Archives For a thousand words

Post it: God at work

September 30, 2015 — 2 Comments

The humble post-it played a supporting role in a movie I recently saw, “Still Alice”, about a college professor who develops early-onset Alzheimer’s. To help jog her memory, Alice begins to post reminders to herself around the house, particularly in the kitchen and the bedroom where she will be sure to see them. Those reminders are themselves a poignant reminder–they show how important our memory is in the daily routine of our lives.

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A few weeks later, I visited a church that had just finished a week of VBS for kids [does everyone know that acronym for Vacation Bible School?]. On both sides of the church, long sheets of white paper were hung up, covered in colorful post-its.

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The youth pastor explained that the post-its were God-sightings from the week. Any time someone saw or experienced God at work, they made a note on a post-it and put it on the roll of paper. Now on Sunday the entire congregation was able to see the evidence of God’s presence and care.

I don’t know how long the church will leave up these sheets plastered with bits of testimonies, but I hope it’s longer than a week. With the start of school, and the pace of life returning to a faster hum, it’s a challenge to stop and take the time to consider the grace and faithfulness of God that is at work in our daily lives.

We run the risk of developing what Pope Francis calls “spiritual Alzheimer’s”, ‘a progressive decline of spiritual faculties where people forget their personal history with the Lord and lose their memory of the ‘first love’ of their encounter with Him.’

In the daily press of activity, it may not seem so crucial to remember what God has done. But when trouble comes, being able to remember His care and how He has worked in the past becomes vital. It encourages us to know that He is continuing to work, even if we aren’t aware of it yet.

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That’s what the psalmist did during a time of great distress when he felt abandoned and his soul would not be comforted.
My heart meditated and my spirit asked:
…Has His unfailing love vanished forever?
Has His promise failed for all time?
Has God forgotten to be merciful?
Has He in anger withheld His compassion?”
Then I thought, “To this I will appeal:
the years when the Most High stretched out His right hand.
I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
yes, I will remember Your miracles of long ago.
I will consider all Your works
and meditate on all Your mighty deeds.”

Psalm 77:6-12

I think it’s significant that the deeds of the Lord which the Psalmist remember were not limited to events he experienced personally. Since we belong to a world-wide and historical communion of faith, learning about what God has done and is doing in the lives of others is just as important as what He is doing in our individual lives. That’s why it was a blessing for me to see the wall of God-sightings at the church. I was encouraged to witness all the different people who had been touched by His grace in a single week.

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Not all the notes were about spectacular sightings. Sometimes, God works in a big way, doing a miracle like parting the Red Sea. Other times, we see a sign of His gentle faithfulness, like a hand on someone’s shoulder, or the simple beauty of a wildflower. IMG_5598
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?
Matthew 6:28-30

A few God-sightings from my life recently include:
*Driving up a big hill just as a family from church was walking, so I could give them a ride

*Reading about how You have worked in a woman’s life here

*Listening to a friend share about how to draw closer to You

*Hearing gospel music playing at the vegetable stand
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Where have you seen God at work in your world this week?
How do you want to make note of them?

The ultimate promise

April 8, 2015 — 2 Comments

Springtime is such a hopeful, joyful season–
new sprouts come to dead wood

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new colors bloom in tired landscapes
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The spring season in our life is also full of joy–
a new marriage
2015 4 7 archive easter products 2015-04-05 010 a new baby

and full of hope–
a new class, a new habit
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a new start.

But new isn’t always joyful or hopeful.

Sometimes new is unsettling–
in a new job, a new neighborhood, a new country
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Sometimes new is uncomfortable–
in new shoes
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or with new construction.

Sometimes new is painful–
from a new family configuration because of graduation
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or death.

Throughout scripture, however, when God promises something new, it is always joyful and hopeful:
a new name
a new heart
a new spirit

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a new creation
a new birth
a new life

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a new covenant
a new commandment
a new way

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It’s the newness of growth where there was stagnation,
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the newness of life where there once was death,
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the newness of healing where there once was pain.
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And it’s the ultimate promise,
“I make all things new.” [Revelations 21:5]
seven fountains jesus

Where is God bringing new growth in your life?

