Monday, December 30, 2013

Book Favs of 2013

This year I have been intentional about reading stories. I'm not a fiction reader and 2 books is an accomplishment for a normal year.  My fiction count went up to 18.  This year was different. I gave myself a fool-proof jump start - C S Lewis was my writer of focus.  I love Narnia, I just didn't remember how much.  I read Flannery O'Connor for the first time. Intense and redemptive in the mind-mulling kind of way. Mojo and the Pickle Jar was fun, ridiculous fluff and Peace Like a River left me trusting in God's Sovereignty more.

Top Five Fiction  Moment Favs of 2013
  1.  The Horse and His Boy; C S Lewis - Facing  the Lion barehanded. Growing up into who you are named to be...a lesson for the young of any age. This is also Kel's favorite Narnia story- I had that bias going in, it probably stuck.
  2.  Prince Caspian; C S Lewis - "'Aslan,' said Lucy, 'You're bigger.' 'That is because you re older, little one.'  answered he."  I hear those words in my head - the tip of my nose tingles and I feel water rushing towards my eyes. I want Him to say that to me.
  3.  Peace Like a River; L. Enger - Lying in the snow, Rueben is hovelled against a dying horse, care taking a broken up man.  Choosing love without integrity always has unforeseen yet, predictable consequences.
  4.  The Last Battle; C S Lewis - Heaven - Narnia but better. What if this world is just a shadow of heaven. Maybe. I want to go to all the places I'll never see on this side - only better.
  5.  The Secret Life of Walter Mitty; J. Thurber - A cautionary tale. Disjunct, topsy-turvy, sad.  The movie was much more redemptive although (Spoiler) I'd rewrite the ending where the family ends up together and the father actually becomes a man. I listened to the story because I'd seen the movie. The best scene in the movie was the first skateboard scene.  That's heroism, as is the scene in the story where Walter rushes to get to the hotel with the items he's purchased for his wife and waits  in a chair in the lobby (I assume to be easily spied).

Top Five Non-Fiction Picks and Why They Come to Mind Often

  1. Bound Together: How We are Tied to Others in Good and Bad Choices; C. Brauns - The truth that we are bound to Christ, and that through His resurrection He pulls us and the rest of creation up with Him is the antidote to all of lives bad choices, whether ours or those we love.  Shortly after reading this, I heard or read this(maybe a few words paraphrased?) from Pastor Wilson and I posted it inside one of my kitchen cabinets.  "When a man resurrects THAT irrevocable principle is established.  He's pulling the world to life." It's true, we're tied, in Him, to Him, through Him, by Him. Give Him Praise. He is come and we are saved. 
  2. A Call to Spiritual Reformation: Priorities from Paul and His Prayers; D A Carson - I love this book.  I bought it for my sister, because I loved it so much. Praying like Paul prayed, praying His Word, praying His will with His words. I love it because I am learning the passages that I pray over different people and when I think of them the Word comes to my mind amid the worries and the inclination to work out in my mind what I think should happen. It helps me to have Words to pray to learn to leave it to God and trust Him in obedience.
  3. For the Life of the World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy; A. Schmenmann - Best place in the book; He is giving a eulogy and he directs to the grieving wife, that in heaven she'll know him even better than she did on earth. What a jewel at the loss of a long and loving marriage. But it got me thinking, my husband knows me at least fifty times better, deeper, richer than anyone else. In heaven I'm going to know not only him, but all the saints better than I know my husband now. That's just cool.
  4. Pilgrim's Progress; J. Bunyan - The Dungeon of Despair, giving up, having the key hanging at your heart, a trusted sidekick that helps you remember it when "all is lost"...not only is this universal, this is part of the journey to the Celestial City.
  5. Luther and His Katie; D. MacCuish - It made me laugh and cry.  I saw Luther as a brother, husband, father, refugee- not just a hero of the faith. That got me thinking - who else have I archived like that. 

So there's the story on my favorite stories and the story on my favorite books. And about 2014... my gray matter's still percolating.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Type and Time with Dr. Suess

This man of mine,
This man of mine;
I do so love this man of mine.

With spine of godly steel and mirth,
What greater treasure have I on earth?

And I can trust him in a slump,
And he abides through life bump

No manied hand, or daisy word
The precepts of God's truth, thought ward-

In times like these, of nilly tide,
The chasm grows now ever wide-

Between the men with chests
And them, that have no Godward heart within,

This man of mine,
This man of mine;
I do so need this man of mine.

