behold You in fullness
J/ (c) 2007

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Circle of My Reflection

The Circle of My Reflection
So much to do
Schedule full
Remember to breathe

Slowly now
Set priorities
Slow my heart rate

Speak deliberately
Love extravagantly
Reach out diligently
Remember to dream



Special in my own way
Accepted in every way
Loved beyond measure
Know myself

Wind down
Return to base
Take it all in
Breathe slowly

Lie down
Read and laugh
Breathe deeply
Kiss goodnight

Let go

J/ (c) 2007

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Seeing God.... Beyond the Lies

These three poems mean alot to me. They are by Meister Eckhart (1260-1328), and are part of the treasure he left behind. Perhaps he can help us see our Lord more clearly, beyond the lies we are told and have believed about Him....

It is a Lie

It is a lie - any talk of God
that does not

He Told Me a Joke

My Lord told me a joke.
And seeing Him laugh has done more for me
than any scripture I will
ever read.

An Image That Makes Them Sad

How long will grown men and women in this world
keep drawing in their coloring books
an image of God that
makes them

May we see Him more clearly, love Him more truly, experience Him more deeply....



Sunday, July 15, 2007

Lousy At Math

a Poem by Hafiz, translated by Daniel Ladinsky... excerpted from "Love Poems from God"...

Lousy At Math

Once a group of thieves stole a rare diamond

larger than two goose eggs.

Its value could have easily bought three thousand horses

and three thousand acres of the most

fertile land in Shiraz.

The thieves got drunk that night to celegrate their great haul,

but during the course of the evening the effects of the liquir,

and their mistrust of each other grew to such an extent

they decided to divide the stone into pieces.

Of course, then the Priceless became lost.

Most everyone is lousy at math and does that to God -

dissects the Indivisible One,

by thinking, by saying,

"This is my Beloved, and he looks like this and acts like that,

how could that moron over there




So sad to me when the body of believers does that... dividing God into what they accept and do not accept, arguing over this or that characteristic or quality or ability or nature... or God's acceptance or rejection of another... Perhaps we are best off leaving all of that in God's hands to know and divide, for it is my belief that people SUCK at it....


Tuesday, July 10, 2007


This was an interesting self-evaluation tool for me today. I would love to tell you that I am always in the "most effective" box, but THAT WOULD BE A BIG OLE FAT LIE. Sooooo.....

I didn't see a SELF-DECEPTION box either, so I guess I have to settle somewhere into fluctuating between Too Busy/Stressed, Jaded, Bitter/Angry & Most Effective, probably in that order, too.

So, if ya dare, where are you? Aw c'mon....

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Well, he did it again... Ras is reading my mail...


Proper time.

You have heard clearly what to do. And now I am telling you this is the right and proper time to act. Your heart has become wise in that you now listen to My voice. Stop listening to the voices within you that stir up fear and all sorts of emotional distractions.
Too many counselors only lead to confusion. Listen the Lord your God. In the way, you cannot go wrong. You now have the proper time and I will show you the proper procedure. It will be obvious to you. Do not be distracted by the troubling that is heavy upon you. Rise to your feet and do the right thing, now.

Proper time.

Ecclesiastes 8:4 "He who keeps a royal command experiences no trouble , for a wise heart knows the proper time and procedure. For there is a proper time and procedure for every delight, though a man's trouble is heavy upon him."

Thursday, July 05, 2007

click on logo to visit the site...
if you have seen it before, sorry, but it was very interesting to me...
check out the topic, surveys and links... but warning, if you are really into church and defending it as it is today, you will probably not like it, so STOP READING HERE.

Mad Church Disease -
I am glad I no longer suffer from it... and I feel for those who still do.

Wow... this is a very insightful and tremendous project. I related to the logo - 'Beat Up. Burned Out.' At the point where we left church, I really felt that way. We weren't angry, we weren't hurt... well, ok, we were hurt, but we have since been healed and are no longer hurt.

