The Still Place in the Storm

The world turns and spins around me

But You are steadfast and strong.

Events uproar and crash at my feet

And You remain calm and restful.

Nations rage and peoples bluster

While You peacefully continue Your intended purpose.

In a world of whirlwind

You are the still place in the center.

In a universe of noise

You are the Peace in the midst.

In a society of discord and division

You are the harmony and unity at its heart.

In a life of constant change

You are the only constant never-changing Same.

I seek You in the quiet

I find You in the center

I rest in You in the midst

Like a tiny bird in the cleft of a rock

in the midst of a storm

You hold me and comfort me.

You were

You are

You ever remain

the still place, the quiet rest,

the peaceful center of the storm,

in an ever-changing world.

 

To Change The World — Repost for Furgeson and Baltimore

Dear Readers,

I posted this poem a while ago. In light of last year’s tragic riots in Furgeson, MO, and this week’s in Baltimore, MD, I am choosing to do it again.

When I wrote it, I was thinking about the men and women whose positive words, lives and actions changed the world. Men like Jesus, who turned His world upside down by a doctrine of love and forgiveness. Men like Gandhi, who changed their worlds with non-violence and peaceful protest. Men like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, who changed their world with a dream and a vision. Women like Mother Theresa, who changed the world through sacrifice and service. Women like Princess Dianna, who changed the world through compassion and service to the least and lost.

The people in Baltimore this week started protesting from different races and socio-economic backgrounds. They did it in peace, seeking justice. That was a protest that meant something. Not the riots which followed.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

The world is not changed                                                 

Standard Time Zones of the World as of 2005. (...


By long speeches made

By someone whose words

Are bold and are grand.

The world’s only changed

When games stop being played,

And two people reach out,

And grasp hand to hand.

The world is not changed

By many a weary mile

By people who gather

To march in a long walk.

The world’s only changed

When to scared people smile,

And break down some walls,

To take time to talk.

The world is not changed

By acts of anger and rage,

By acting out unthinkingly

And causing great strife.

The world’s only changed

When love sets the stage

And a stranger reaches out

To help change one person’s life.

The world is not changed                                                                       

World! Wide! Love!


By those filled with hate,

Who spend their lives working

To draw others apart.

The world’s only changed

When someone refuses to wait

To dear down all the barriers,

And reaches out, heart to heart.

Sunshine On Snow

Your glory is incomparable.

It has no equal, no rival.

Your love is unlimited.

It has no beginning, no end.

Your holiness is unparalleled.

It has no flaw, no spot.

You call us to be like You

To show Your glory

To a world that doesn’t know You;

To reflect Your love

To hungry, hurting people;

To shine Your holiness

To aching, lives sick with sin.

I want to shine Your glory

Like diamonds on a jewelers cloth.

I want to reflect Your love

Like an image in a mirror.

I want to show Your holiness

Like ice crystals sparkle in sunshine on snow.

Re-Post: Gratitude – A Thanksgiving Prayer

This is a re-post.  I am also very grateful and thankful for our U.S. military, who serve us at home and abroad so thanklessly all year, and for our first responders, who do the same at home!!

I’m thankful for the flowers.

Fall Foliage at the New York Botanical Garden

I’m grateful for the trees.

I’m awestruck with all nature

And all its wondrous beauty.

I’m thankful for the animals,

For the ones so wild and free,

And for those who life as friends

Among us, loving me.

Blubbertail in the window

I’m thankful for the heavens

And their great bright starry host.

And I’m grateful for the seasons;

There’s not one I don’t love the most.

I’m thankful for the valleys,

And the mountains soaring so high,

And I’m grateful for the oceans

And the water’s abundant supply.

The 2007 U.S. National Christmas Tree is lit o...

I’m thankful for my family,

My children, bright and strong,

And how my spouse still loves me

When I am in the wrong.

And I’m grateful for the people

Whose love will never end,

Both family and others,

The ones I’m proud to call “Friend.”

Our Family Portrait, 2008

I’m mostly thankful, though, Lord,

For the love I’ve come to know

In the ways You gently touch my heart

And cause me to quietly grow.

I’m grateful also, dear Lord,

For the gifts You’ve given me,

And the way You teach me how to use them

So you can set other spirits free.

Lord (Jesus)

I’m thankful for it all, Lord,

For this life that I call “Mine,”

And I’m asking You to help me

To be thankful more of the time.

And I’m asking You to shake me up

When I have a bad attitude,

That others might be drawn to You

Through my life of humble gratitude.

Trust

(For John D)

“Trust must be earned,”

I’ve heard people say,

“By a man who acts toward me

“In a favorable way.

“Trust is a coin,

“Paid for favors done,

“Until it’s earned, there’s suspicion

“Toward the un-trusted one.”

 

“Trust is a gift,”

I have heard others tell,

“By someone whose heart

“Strikes my heart well.

“Trust is a treasure

“That must be given away,

“Not hoarded in a closed heart

“Until it all fades away.”

 

I’ve decided that trust

Is both a coin and a gift,

To be earned, then bestowed,

And give someone a lift.

It’s a coin because it can’t be given

Right from the very start.

It’s a gift because it’s granted

From the treasure of my heart.

 

When I give my trust,

It’s to someone who’s kind,

To someone whose actions

Reveal a like mind.

And when I give my trust,

On some bright, happy day,

The trusted one knows it won’t quickly

Be taken away.

When trust is abused,

It’s a sorry, sad thing.

It takes away love,

And leaves a hard, hurtful sting.

And the one whose own trust

Has been so abused

Feels lonely and sad

And angry and used.

 

But I’ll still give my trust

Even though it may hurt,

If a person decides

It’s of such little worth.