With chasten'n word or purpose stout,
A refuge from the world without.

No mammon agenda, tho' dusty he be,
With stalwart heart he leadth me.

Unto the Well of Life, and then
Asks me to spill it forth again.

Not woman of a runway - me,
But grounded, lovely, gracious, free,

To follow as he follows Christ.
Against the self identified-

It is not him, or me, or them,
That made that evil lie therein.

If we do live for "I" alone,
We find this world a paltry  home.

In dying first; first him, then me
We 'flect a type of Christ and see

It is redemption's plan set forth
The gain is freedom and much more

So less than that, no bargain be-
As is the wage of living "me".

This man of mine,
This man of mine:
A gift of God, this man of mine.

To set a pace, toward heaven we go.
Yet, ancient rival still a foe.

He,  crushed fully in the cross,
Amid blood stains, his power lost.

Tho', frail he is - this man I see,
Yet, he is but a type for me-

Of One True Man came down in time,
That binds us to Kingdom Divine.


Monday, November 18, 2013

Life in Paradox

A paradox to us is told,
In blood, split scarlet through-
The center of Story old
For us, nary is left to do.
Of binds that tie and hold
us fast, in Love, abides and will
recoil the curse, bring to the fold
all earth, and His' as well.
We hope in what we cannot see,
Hold fast to Whom we know
He dawned this dust, in Him we be
Our paradoxical abode.
Paradox fascinates me.  Light and darkness, death and life, joy and sadness - they ask the question that begs for an answer or least a stop in day to day subsistence.
My daughter is a gentle and true critic.  Her comments, "You've improved your rhyme and diction, that's really great, Mom. Poetry is about painting a picture not preaching a sermon."  She then pulled out one of Flannery O'Connor's essays.  She chose a few excerpts.  I leafed through and chose one of mine own.
The idea of being a writer attracts a good many shiftless people, those who are merely burdened with poetic feelings or afflicted with sensibility. - F.  O'Conner, Mystery and Manners, p.85

This is one of Kel's excerpts that was in short followed up with this sentence, "When you write a poem are you starting with the grand idea that you want to tell people about or are you starting with an object you want to describe to them?"
The longer you look at one object, the more of the world you see in it; - ibid p.77
My thoughts on that mirror in thankfulness one of O'Conner's comments at the end of "The Nature and Aim of Fiction"-
I believe the teacher's work is largely negative, that it is largely a matter of saying "This doesn't work because..." or "This does work because...."  The because is very important.  The teacher can help you understand the nature of your medium, he can guide you in your reading. ibid, p.86

 Diction - getting better- check.  Rhyme - improving- yeah! Studying the spider on my front porch - homework!

Thursday, August 1, 2013


There is a great chasm,
And sacred it be,
That separates kin and
friendship, from knowledge of Thee.

For it is by Your Spirit
Translating me near,
And no one, save You
Dwells with me there.

The Fortress of Psalter,
The Rock of the Age,
The Foundation of all Good-
And Stripper of assuage.

I realized through tears,
When I'd nothing dust left,
That heaven is better -
So broken, bereft

"Twas there in the silence,
Your Spirit did swell;
And filled with new glories
Of Presence and well -

"This world is a fetter,
All vanity be."
When resting by Spirit,
Past chasm, I'm free.
-J.N. Early July, Early Morn, Back Patio, Nampa, Id.

Funny word, chasm- so close to chiasm - that's a favorite of mine.  In my wit, I wanted to whip out a chiasm on chasm, but maybe the joy of chasm is best told through paradox.
And isn't all of life a paradox? In that very paradox is the widening of the chasm - it screams the truth, that it does, in fact, exist. Mulling in the paradox you find the chasm ever growing wider.

The death you die, dyes the life you live.
  Joy holds you, but don't hold joy.

