Blog

The Song of Your Life

Son Aaron at the piano with his firstborn, Hanan, 1 year old, 2004

Maybe you have a Life Verse, one Scripture that encapsulates your identity, from God’s voice to your ears. Mine is Psalm 45:1, “My tongue is the pen of a ready writer…), but what would be your song?

When the service begins to celebrate your passing (which I am not doing any time soon, just for the record) will they know what to play?
I’ve been considering this question more and more lately, as I approach my ‘twilight’ years.
Without sounding a little weird, I think it’s wise to have something written down ahead of time so there are some directions and you have a little say-so in how things are done when it comes time to mark the end of your life.

Choosing The Song….the stand on your feet at the end of the service song–is practically impossible for me–way too many choices. I’d want to fit a few favorites in somewhere in the requisite slide show–surely a Broadway tune or two, maybe some James Taylor, Josh Groban…well, I’m getting ahead of myself.  WAY ahead of myself.

Anyway, for the final song, I think I have it decided.
The other night as I was listening to a recording of the Odes of Solomon (produced by Andrew Schreiner), the familiar notes on the piano began the piece I love the most–‘Sing Allelu’ (Ode 40) sung by Fernando Ortega.**

I had to get up from my work, throw my arms in the air and sing…it’s one of those ‘stand on your feet’ kind of songs.

Planning ahead, I pictured my going home service–how would this ‘Sing Allelu’ be delivered?   Would it be during a stirring video with amazing photos and the accompanying song?  Or someone singing live? 

And instantly I saw plain as day, my son sitting at the piano, as he has been doing since he was 8 years old, encouraging everyone to rise to their feet and join in the worship.

People would be moved, my grandchildren (maybe my greats??) would hear what their Nana loved more than anything, there would be tears, there would be joy and most of all my Jesus would be lifted up.
It’s amazing what one piece of music can do for your soul.

Just for fun, if you could plan ahead, what would be the song(s) of your life that celebrated what you loved the most?
What do you want people to remember you by and why?

Leave a note in the Comments.

**turn up your volume, take 5 minutes–pure worship

Manna Menu {a #poem}

Blue Plate Special–Good Today ONLY

Get your own bread,
Stop grabbing off your sister’s plate
And eyeing your brothers’.
I gave them just what they need—
I’ll do the same for you.
“What is it?”
“Manna.”
“What is it?”
“Yes.”
“but what IS  it?”
“You’ll just have to taste and see.”
“So what’s good today?” you ask.
We have items that are seasonal,
depending on what’s ripe and ready.
Wouldn’t want to give you anything too green-
It causes indigestion.
Like it???
Well, no, you can’t stuff some
In your pockets for tomorrow.
It’ll either turn into crumbs
From the pressure
Or get moldy—it’s dark inside there
And you’ll forget I gave you anything in the first place.
Don’t cram it all down at once—
Take small bites—
Then come back for more.
Do you have enough for today?
Great—we’ll see you tomorrow—
Your Father’s setting up a banqueting table….
~~~~~~~~~
 I’ve been reading the Pentatech and really feel for poor ol’ Moses leading the complaining children of Israel.  When they asked God for food (Exodus 16) God said he would ‘rain down bread from heaven” for them, and in this way he would ‘test them to see whether they will follow my instructions.’  Test them?  Well, that’s kinda  mean.  What instructions?  Why? To trust HIM, with a capital T.  He is teaching me to look to Him for something new and fresh and my own every day.         
‘manna’, accent on the 2nd syllable, literally means ‘what is it?’
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
   

 

 

 

 

 

Leaving Soon {a #poem}

You point to the air
up there,
wordless yet speaking.
your hands, eyes conveying something.
What do you see?
Are you ready? Yes.
Is it time? Maybe.
Leaning in, you listen.

You hear He’s come for you
but we can neither see nor hear
we’re earthbound, living,
tethered by the doing.
So we chat and move and do and help,
missing the Messenger.

But you see Him;
viewing the Invisible,
Confident He’s calling.
Yes, you’ll be leaving
very
soon.

~~~~~
My father-in-law Ernest Paul Collins passed away on the 4th of July, 2010, his Independence Day. It was a glorious home going.

Neat Little Package{a #poem}

I wrote this poem on the January day in 2003 when my first grandson, Hanan Samuel, was born. 
This week he turned 9….I wanted to share this to honor him.
              

Your birth today unequivocally proved

that science still can do nothing

at explaining the miraculous.

The day you came into the world

the university physicists claimed to

be pursuing an explanation of gravity.

an unseen force, it defies definition actually

They lamented that “it can’t exactly be pinned down” and

“doesn’t act in a way that science can explain.

It has been said that “nothing important is completely explicable.**”

Indeed, your miraculous birth cannot be explained apart from God,

your creation cannot be contained.

Though swaddled tightly now,

you will not be confined to a neat little package.

Your long, wiggling fingers will noodle on a keyboard some day,

Your legs will flail in the ocean waves,

Your daddy-sized feet will carry you into the unknown,

You will fall, you will climb, you will think and create.

We will sit back and watch, observe and record

As you unfold from this neat little package.

Hanan Samuel Collins, Age 8
Multnomah Falls, OR
**Madeline L’Engle

Jumping in with Both Feet

Jan. 23, 2012 Snow day

It’s not actually a snow day here in the Seattle area.   It’s a ‘recover-from-the-snow-and-ice-and-wind-damage-day’ so there is no school. And, since I’m a teacher, blessed me, there’s oodles of extra time from the Time Keeper, my Heavenly Father, to do what He’s called me to do–write to you.

But first, since we rarely if ever get weather like this, here are a few pictures….

Ice crystals on fir branches

Front yard with very flexible, ice-embedded jacquemontii birch trees.

Poor viburnum, Pink Dawn, was just beginning to bud….

Since I have no idea what to say or where to start, I’ll offer you this. My first blog post and all.

It’s the beginning of the year and I’m plowing through the Pentateuch, much like I plowed through the snow to take these photos. And since my spiritual life dovetails with the rest of my life, I thought I’d share something from Exodus Chapter 16 about manna (Hebrew for ‘what is it’?). There are parallels I noticed between gathering actual food and spiritual food.

You have to get something to eat DAILY-even if it’s just one meal, feed yourself on the word of God. Also, fresh food is best, old stuff just rots and brings no life.

You have to get your own food–you can’t take someone else’s word–i.e. live your walk with Jesus on someone else’s nourishment. You know what I mean. A friend tells you what the Holy Spirit showed them, or they pray powerful prayers on Sunday morning or in your small group. You figure if you just hang out next to them it’ll rub off and make you ‘cool by association.’ You’re off the hook to find a word or morsel of food for yourself.

You can’t go looking so you’ll have something to give away to someone else. For instance, while you’re reading the Word, saying, “Oh, so and so needs to hear this.”  Don’t do that.  Ask God to feed you.

Gathering food will cost you something. The Children of Israel had to go out early every morning.  Like roll out of their cozy warm sleeping mats, leave their tents and go outside to gather their meal. Going after the food of God’s word costs us time and effort, just like getting physical food. But we can’t live without it.

Asking to remind myself and you, dear reader–have you eaten today?

Happy new beginnings!