What new compassions has God given to you today? [Lamentations 3:22-23]

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The desert and the parched land will be glad;
the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom;
it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.

Isaiah 35:1

How to light a dark corner

February 26, 2014 — 2 Comments

I’m a natural morning person and one thing I love about getting up early is seeing the long rays of sunlight as they wake the world to another day.

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And one of the luxuries of keeping the Sabbath is being able to stop and enjoy the morning light. In the winter when it’s too cold to go outside, I’ll find the sunniest place in the house and sit there, praying, reading, reflecting.

I'm like a spring flower turning to the sun

I’m like a spring flower turning to the sun

Last month I discovered a new morning spot in our house. Like most Moroccan homes, our dining room is not conveniently placed next to the kitchen. Instead, it’s on the other side of the house to separate the cooks from the guests. And it is also sized for a large extended family.

Half of our dining room filled with our local extended family

Half of our dining room filled with our local extended family

Of course it’s too big for two people, so weeks can go by without me having any need or desire to use the room. Then one Sabbath I happened to be in the back of the house and noticed the morning light streaming into the dining room.

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I pulled up a chair and positioned it to face the bright sun. Then I settled in to enjoy its warm illumination.

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But after a while I sensed there was something not quite right. Then I realized I was facing in the wrong direction. To catch the morning sun I should be pointing east and not west.

the sun rising in the east

the sun rising in the east

Yet there I was facing west. How had the sun turned itself around?

I looked up and saw the answer. A few years ago our neighbors closed their upper terrace with reflective glass. What I was seeing was not the sun (still thankfully rising in the east) but the sun reflecting off a western window, like a mirror.
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A once-dark corner of our house where the sun never shone was now flooded with light.

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As I basked in the sunlight reflecting off the glass, I marveled at the power of the sun and the capacity of the glass to reflect it. I remembered what Paul wrote to the Corinthians:

For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image. — 2 Corinthians 3:17-18

The glass doesn’t create the light. It doesn’t even have to make any effort to reflect the sun’s brightness. The sun is the source.
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The only way the glass can prevent the light’s reflection is if it becomes coated with dirt and dust. No wonder Jesus told us not to worry about the plank in our brother’s eye and only to worry about the speck in our own. Tiny specks of dust and dirt crowded together can block the power of the all-powerful light.

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To reflect the light of Jesus into the dark corners of the world around me, I need to let the Holy Spirit into my dark corners first and wash my heart clean.

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
… Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
–Psalm 51: 7, 10

Then God’s light will shine boldly through me although I may not always be aware of how far His rays of grace extend.

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Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth
and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the Lord rises upon you
and His glory appears over you.
Nations will come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
Isaiah 60:1-3

What about you? What dark unreached corners in your world does God’s light reflect into? And when was the last time you washed your spiritual windows?

The year as a house

January 1, 2014 — 1 Comment

from a poem by Jan Richardson:

“The Year as a House: A Blessing

Think of the year
as a house:
door flung wide
in welcome,
threshold swept
and waiting,
a graced spaciousness
opening and offering itself
to you.

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“Let it be blessed
in every room.

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“Let it be hallowed
in every corner.

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Let every nook
be a refuge
and every object
set to holy use…

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“…And may it be
in this house of a year
that the seasons will spin in beauty,

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“and may it be
in these turning days
that time will spiral with joy.

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“And may it be
that its rooms will fill
with ordinary grace

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“and light spill from every window
to welcome the stranger home.”

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A Christmas benediction

December 25, 2013 — Leave a comment

“Bethlehem has opened Eden:
Come, let us see!
We have found joy hidden!
Come, let us take possession of the paradise within the cave.”
Ikos of the Nativity

 

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“May you be filled with the wonder of Mary,

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the obedience of Joseph,

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the joy of the angels,

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the eagerness of the shepherds,

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the determination of the magi,

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and the peace of the Christ child.