Just kindercare attempts at understanding a truth that has been wiggling around my noggin.  The idea of death and resurrection - what does that look like?  We die to ourselves, to live in Him.  We do this a thousand times a day, and we don't do this a thousand times a day. To the extent by His grace towards obedience we die, we see glimmers of glory in letting go and actually tasting the goodness of all this vanity the temporal has to offer- in obedience it goes through Him first. - letting Joy hold us  vs. trying to hold the joy.
 But then the moments pass, the thoughts in my grown girl's head discussed and she is off  to work, my grandone goes home and in the wake of ringing of laughter - a silent din, the ministrations of my husband is shuffled into the necessary schedule for subsistence.
It passes - everything passes; yet He,   only   He    remains.
Therein is the great chasm that grows  bigger and bigger as we enjoy life more and more.  He holds on to us, we hold onto nothing, we are dust, and anything we try to hold is dust, too.
That premonition of Joy that reminds of a grain of Truth, that percolates into a pebbles of HIS promises, is cemented as our Rock of Salvation and our Refuge- that is the only, real, lasting, sustainable thing.  But the sustenance in from Him and His will and Word, He alone is solid - everlasting, unwithered. We act only as we are acted upon.  Everything, a passing flutter, just a little shadow that points to Jesus, our Joy, as Paul would intimate to those at Philipi..


Monday, July 22, 2013

On Any Given Lord's Day

The Lord's Day
The secret of the Bride come near,
And happy the faces gathered here.
We are many, we are one,
Bound in Him - Eternal Son.

So whether tired or sorrow filled,
That we come, this is His will.
Beckoned here by His own call,
And by His grace do we enter all,

In chapel small or cathedral grand,
'Tis  round God's throne bared we stand.
In mercies sweet, and forgiveness full,
Eminent Anthem of Life - You rule.
-J.N. 7/7/13 Messiah Lutheran, Nampa ID

I jotted this down a few weeks ago as I watched the people mill and listened to the preceding music to the Introit.  Precious families with cherub faced babies and ones with teens sitting next to their Moms and Dads.  There was a baptism of three daughters, 4,6, &12 and their first communion later in service.
I'd been at my Mom's for almost three months and had visited three churches - where I went depended on times and health constraints.  This was a later, "contemporary service" I had chaffed at going to, but with circumstances it was my only safe choice as it was just an hour long and two minutes away. 
During the Table, I watched as these precious families went forward and received the table. The Lord again put His sword on my pride and I sat there in complete admonishment and complete joy concurrently. As the Holy Spirit knocked my noggin at each blessing, my heart swelled with thanksgiving and a knowing I was right where He wanted me.
I'm am thankful to be home. Sitting with my husband and our great-nephew yesterday as we took the elements, I remembered.  The Bride sits on rows, and on benches, on floors, in houses, in chapels, in great buildings, and He is there, He is the Center, He rules.  Blessed be His name.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Hope Springs in Every Breast

The old days, the old days, how oft the poets sing,
The days of hope at dewy morn, the days of early spring,
The days when every mead was fair, and every heart was true,
And every maiden wore a smile, and every sky was blue
The days when dreams were golden and every night brought rest,
The old, old days of youth and love, the days they say were best
But I--I sing the new days, the days that lie before,
The days of hope and fancy, the days that I adore.

The new days, the new days, the selfsame days they are;
The selfsame sunshine heralds them, the selfsame evening star
Shines out to light them on their way unto the Bygone Land,
And with the selfsame arch of blue the world to-day is spanned.
The new days, the new days, when friends are just as true,
And maidens smile upon us all, the way they used to do,
Dreams we know are golden dreams, hope springs in every breast;
It cheers us in the dewy morn and soothes us when we rest.

The new days, the new days, of them I want to sing,
The new days with the fancies and the golden dreams they bring;
The old days had their pleasures, but likewise have the new
The gardens with their roses and the meadows bright with dew;
We love to-day the selfsame way they loved in days of old;
The world is bathed in beauty and it isn't growing cold;
There's joy for us a-plenty, there are tasks for us to do,
And life is worth the living, for the friends we know are true.

-Edgar Guest "The New Days" from Just Folks

I, like many, are concerned, or rather mulling, over the our nation's decisions of the last few days. But I was reminded as I sat on the back patio and looked out over the field, with horses wagging the trees to itch a scratch and the beautiful blackbird adorned in bright orange and yellow shoulder pads, how lovely is the world and all her passing vanities.
The days are dark, but haven't they always been? But then again, on that one truly dark day, our Lover pushed back and it -  the insemination of all light, of all hope,and the very end of all story. 
I remind myself, He's got this, His birds are chirping away at the wonder of His Glory. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Numerberless Fathers are True

You think that the failures are many,
    You think the successes are few,
But you judge by the rule of the penny,
    And not by the good that men do.
You judge men by standards of treasure
    That merely obtain upon earth,
When the brother you're snubbing may measure
    Full-length to God's standard of worth.