Because trust is too costly

To be hoarded, and lost,

And the love of a friend

Is worth any cost.

Teachers

(For Al and Jenny, who loved me at 19)

A man of letters, with many words,

Is what a teacher seems to be.

But I have come to understand

Words are only part of their impact on me.

I used to think of them in school,

Where their paid job was to teach.

Imparting their knowledge to student’s minds,

Hoping at least a few of them to reach.

But the passing down of cold, hard facts

Is not all a teacher must do.

They must give the tools a young mind needs

To discern the false from the true.

And yet, a teacher is still more

Than a person who passes on facts.

For students learn from their teachers

How an adult thinks and feels and acts.

This is true because a teacher

Doesn’t just teach in the classroom.

Because a teacher becomes an example

To the young lives they’re seeking to groom.

Teachers and students learn together

As they walk through life side by side.

And the students learn best from a teacher

Who from him even failure won’t hide.

A teacher is one who gives the tools

To walk through trouble and strife.

And the best textbook a student reads

Is the one he sees in his teacher’s life.

Give and Take

How does it happen

when I lose myself in You

it is only then I find my true self?

How does it happen

when I abandon all I am and all I have

to all You are and all You have for me

it is only then I have everything I want and need.

It is in the giving up

            that I find.

It is in the relinquishment

            where I gain.

It is in the abandonment

            where I gather everything.

I give it away

and You give it back better.

And even when You don’t give it back,

what You give is so much better,

I don’t care about or miss what I gave at all.

I give You what is shattered and broken,

            and You give it back, whole and better than new.

I give up what I cannot hold, anyway,

            and You give what I cannot contain,

                        Because You give me Yourself.

You have a right to demand it.

You have a right to insist.

Being my Creator God gives you that right.

But You don’t demand,

You ask.

You don’t insist.

You request.

Yours are the gentle prompts of my Friend,

the Lover of my heart,

the One who knows me better

than even I know myself.

You ask for the sake of my good,

not for ulterior motives to harm me.

In the face of such love,

how can I refuse?

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Sisters (For Judi and Suzanne)

Sisters in body and sisters in blood,

That’s what we were born to be;

But sisters in heart and sisters in love

Is what we’ve become, you and me.

*

We grew up together, often sharing a room,

And we learned together how to live.

We learned how to fight and we learned how to share,

And we learned to be unselfish and to give.

*

Then we went separate ways and lived different lives,

And we all married extraordinary men,

And in that special way sisters often have

Our hearts have come full circle again.

*

We pour out our hearts over long distance wires

Knowing the others our secrets will keep,

And we laugh together and share silly things,

And sometimes, together, we weep.

*

Though we don’t see each other as often as we’d like

Because the distance between us is long,

We know when the need is too great to deny

That our sister will be there and be strong.

*

We grew up together, my dear sisters and me,

As sisters of body and blood,

But because of the faith we know we all share,

We’re also sisters, through Christ, in our God.

*

I’m glad we’ve grown up sisters of the heart,

And I’m glad you are sisters to me,

But I’m gladder still, and even more does my heart rejoice,

To know we’ll be sisters in eternity.

Agape

I.

There is no place love cannot go,

No boundary to high to cross.

No barrier can stand in its way

When easing pain and loss.

*

There is no color love can see

When it looks into a life.

There is no heart love cannot reach,

No matter what’s causing the strife.

*

There are no lines drawn on a map

In some political tower

That will keep out, in any way,

Love’s healing strength and power.

*

There are no words which can stop love

Or cause permanent dismay,

For love will triumph, what ‘ere the cost,

And come through, what ‘ere the way.

*

The power of love is a simple thing:

No matter how high seems the cost

Of going out in all the world

And caring of the lonely and lost.

II.

I’ve rarely heard of hearts too hard

And roads that have been too far trod

Who will not yield, to the last part,

To the healing love of God.

*

The love of God is best expressed

Through Jesus on the Cross.

As the Holy One suffered for our sin

In the agony of His undeserved loss.

*

God never suffers anything

To be between He and those He loves.

If a barrier, He breaks it down.

If a wall, a wall He moves.

*

There is no difference in God’s love

And in the love He has to impart.

It rushes from His throne to our lives,

Then from us to others, heart to heart.

*

God’s love contains the power,

And yielding is the key

That breaks down every barrier

In setting other hearts free.

III.

Seek out love and find it,

And then give it away.

For it is within the giving

We receive more than we can repay.

*

Let hope be your helper

When discouragement harasses love.

For hope and love give strength we need

Every barrier we see to move.

*

Love beckons with a challenge,

Calling all to take a part,

To spread its healing power

To at least one other hurting heart.

*

Love isn’t just a way of helping,

Or a means through which we give.

Loving is meant as our center and purpose.

Love’s power, our reason to live.

To Number My Days

Though we think it long,

Life is really brief,

Whether it be bitter or sweet.

Creation of the Sun and Moon by Michelangelo, ...

Then after our lives,

An eternity we’ll live

And our blessed Creator we’ll meet.

*

Teach me, O God,

To number my days

As I walk before Your sight.

English: A clock made in Revolutionary France,...

That from their brief span

I may learn to be wise;

Teach me to count them up right.

*

I only have a short time

To live on this world

And tell others of You and Your ways.

Calendar

Teach me, O God,

Not to put Your will off,

But to obey You as long as it’s “today.”

*

Help me, O God,

As I walk along,

To live in your grace and truth,

Youth Society

That I may become

Wise in Your ways,

And let You renew my strength to a youth’s.

*

I pray, O my God,

That should I fall,

You’d prompt me to quickly repent.

And I pray that You’ll help me

Dante And Virgil In Hell by William-Adolphe Bo...

Turn others to You,

So it’s not straight to Hell that they’re sent.