• Life in General

    No Anchor But Jesus {{#backtochurch}}

    “Where do people put such things when they live by Plan? Our entire plan is simply Miscellaneous.” -Gladys Taber, Stillmeadow Seasons, 1950 Last Sunday was our first time back in a building to gather and worship for church since March of this year. I refer to that time as “2020 B.C.” as in Before Coronavirus. Guided by our pastor and staff, we were properly spaced in family or couple groups, masked up and elbow-bumping our hellos to one another. It was….. weird. And it was somehow wonderful at the same time. Why? Because we were together again with our brothers and sisters, standing in the same room with live music.…

  • My Poems

    Contemplate {a #poem}

    I’ve no chisel but this pen chipping at paper like stone, carving words, not to build but bend graphite like steel, curve the bones (Dear God, not break) but lay in place and then form a space to hold a new edifice, sculpt and rest and tap some more while You hand me bricks to begin, restore. *** The word contemplate is from the Latin, and literally means to carve out a temple, from the two parts-‘com’ and ‘templum,’ i.e. an “intensive space.” Words are swirling everywhere lately and the voices are l o u d. Seems no matter where I turn there is something to fear whether it’s danger,…

  • My Poems,  The Church Year

    Celestial Bodies {a #poem}

    My weary eyes need reminders to view the galaxies aright. Focused on the sliver of moon, they forget an entire orb hides in the dark. I gaze at dull concrete, traipse around the observatory, past an entrance where God stands in the doorway beckoning me to peer, Galileo-like, past roofs, across trees, into velvet sky. As feet pause on sure ground, a whisper beckons to dream above, beyond to distant beauty. Consider the immeasurable heavens inside, reckon my need as I’m handed a telescope. Brightened eyes rest and remember. This poem was written as part of Poems for Ephesians, an online project of D.S. Martin at McMasters Divinity College. I…

  • Book Reviews

    Book Review: In a Strange Land-Ten Kingdom Poets

      The kingdom of God has been compared throughout the Gospels as everything from a pearl of great price, to a vineyard, a man going on a journey, a mustard seed, a field of wheat and many more. And if the Kingdom of God had poets, which I’m sure it does, then you’d find their work in the slim volume “In a Strange Land-Introducing Ten Kingdom Poets” from Poiema Poetry Series (ed. DS Martin). Editor Martin explains the occasion of this printing, “This poetry collection gathers into one volume works by ten talented poets who…each (are) well deserving of having their own full-length poetry books, but as of April, 2019…

  • Spiritual Practice

    On Prayer, Potatoes and Pulling Weeds

    I have two garden beds in my back yard—one a perennial bed of flowers, the other a 12×6 rectangle of mostly weeds. The flower bed is behaving as expected this time of year–peony shoots with their magenta spikes heading skyward, the clematis tendrils beginning to twirl up and around the bird gazebo. A ‘Sombrero’ Echinacea (bright orange) is just beginning to sneak back through the dirt and the columbine leaves are unfurling. The other space is a mostly weed bed formerly known as a vegetable garden. I have absolutely no illusions about actually planting a real garden this year, although I gave it a try. I recently impressed my friend…

  • Spiritual Practice

    Summer is for Listening

    “My soul, wait silently for God alone; for my expectation is from Him.” Psalm 62:5 “How slow many are to learn that quietness is blessing, that quietness is strength, that quietness is the source of the highest activity–the secret of all true abiding in Christ! Let us try to learn it and watch out for whatever interferes with it.  The dangers that threaten the soul’s rest are many.”  Andrew Murray, “Abiding in Christ” I suppose it is a foolishness to think things are quieter in the Summer–school is out and children romp and play outside my window, noise floats in as games are won and lost in the streets below…

  • Poetry

    Writing Exercise {a #Poem}

    “Stretch” must be a biblical word, regardless of one’s age (an extension, a straining) like a two-year-old reaching on tiptoes towards her Father, not unlike the discomfort of unfolding old bones and well-used knees, joints so stiff they’ve forgotten how to bend. I want to stress and press past the comfortable, groan with the growing, the knowing that daily I must reach, pushing back against all that stagnates and stifles learn to lean, in, out, up, force myself to taste the hard that makes me healthy like a spoonful of unwanted needful medicine, and hold on, taut as elastic, grow with each reach, a creature who craves comfort but who knows in the end it’s…

  • Made Things

    The Joy of Waiting

    My husband loves to fly kites.  We recently spent four days at the Oregon Coast and he was very much looking forward to getting some ‘air time.’ Not much you can do, though, if you have no wind.   So we just waited.  And while we waited we sat in our beach chairs and read books. We threw sand in the air a few times to see which the wind was blowing. Sand up, sand down.  No wind blowing. No matter, we were at the beach. The sun was shining, people were laughing.  The waves were invigorating, calling and diving birds put on a show.  There were kids and sandcastles….…