The failures are not in the ditches,
    The failures are not in the ranks,
They have missed the acquirement of riches,
    Their fortunes are not in the banks.
Their virtues are never paraded,
    Their worth is not always in view,
But they're fighting their battles unaided,
    And fighting them honestly, too.

There are failures to-day in high places
    The failures aren't all in the low;
There are rich men with scorn in their faces
    Whose homes are but castles of woe.
The homes that are happy are many,
    And numberless fathers are true;
And this is the standard, if any,
    By which we must judge what men do.

Wherever loved ones are awaiting
    The toiler to kiss and caress,
Though in Bradstreet's he hasn't a rating,
    He still is a splendid success.
If the dear ones who gather about him
    And know what he's striving to do
Have never a reason to doubt him,
    Is he less successful than you?

You think that the failures are many,
    You judge by men's profits in gold;
You judge by the rule of the penny--
    In this true success isn't told.
This falsely man's story is telling,
    For wealth often brings on distress,
But wherever love brightens a dwelling,
    There lives; rich or poor, a success.
-Edgar Guest, "Just Folks" 

Their virtues are never paraded,
    Their worth is not always in view,...

The homes that are happy are many,
    And numberless fathers are true;

But wherever love brightens a dwelling,
    There lives; rich or poor, a success.

I am going out to pluck rose for Daddy's grave off one of the bushes he and Momma planted when they moved here. This poem is in honor of him, but even more so for my daughter's father.
Giving thanks for fathers who earnestly seek to walk in the gargantuan footsteps of the Father of All. Blessed be His Name.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Written, the Days, When as Yet There Were None of Them

In her room at the prow of the house
Where light breaks, and the windows are tossed with linden,
My daughter is writing a story.

I pause in the stairwell, hearing
From her shut door a commotion of typewriter-keys
Like a chain hauled over a gunwale.

Young as she is, the stuff
Of her life is a great cargo, and some of it heavy:
I wish her a lucky passage.

But now it is she who pauses,
As if to reject my thought and its easy figure.
A stillness greatens, in which

The whole house seems to be thinking,
And then she is at it again with a bunched clamor
Of strokes, and again is silent.

I remember the dazed starling
Which was trapped in that very room, two years ago;
How we stole in, lifted a sash

And retreated, not to affright it;
And how for a helpless hour, through the crack of the door,
We watched the sleek, wild, dark

And iridescent creature
Batter against the brilliance, drop like a glove
To the hard floor, or the desk-top,

And wait then, humped and bloody,
For the wits to try it again; and how our spirits
Rose when, suddenly sure,

It lifted off from a chair-back, 
Beating a smooth course for the right window
And clearing the sill of the world.

It is always a matter, my darling,
Of life or death, as I had forgotten.  I wish
What I wished you before, but harder.

"The Writer" - Richard Wilbur

My darlin daughter,Kelsey, is 19 today. I called and she, her Dad and a friend were out out a Waffle House having breakfast - one of her favs.  

 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer with joy, ...And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it completion at the day of Jesus Christ.  ... And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the the day of Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Toddler's Creed

My biblestudy friend has a little 2 year old grandson she watches every morning, and a few weeks ago she mentioned this to me and we laughed.   It still makes me laugh... I love two year olds... they are just so, well, two, no sophistication to their want-sies. 

Toddler's Creed
If I want it, it's mine.
If I give it to you and change my mind later, it's mine.
If I can take it away from you, it's mine.
If I had it a little while ago, it's mine.
If it's mine it will never belong to anyone else... no matter what.
If we are building something together, all the pieces are mine.
If it looks like mine, it is mine.

It makes me laugh, and it makes my forehead crinkle -- ahhh, so ...when the last time I had a two's moment?

I saw this last night, and it made me think, ahh.. yup!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Cinnamon Roll Liturgy

Cinnamon Roll Liturgy

Q: Why do we eat cinnamon rolls for breakfast on this day, when all other days we eat toast, cereal, or eggs?

A: We eat them to remind us this is Resurrection Sunday, the day we celebrate our Lord Jesus Christ rising from the dead.