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Almighty God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit
bless you now and forever.
Amen!”

In the midst of my daily life, as I plow through my routines like a stubborn ox, it’s easy to overlook what God is doing in the world.

But when I take the time to get out of my rut–with a vacation or simply by enjoying a sabbath day–I often have a fresh experience of the beauty and abundance God has given to His creation.

Afterwards, I find my reading of scripture is also refreshed because God’s word is not only a light to our soul but also a way to look at the world.

That’s what happened to me as I read Psalm 65 this week. It’s a wonderful psalm, filled with reasons to give God praise. In particular, the second half came alive as I remembered how I had seen these verses in action this month while on vacation.** How blessed we are that God continues to be active and working in the world we live in. How could we live without His loving care?

You answer us with awesome and righteous deeds, God our Savior,
the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas,
who formed the mountains by Your power,
having armed Yourself with strength,

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who stilled the roaring of the seas,
the roaring of their waves,
and the turmoil of the nations.

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The whole earth is filled with awe at Your wonders;
where morning dawns, where evening fades,
You call forth songs of joy.

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You care for the land and water it;
You enrich it abundantly.

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The streams of God are filled with water
to provide the people with grain,
for so You have ordained it.2013 6 13 Dingle Penninsula north west aj 052

You drench its furrows and level its ridges; You soften it with showers and bless its crops.

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You crown the year with Your bounty,
and Your carts overflow with abundance.

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The grasslands of the wilderness overflow;
the hills are clothed with gladness.

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The meadows are covered with flocks
and the valleys are mantled with grain;
they shout for joy and sing.

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God has been up to quite a lot, hasn’t He?

Where have you been enjoying God’s gift of creation recently?

**Notes
All pictures thanks to God [and County Kerry in southwest Ireland]

There were many things I didn’t know about this country before I moved here. I had no idea that there were a quarter of a million Jews with Moroccan nationality in 1940. Or that less than 2% of them still live here. I didn’t know that before the Arabs arrived in the northwest corner of Africa, the Romans came during the time of Jesus. Or that you could see the striking ruins of the city they built along the trade route.

view from the Tangier Gate

view from the Tangier Gate

Volubilis is less than two hours by car, and when people are wise enough to visit us in the fall, winter, or spring, it’s a standard stop on our tour.**

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve visited the site but last month when family was here, I was glad to have another chance to go.

The broad main street runs from the Tangier Gate down to the triumphal arch

The broad main street runs from the Tangier Gate down to the triumphal arch

I never get tired of wandering through the ruins of houses with atriums, pools, carved columns, and magnificent mosaic floors.

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And yet, what really took my breath away this time were not the inscriptions or the mosaics or the larger public buildings. Instead, I was most struck by these exquisite creations of our creative, creating God.

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Year after year, these wildflowers sprout up, untended, unwatered by any earthly gardener. Somehow they find a slice of dirt in the stone cracks, and burst into bloom.

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No wonder, Jesus said, “Think about how the flowers of the field grow; they do not work or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his glory was clothed like one of these!” [Luke 6:38-39]

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2000 years after Volubilis was built, the man-made splendor has almost completely disappeared. The Roman empire fell and people moved on, leaving the buildings to crumble. The olive presses fell into disrepair. The ivory, gold, and bronze were looted. Only a skeleton remains.

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But a vivid display of natural beauty goes on, a testimony to God’s creativity and extravagance.

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Like expensive perfume ‘wasted’ on the feet of Jesus, these flowers have bloomed for centuries.

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They serve no stately purpose in their brief and humble life. How many years have they gone completely unnoticed? Even now they’ll soon be gone, replaced with other flowers that prefer warmer weather. By summer time, the ground will be brown and lifeless. Still they sing out with joy, proclaiming the glory of God.

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They are an antidote to winter weariness and lost hope. They are signs of God’s enduring faithfulness and the delight He takes in making all things new.

Let the desert and dry region be happy;
let the wilderness rejoice and bloom like a lily!
Let it richly bloom;
let it rejoice and shout with delight!

