Monthly Archives: October 2014

Unspeakable Distances

As a long distance mother, I fly east, regularly to Minnesota and Pennsylvania, and then west to home in the Central Valley of Northern California. Good-byes are often unspeakable, just a few tears choked back as I bravely try to convince myself and grown children the distance is manageable because of our love and respect for one another.  And it is,  somewhat, if there is another visit planned.

Recently my husband planned a trip west to Hawaii for the two of us.  On the very short flight from Oahu to Kauai, our prop plane flew high above the earth through massive heavenly clouds. I peered out the window to see a distance that is as unspeakable as God’s steadfast love. While flying further west, I was caught off guard by the realization that there is no point between east and west when the transgressions of those who love and respect God are not removed. It too is an unspeakable distance that keeps inviting us to live a forgiven life.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him,
as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
~Psalm 103:11-12

May we let God manage all the unspeakable distances of our lives…Amen and amen!nd plan

Fallen Leaves

The morning bird

atop a tree

perched as if in heaven,


knowingly sang

lyrics of love

to notes of glory.

While wind wrestled

fallen leaves

play God’s anthem

of not yet

across the skies.


I wrote this poem several years ago.  For those who know me best and have experienced my fear of birds, I don’t know why I paid attention to the morning bird atop a tree.  But when I did, God spoke.  I invite you to pay attention to your least favorite thing and let God’s anthem speak.

The Love of God’s Word

As short as Psalm 117 is, Psalm 119 is long.  I often wonder if it is revered because it is 176 verses long.  But in reality it is a reverential Psalm because it invites us to take a closer look at the Word of God.  Moreover, to delight in greater understanding of God’s laws, decrees, commandments, statutes, precepts, promises, sayings, judgments, testimonies, ways is to realize that God’s Word can and does take on a life of its own within our lives. 

Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote the following:  Psalm 119 becomes especially difficult for us, perhaps, because of its length and monotony.  In this case a rather slow, quiet, patient advance, is helpful.  Then we recognize that the apparent theme, namely the love of God’s word.  As this love can never cease, so also the words which confess it can never cease.

Take time to read through Psalm 119, and then remember, confess and fall in love again with the Word who became flesh and dwelt among us!  May we see in new light God’s glory which is as of the only Son from the Father,  full of grace and truth (John 1:14).   Amen and amen.

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Praise the Lord!

Praise the Lord, all nations!

    Extol him, all peoples!

For great is his steadfast love toward us,

    and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.

Praise the Lord!

~Psalm 117

These are the words I have prayed the few times I have traveled internationally.  Just as stepping onto foreign soil brings the excitement of experiencing a new culture and interacting with different people, Psalm 117 reminds us of the excitement of living daily in a culture of praise with people who are not the same as we are.  Thomas Merton wrote that joy in praising God is the pure essence of the spirit of the Church’s prayer.

In just a few words the Psalmist reminds us that the great love and enduring faithfulness of God invites us into a life of praise that transforms hearts and lives, our own and others.  We can live beyond our own borders by committing to a life of praise that proclaims God’s grace to all.   Hallelujah and amen!

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