Q: Why are the cinnamon rolls made with sweet bread?

A: The sweetness of the bread reminds us that Jesus is the bread of life and our one and only true source of sustenance and sweetness.

Q: Why is cinnamon used in the rolls instead of another spice?

A: The cinnamon reminds us of the bitterness of the cross, and its shame – our Lord Jesus endured it- to pay the penalty of our sin, to bring us life everlasting.

Q: Why are the cinnamon rolls made with so much sugar and fat?

A: The sugar and fat reminds us that in Christ’s obedience we are imparted His goodness, and in following our covenant God we are free to enjoy His good and pleasant gifts and thereby escape the pain and death of hell.

Leader: The gifts of God for the people of God.  He is Risen.

Response: He is Risen, indeed.

Blessed be His name.

We eat homemade cinnamon rolls on Christmas and Easter... always.  The last 3 or 4 years we have done this liturgy or a form of it before eating the rolls. 

Caiden, my little grandnephew and I were elbow deep in cinnamon and brown sugar as we prepared the rolls for this afternoon - I reminded him about the liturgy and he said, "I will forget what to say."
I told him I had a page with the liturgy, just like church, (he's four - he can't even write his name yet).  But he's quite sure the paper will help.  I just had to smile.

It's coming.  He is risen, He is Lord.  And it is almost time to CELEBRATE!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Five Things I like about Pilgrim's Progress

Five Things I love about Pilgrim's Progress

  1. I can be am dense- names that clearly label actions and intentions help me see myseslf. ahh..yikes.
  2. Adversity happens. A lot. Often. It's normal.  Go figure...
  3. Brothers have different strengths, and pull eachother out of near calamity.
  4. God plants the weight of adventure in the soul- waiting is usually where we're planted admid soul growing adventure.
  5. You need a hall pass to get into the celestial city.  Period. No exception, no part sies, no nothin - Just Jesus... everything drops at the cross and is given at the cross.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Tomorrow we will finish our last study on Pilgrim's Progress.  We finished the book a few weeks ago, and have a pizza and movie night planned.  We previewed the video on Monday and C. was here with us.  Last night we were talking about it  as we read stories:
C- "What's that part where it's scary and the bad's gonna happen? You know..."

Me- "Ummm..."

C- "You know the bad part, then the good comes!" (Fierce faced and claws outstretched)

Me-(chuckle)"Oh! You mean the eucatastrophe."

C. - "Yeah! The eus so tras to phee...that was like the part with the fiery arrows.  I like that part, and the arrow went through his hair like this." (With animation and passion to melt a greatauntie's heart)

Me- "Yes, exactly!  Goodwill pulled him inside the gate.  He was saved."

C- "Yeah, he was saved from the eus so tras so phee."
Eucatastrophe was a new word for me and I learned right about the time we were reading about the Dungeon of Despair in Pilgrim's Progress. God, in His good grace and sovereignty, sent that story just as I was entertaining enemy thoughts of giving up.  I love that - His timing... always pushing us to the brink - the eucatrastrophe, no way out and then... there is. 

This is my year of story, I want to learn how to read stories, I want to learn how to love my story, to love the stories around me... not to love the sin, but to see how Christ's grace saves  us from our sin, how His Holy Spirit surrounds us in Truth and how the Father's love always pursues us.

So, I give thanks for eucatastrophe, I wouldn't order 'em on life's menu - I'm not certifiable.  But, I want to thank God when they come...they are from Him, and besides - the whole arrow through the hair and Goodwill yanking Christian into the gate  - well, now that I think about it- that is the good stuff of life...