Isaiah 35:1-2

What about you? Perhaps when spring comes to where you live, you’ll want to take some time and pay attention to God’s annual show. Get down on your hands and knees if you have to, and enjoy the beauty of His world.

**Notes
Wise people avoid Volubilis in the summer, when the harsh sun turns the shadeless site into a baking oven.

Another take on a glimpse of God’s power by David Blair, the photographer of the wedding I went to in France last summer.

One thing I love about going to the beach, especially here on the west coast of the continent, is that the sea is always the same and yet it’s also always different. Sometimes the tide is low and peaceful; sometimes the waves are high and rolling. And sometimes the churning surf explodes against the old coral beds.

I’ve named these eruptions ‘waterworks’ because they are like fireworks, only made with water. I can watch them for an hour, enthralled by the dramatic bursts of white spray. If I have my camera, I’ll take dozens of pictures, trying to catch the biggest one. But no picture can capture the sound of the crash or the fishy smell of the water or the moistness carried in the air or the taste of salt that comes on my lips.

The other day when we went to the beach, the waterworks were the tallest I’ve seen in a dozen years –bigger than a two-story house.

It was a magnificent demonstration of power and I watched the spectacular display with awe and delight. I also felt some fear. The water was so high and strong that I wasn’t completely convinced the rock wall in front of me would hold firm. A couple of times it surged over the top, and I could understand how a giant wave could sweep a person away.

A few days later, I happened to read Psalm 93 and I was reminded that the waterworks’ tremendous force doesn’t come close to matching God’s power.

Sea storms are up, God,
Sea storms wild and roaring,
Sea storms with thunderous breakers.
Stronger than wild sea storms,
Mightier than sea-storm breakers,
Mighty God rules from High Heaven.

Psalm 93:3-4 The Message

Just think. This:

and this:

are no match for God’s power.

God is King, robed and ruling,
God is robed and surging with strength.
And yes, the world is firm, immovable,
Your throne ever firm—you’re Eternal!

Psalm 93:1 The Message

He is stronger than a tsunami, mightier than a mountain-moving earthquake.

He is powerful enough to destroy death and save lives.

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.

Psalm 46:2-3

Amen.

In Kansas

February 7, 2012 — Leave a comment

A little while ago when I was in the states, I went to a little restaurant and when I looked around. I said to myself, “Toto, I’m not in Kansas anymore.”**



But last year, here in Kansas, I sat in the dentist’s chair, listening to “Jesus, King of Glory” coming out of the speakers. How often do you hear praise music for an hour at the dentist’s in your country?

A few days later I sat at a restaurant and listened to a rousing rendition of Oh Happy Day**. It’s the song that goes:
“Oh Happy day, when Jesus washed, when Jesus washed,
oh when He washed, oh when He washed, He washed my sins away.”**

Yet I was surrounded by people whose government forbids them to do that.
That’s Kansas for you.



Scenes I’ve recently seen in Kansas

Links and notes
Blogpost of Not in Kansas

**The scene in The Wizard of Oz where Dorothy says, “We’re not in Kansas.”

**This is actually the second time I’ve heard O Happy Day here. The other time was at a restaurant down south, ten years ago.

Oh happy day, Oh happy day
When Jesus washed
Oh when he washed
He washed my sins away
He taught me how
to watch, fight and pray
fight and pray
Oh happy day, Oh happy day
When Jesus washed
Oh when he washed
He washed my sins away
We´ll live rejoicing
ev´ry day, ev´ry day
Oh happy day, Oh happy day
When Jesus washed
Oh when he washed
He washed my sins away

This week’s special:
“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”
“I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”

Luke 19:38-40

God the artist

July 16, 2011 — Leave a comment

“God and other artists are always a little obscure.” Oscar Wilde


Gibraltar at Sunset **

**not a Monet, just a photo I took while crossing the Straits

I grew up with acorn squash and butternut squash and summer squash and winter squash and pumpkin and of course, truckloads of zucchini. [Though I confess I didn’t acquire a taste for acorn and butternut squash until much later–like a few years ago]. Squash are, if you stare at them long enough, a little on the odd side. Except for pumpkins, I don’t think any would even come close to winning a Best Looking Vegetable contest.