We have been gone for 3 years now. For some time now, when I drive by the church we used to attend, I feel nothing at all - not anger, not hurt, not numb, just NOTHING. It has really become completely foreign and irrelevant to my life, which is surprising, considering I spent most of my 38 years in one church or another, with it being such a huge part of my life. I was in so many different lay-leadership, volunteer positions, outreach and ministry positions, and was also a deacon. I saw the best and the worst at different times, but one thing that broke my heart was when the best was squelched and killed by controlling leadership.

Since leaving, one thing that has changed significantly is my heart... specifically, how my love for Christ, relationships in my life, and my acceptance and love for others (espcially those I don't agree with), has continued to grow by leaps and bounds. Being able to be free to love and not judge has been a tremendous gift. Our children have quickly adapted away from the legalism and 'religious' mindsets, and have developed so much compassion and love for people. Our giving since that time has been directed into the lives of those in need that God reveals to us. Most recently, we also are receiving help from others, as the financial burdens of my wife's illness have been staggering, and the Lord has prompted them to help. What a blessing to be so cared for and prayed for - prayer with action.

Honestly, between the weekly verbal battering over the demand for giving more and more (we were giving 23% at that time, by the way), and the guilt trips over every missed services, we felt that what God had been speaking to us was so very different from the church's message, that the church's message had become irrelevant. Seemed to me that the church system as we knew it was completely 'mad'. Probably not what they meant by Mad Church, but anyway...

From all appearances, it had become little more than a combination between a country club and a reptilian (think of a crocodile) corporate entity - abusive to employees and members alike. The leadership seemed to be filled with building their own legacy and kingdom than God's, and it seemed they saw themselves as accountable and answerable to nobody. Even in the face of questions and several mass-exoduses, it did not change or alter their approach or attitudes, except perhaps to demonstrate even more dictatorial and harsh behavior. The promises that were made 'on behalf of God' were always 'right around the corner', but never arrived, year after year. It wasn't for lack of believing... but hope deferred made the heart sick. It got to where I couldn't even attend a service without being nauseated.

Also, knowing every staff member personally, the consistent message and expectation of staff members and lay leaders was that church ministry was more important than family. Although never spoken in this way, the implication was clear. I have since come to realize that all of the busyness, programs, and such, take away from our time to really get to know each other, to develop deep and lasting 'keeping' relationships, and pull us away from having this development time with friends and family. All the while, our family was going through so much with family illness, and while the church was aware, and we let our needs and situations be known, we were pretty much completely ignored. I believe in prayer, but when it is accompanied by judgement or gossip, rather than assistance, I think it has no real value. Real prayer and real love mean real concern, real reaching out, and often, real action.

Since leaving, we have had much more time available to develop relationships. We now know many more of our neighbors, and have developed true, transparent, deep relationships with some. In these relationships, rather than church, we have found the truest definitions of fellowship, ministry, relationship, depth, having things in common (sharing what we have as each one needs), and in the development and raising of our children. We have been cared for by both those who attend church and those who don't - some believers, some not. God told us at the start that He would meet our needs in 'a most unusual way', and He has. I am more in love with Him now than ever. He has been everything to me during the darkest of days, as well as the brightest, and has never left us.

Don't get me wrong - I am not 'against' church. I am just 'for' relationships of depth and meaning - both with God and with people. Many people we love are still in church. We aren't trying to pull them out. We just know that until we see gatherings that are really centered around caring for one another and loving God, hearing His voice and ministering to people, without the hierarchy, the 'system' and the controlling leadership, we aren't really interested, and it will not be a part of our lives.

Another thing that impressed me about the site link above was the depth and rawness of the survey questions on the website ( The questions hit at real issues that exist, which are often ignored or even buried in most church settings. Church should be a place to heal, learn, prepare, and then be launched out into the world, and should be a safe place to open up, sharing needs and hurts - but the truth is, most, nearly all, are NOT safe. Sharing an issue that is one of the 'bad' ones can cost you your reputation, position, job (if you work for the church), relationships... it can be devastating, to be sure.

When we get real, and develop real relationships, they can be life-transforming. They can also carry us through the most difficult times of our lives. I am so thankful for those who have come along beside us and held us together when our circumstances were tearing us completely apart. You guys know who you are....