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Afraid of the dark

"SALVATION IS OF THE LORD!" Charles H. Spurgeon

And if GOD does require the sinner—dead in sin—that he should take the first step, then he requireth just that which renders salvation as impossible under the gospel as ever it was under the law, seeing man is as unable to believe as he is to obey, and is just as much without power to come to Christ as he is without power to go to heaven without Christ. The power must be given to him of the Spirit. He lieth dead in sin: the Spirit must quicken him. He is bound hand and foot, fettered by transgression; the Spirit must cut his bonds, and then he will leap to liberty. GOD must come and dash the iron bars out of their sockets, and then he can escape afterwards, but unless the first thing be done for him, he must perish as surely under the gospel as he would have done under the law.
I would cease to preach, if l believed that God, in the matter of salvation, required anything whatever of man which He Himself had not also engaged to furnish.. I am the messenger. I tell you the master's message; if you do not like the message quarrel with the Bible, not with me; so long as I have Scripture on my side I will dare and defy you to do anything against me. Salvation is of the Lord The Lord has to apply it, to make the unwilling willing, to make the ungodly godly, and bring the vile rebel to the feet of Jesus, or else salvation will never be accomplished. Leave that one thing undone, and you have broken the link of the chain, the very link which was just necessary to its integrity. Take away the fact that God begins the good work, and that He sends us what the old divines call preventing grace-take that away, and you have spoilt the whole of salvation; you have just taken the key-stone out of the arch, and down it tumbles. There is nothing left then.
C. and I were talking about this in regards to being afraid. Sometimes praying doesn't help. "Repent and believe" is appropriate at this juncture, and so many others. C. is afraid of the dark, and so am I, my dark is a different dark; but the principle remains. God is the prime mover that moves me to the otherside of afraid, and I can look back and remember He has done this many times. So when I am afraid to frozen, I need to remember to repent of my little trust and ask God to give me big trust as I remember His faithfulness. He is the giver. We receive. And He also gives every little grain of reception. We can do nothing, and deserve no credit. He does everything, and deserves all credit. Isn't that glorious. What a relief... as we learn to walk in HIM.

Monday, March 4, 2013


I believe in the world and its bigness and splendor:
That most of the hearts beating round us are tender;
The days are but footsteps and years are but miles
That lead us to beauty and singing and smiles:
That roses that bloom and toilers that plod
Are filled with the glorious spirit of God.

I believe in the purpose of everything living:
That taking is but the forerunner of giving;
That strangers are friends that we some day may meet;
And not all the bitter can equal the sweet;
That creeds are but colors, and no man has said
That God loves the yellow rose more than the red.

I believe in the path that to-day I am treading,
That I should come safe through the dangers I'm dreading;
That even the scoffer shall turn from his ways
And some day be won back to trust and to praise;
That the leaf on the tree and the thing we call Man
Are sharing alike in His infinite plan.

I believe that all things that are living and breathing
Some richness of beauty to earth are bequeathing;
That all that goes out of this world leaves behind
Some duty accomplished for mortals to find;
That the humblest of creatures our praise is deserving,
For it, with the wisest, the Master is serving.
- Edgar Guest

Riveting, pivoting lines:

The days are but footsteps and years are but miles
                                              ...the footsteps of a good man are ordered by the LORD.

That taking is but the forerunner of giving;
                        ...we can only give what God has put in our hands and worked through our hearts.

And not all the bitter can equal the sweet;
           ...Fall, Gethsemane, the Cross, Resurrection, Redemption, Reconciliation - that's the plan.

That even the scoffer shall turn from his ways
And some day be won back to trust and to praise;
                 ...enemies brought near - that's the norm, and there are no exceptions!

Friday, March 1, 2013

If I did FB I'd like this...

Coming Home from work I saw this great CHURCH SIGN, in front of a  little bitty brick church with flower buckets and I think it had a red door, too ( no surprise there!)

God wrote the first valentine with two pieces of wood and three nails.

My response: Yes, You did Lord, we ascribe glory to Your Name, and in You alone, do we live.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Guest Poet

The voice of Edgar Guest sounds a lot like that of my Daddy and Momma's voices.  I guess that is why I have such an affinity towards his poetry.  I also like the down home dialect he often employs, it's funny and powerful.  He gives the simple, ordinary life an elegance of hope and weight.  Life and love is not mostly lived in lofty towers but in little two and three bedrooms house all around the towns and cities.
If Cowper shouts at eternal truths, and Milton explains their origins, Guest smacks of daily bread and living out the physicality of worship - he takes Cowper and Milton's orthodoxy all the way home to orthopraxy.  I like him. 
I'll be posting a little run on Guest's poetry, because as Andrew Peterson, so poignantly states it, "they were singing out my song, when the song in me had died.' My voice is a little reclusive these days, so I'll borrow the words of others as  my own repertoire of praise, at least for awhile.

When he has more than he can eat
To feed a stranger's not a feat.
When he has more than he can spend
It isn't hard to give or lend.

Who gives but what he'll never miss
Will never know what giving is.