But then there’s turban squash. Squash on fashion steroids. A squash of many colors, like Joseph’s coat, that can include orange, red, green, and beige. And for good measure, the flesh inside is yellow.

I saw my first turban squash driving south along the coast road a few years ago. I remember wondering, as we passed by, what the strange looking vegetable was.

Now that I study this picture, I’m also wondering what the long red vegetables are hanging above. Does anyone know? My best guess is red eggplant [another surprise for me: who knew that eggplant comes in red?], or perhaps some giant pepper?

This week, turban squash appeared at a little vegetable stand right in the thick of downtown and I couldn’t resist getting one. I thought perhaps it would be called ‘mushroom squash’.

But instead the Adam who named this thought it looked more like a sultan’s turban. Fair enough. The man who sold it to me said he doesn’t cook them, but just puts them out for decoration. Best Looking Vegetable indeed.


I may make a pureed soup out of mine, if it doesn’t go bad before our heat wave leaves. To me, the oddest thing about this squash is that it’s harvested here in the thick of summer. The least oddest thing is how amazingly creative God was when He designed the things of earth.

I grew up surrounded by snow-covered evergreens, blazing maples, acorned oaks, and flowering apple trees. I didn’t see a palm tree until I was 15 on my first trip to southern California. As I remember it, what impressed me most were not the tall skinny trees but the largeness of the uncrowded sky.


Living here, I’ve found it easy to take for granted the palm trees that line the streets and poke up over the walls of back yards. But gradually, I’ve come to appreciate their beauty…


I love the way they catch the breeze I’ve come to appreciate their variety too. There are 2000 species of palms, but basically two main types of palms, fan and feather.
fan palm, of course
feather palm at sunrise
I’ve come to appreciate their fruit like the bunch of dates here [but they also produce coconuts and oil]

My favorite place to see a palm tree: against the southern mountains*
*although we think of palms growing in humid, tropical climates, there are some varieties that do fine in temperatures of 5-10F [yes, that’s 5 farenheit, not celcius].

They grow straight and strong, living long and fruitful lives, so it’s no wonder the psalmist used them as a metaphor for following God:

The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
planted in the house of the Lord,
they will flourish in the courts of our God.
They will still bear fruit in old age,
they will stay fresh and green,
proclaiming, “The Lord is upright;
He is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in Him.”

Psalm 92: 12-15

Pied Beauty

Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;

For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;

Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;

Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)

With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;

He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change: Praise him.

Gerard Manly Hopkins

Faithful readers of this blog with keen memories will recall that a year ago I started a series on ways to enjoy God. [I think I’m up to five, if you’re counting]. Readers with champion memories know that the first in the series was looking for patches of Godlight**. Since then there have been several times when I’ve been tempted to break out this way to enjoy God as a unique menu item. I even came up with a name for it: the amuse-bouche*.

This past weekend, we went out for lunch to celebrate two birthdays and an anniversary at a regular nice restaurant along a beach, and we were served not one but two amuse-bouches. One was a small glass of fresh squeezed orange juice that came soon after we were seated. The other was my first dessert amuse-bouche, after we proclaimed we were too stuffed for dessert. In a dish the shape of a finger were thin slices of strawberries on a bed of whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce. Unexpected, free, and delightful.

Although I once used amuse-bouche to describe a book**, it seems like a very apt word for the patches of Godlight we find in the world around us, those sudden displays of the Creator’s brilliance.** However at this point, readers with ordinary memories will remind me that I have yet to put the amuse-bouche on this blog’s menu. That’s because every time I think about sharing a patch of Godlight, I invariably end up writing about something bigger, something that seems more profound and worthy of contemplation. I keep passing by the small but precious moments when God reveals a twinkle of His creative power and beauty.