He'll win few praises from his Lord
Who does but what he can afford.
The widow's mite to heaven went
Because real sacrifice it meant.
                        -Edgar Guest, "Sacrifice"

I love the challenge of giving in all areas - you don't know you've given until you feel the loss.  That loss comes in manifest in suffering and when the dross of it all is scraped, you are left with joy.  Loss and suffering is a teeny, tiny, itty bit of what Christ did for us - and we get to share in that with Him. Now there is something to be thankful for... a good bit thankful, indeed.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Maturity bids

If you know me well at all, you would probably say I speak mostly fluffese. I have a pattern of seeing silver linings and encouraging -- that is not really  uncommon with folks, like me, who are primarily mercy oriented by bent; however, my predominate pollyanna disposition can bug the bageezers out of the logical, justice oriented thinkers that surround me (who are awesome btw for aligning feeling with fact and futhermore ARE my most favorite of all people: Ed and Kel).
I haven't posted regularly for quite awhile, I post mostly as a open personal journal of sorts, and well, there hasn't been much, that I wanted others to hear me say, openly, recently.  My thoughts have been too close to the vest to share. Polly split town some months back, when her surreal sister, Get Real, showed up.  Get Real with her firmness and self reliances scares me as she challenges every statement that has even been pushed as one of God's little platitudes. 
With a deeply hurting heart and the bottom dropping out of the world as I've known it, truthful sayings smack like barbed clamoring cymbals, and I find myself in hand to hand combat with urge to do a 180 in the opposite of "the good word".  A wonderful little gift, from my newer companion, Get Real. She says,"It is what it is, and IT ain't so good."
The Bible, although true TRUTH, is not a not a book of little promise pills -- you can't just pop in the scripture with the pain popping out as the word goes in.  AM I the only person stupid enough to have carried this baby view in my back pocket for 40 some odd years.  I sure hope so, but, I fear not.
I'm finding Job is a little like the Psalms, lots of words are lost in translation, until God decides it is time for a little language school. 
 God is faithful to wound us to the next maturing level and that is exactly what He is doing in my life, although, I won't, couldn't and am truly reticent to try to label the course, because I know nothing of it, accept a few tidbits.  I know that God is calling me to see His good and loving steadfastness through trouble waters and tricky precipices...and I know that God is calling me "to do the next right thing", for me, that comes in the form of getting up, picking up a dish; or sitting down to pick up a book; or talking when I want to be a hermit; or shutting up when I want to scream.  It also takes the form of praising when I'd rather doubt, and worshipping when I'd rather run.
Pollyanna, has a bit growing up to do- silver lining pain sounds nailish on a chalk board when wounds run deep...however, the thought of becoming that"GET REAL" kind of lady is repulsive - tricked out muscles on a feminine frame - too gross to describe.  I'm struggling to find the balance - where do the two kiss - doo mach (the Kurdish phrase) and how do I learn to live there.  I lack wisdom, I ask of God, it seems every place I turn His Spirit bids me live, bids me hope...bids me health through, not apart from, the hurting.

Friday, January 25, 2013


He’s excused himself from Spencer, the Student Body King-
That grabbed my gaze, and now--I see him rocketing towards me.
The twink’lin eyes and rippling build has caught my breath and thought-
A friend to each had aptly said, .. “to freshman she’ll talk not.”
Exception made, he’s wiser than the boys that ‘round there grazed-
So there we were, convivial --setting precedent in tome
In chapel met—for two weeks straight, ask’n, “Can we make a home?”
The interview at me was aimed, or ‘twas, it, at him, leveled—
We chuckle now, saying “Wasn’t me who was bedeviled!”
-JN,  January 2012; opening stanza, A Poem from a Wife so Amply Loved,  a life tale

Today is our 21st wedding anniversary.  IT all started a little over 22 years ago when Ed tracked down my name and number through mutual friends and asked to meet me in the dining commons (college cafe) during dead week ( the week set aside to cram before midterms).  By then, I'd chatted with friends and found out he was an older student that had come in that fall, (I was a junior).  When I walked in, Ed left the most important guy in the room to come greet me, I was impressed, enamored and put at ease, immediately.  He stills sees me, I know that this is a gift, a blessing from God, and I'm so very thankful.  I'm no gnostic, and the good gifts of God come in people of dust.  We are cut from dusty cloth indeed... but today I give thanks for a home filled with goodly, redeemed dust.