But I love having just a taste and savoring that single bite. I know that a simple haiku can be as beautiful and meaningful as an 800 page masterpiece [say Anna Karenina]. A whisper can communicate as powerfully as a shout. And this morning as I was spending time with God on the second story terrace, a patch of Godlight suddenly appeared on my keyboard, a green tinkerbelle:
This glorious glimmer was not only a wonderful amuse-bouche to start the day, I decided [drum roll please] it was the perfect way to launch the new Snacks from the Cruise Buffet menu item.

You’re probably curious, as I was, to learn what this green tinkerbelle really is. If you google “green flying bug with translucent wings”, you’ll discover it is a Green Lacewing. They are good bugs, so good that you can buy Green Lacewing eggs on Amazon [1000 to the box] which will then hatch into larvae [not nearly as beautiful as the adult lacewing] and chow their way through the aphids in your garden [aphid is another word for a sap sucking insect sometimes referred to as ‘plant lice’–and you know that anything that is referred to as lice is a bad bug]. The larvae then transform into these beautiful tinkerbelles.

What an amazing display of God’s brilliance.

Links and notes: *An amuse-bouche is a small hors d’oeuvre not listed on the menu, a single elegant bite that the waiter brings to give you a preview of the chef’s cooking.

A sudden display of brilliance

I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonders. Psalm 9:1

Speaking of stones

August 11, 2010 — Leave a comment

“As you come to Him, the living Stone—
rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to Him—

you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.


For in Scripture it says:
“See, I lay a stone in Zion,
a chosen and precious cornerstone,
and the one who trusts in Him
will never be put to shame.”

Now to you who believe, this stone is precious.

But to those who do not believe,
“The stone the builders rejected
has become the capstone,”

and, “A stone that causes men to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall.”


I Peter 2:4-8


“Don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or if the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your inner life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the ravens, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, carefree in the care of God. And you count far more.

Walk into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They don’t fuss with their appearance—but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them. If God gives such attention to the wildflowers, most of them never even seen, don’t you think He’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you?

What I’m trying to do here is get you to relax, not be so preoccupied with getting so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep yourself in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Don’t be afraid of missing out. You’re my dearest friends! The Father wants to give you the very kingdom itself.

Be generous. Give to the poor. Get yourselves a bank that can’t go bankrupt, a bank in heaven far from bankrobbers, safe from embezzlers, a bank you can bank on. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.”
Luke 12:22-34 The Message

Don’t love the world’s ways. Don’t love the world’s goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world—wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important—has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from him. The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out—but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity. I John 2:15-17 The Message

Though one may be overpowered,

two can defend themselves.

A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Ecclesiastes 4:12

More on a big God

April 28, 2010 — Leave a comment

Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand,
or with the breadth of His hand marked off the heavens?
Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket,
or weighed the mountains on the scales
and the hills in a balance?


Surely the nations are like a drop in the bucket…
Before Him all the nations are as nothing…

To whom will you compare me?
Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One.
Lift your eyes and look to the heavens:
Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one,
and calls them each by name.
Because of His great power and mighty strength,
not one of them is missing.

Why do you say, O Jacob,
and complain, O Israel,
“My way is hidden from the LORD;
my cause is disregarded by my God”?



Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.

Isaiah 40:12,15, 17, 18, 26-28

I was out walking in a Virginian field one moist morning, captivated by the beauty.

I took some pictures, and then some close-ups.

What I didn’t realize until I looked at the pictures later was how the drops of water held reflections.

Who knew that something so small could hold something so big.


I feel the same kind of amazement when I consider that God in all his grandeur and majesty shines in me, making my simple small life into something glorious.

For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. II Corinthians 4:6

But this one drop only shows a few trees from a single forest. Imagine trying to contain a reflection of the whole world. It’s like me, two arms, two legs, one head, trying to comprehend the all-powerful, all-loving God. He is too big for me to take in and I am much too small, like a mere drop of water that dries up in the noonday sun. My view is limited, and I’ll never be able to fully grasp who He is or understand Him completely.

I need what Paul prayed for the Ephesians:
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and His incomparably great power for us who believe. [Ephesians 1:17-18]