SPARK

SPARK

Sparks fly upward – onward to a new destination

a demonstration of kindled fire,

awaken the tired 

souls in need of rising

possibly surprising cold emotion

to a place of empathetic devotion –

mixed with passion and reason

the season is upon us to make a difference,

to feed the hungry with deliverance

from poverty, from lonely & broken tomorrows,

from anguish & tear-stained sorrow…

Sparks fly upward – onward to this new destination.

Photo Cred: Ihor Malytskyi

Photo Cred: Ihor Malytskyi



BOLD

I had the wonderful opportunity to serve alongside my longtime friend Brian Mede (brianmede.com) this past weekend. He truly is the greatest artist I know, and it is an honor to share his work. His “live painting” of this lion was inspired by the Scriptural text in Acts 4:31 (ESV), which states, “And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.”

In conversation, we both recalled the famous lines from C.S. Lewis in The Chronicles of Narnia books, when Lucy discovered some things about this Aslan she kept hearing about…

“When Lucy asks Mr Beaver about this “Aslan” she keeps hearing about, she says to him,

“Is—is he a man?" 

Aslan a man!" said Mr. Beaver sternly. "Certainly not.... Aslan is a lion—the lion, the great Lion."

"Then he isn't safe?" said Lucy.

"Safe?" said Mr. Beaver; Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you.”

We have the privilege to follow this Lion. The Lion of the Tribe of Judah, who boldly shares His love with us. He stands guard over our feeble hearts. No, He is not safe… But. He is GOOD…

So here is a piece of poetry I penned to compliment this fantastic work of art:

BOLD.

a gentle roar. opened door to 

the room I hide, 

His eyes — looking into mine

unsafe, unsettled, yet unreserved I feel, 

For something about Him reveals

my tears of brokeness, 

my fears of loneliness,

my years of hopelessness…

soft steps — 

now approaching my mess

He walks next — to me

I can barely speak,

He breathes. 

I believe. I recieve 

a bold immersion, 

a submersion as I’m —

baptized with fire

by this great, good, gentle & ferocious Lion

I’m now alive in

His plan of redemption, His holy liberation —

His matchless demonstration of

power…



twine.

twine.
| twīn | noun

strong thread or string 

consisting of two or more strands of 

hemp, cotton, or nylon twisted together.

kind of like

father, mother, 

sister, brother,

linked & intertwined 

with one another

now a type of

three stranded cord

not easily broken… 

pulling twisting holding — 

heavy weights & things in place

face to face — 

with present reality 

no longer in places of hostility

embracing vulnerability

loving no longer lonely.

walking hand in hand

promises land 

twisted strand

now strong - intertwine

new song - with mine.


“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” - Eccl 4:12

Photo by  Josh Johnson  on  Unsplash

here.

Here I am.

afraid. delayed. weighed — down by my own heavy burdens 

certain. 

curtain — now open

unable to mask — or charade 

transparent. disoriented. apparent — failure before the masses

ashes.

branches — burned with

shame, disgrace — blamed

applause. pause. caused — by One unafraid to identify

justified.

sanctified — by blood

I believe & receive — His cross.

kneeling. hoping. speaking — with a King at my side

alive.

revived — with peace

here I am, to stand — healing.

IMG_0971.jpeg

Valley.

Valley…


So often the valley is compared to the difficult, the dark, the dangerous

sometimes strange to us — thinking this — is just for a season

looking for reasons — to escape.

Hoping the mountain top is where we are supposed to live…

but how can I give — food, water, or love

when stuck above — in the clouds, surrounded by isolation?


It seems like the valley is where the fruit tends to grow,

the water begins to flow — how will I know

the smile of another when separated from my brother?

So… I’ve reached a conclusion — a resolution.

this valley I run from — is actually

my home.

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Bridge.

This picture I took a few weeks ago in Chattanooga, TN got me thinking & ⁣⁣⁣

stirred the pot of poetic thought...⁣⁣⁣

________

⁣⁣⁣

BRIDGE⁣⁣⁣

⁣⁣⁣

connection of two worlds colliding —⁣⁣⁣

water subsiding or is it rising between us?⁣⁣⁣

flowing river sounds delightful — even joyful,⁣⁣⁣

hopeful I become when disconnection ⁣⁣⁣

no longer is an option, because of this⁣⁣⁣

⁣⁣⁣

bridge...⁣⁣⁣

⁣⁣⁣

how much greater is — His plan of redemption? ⁣⁣⁣

the cross, which cost the bridge builder His life,⁣⁣⁣

to save mine so time & time again I could run —⁣⁣⁣

into His arms of affection...⁣⁣⁣

⁣⁣⁣

this bridge now a reflection of all He has done...⁣⁣⁣

⁣⁣⁣

⁣⁣⁣

“Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us.” (Ephesians‬ ‭2:18‬)⁣⁣⁣

⁣⁣⁣

IMG_0714.jpeg

Rocks.

ROCKS…

Sometimes it just takes a rock to knock me out of my whirlwind of spiraling emotions. Every once in a while I wake up with heavy thoughts, worries about our future, questions about my calling, and even bouts with depressive anxiety. Today was one of those days. My emotional state was downcast as I went about the day. We even visited family members, swam in their pool, laid out in the sun, and snacked on some of my favorite munchies. But I was still ho-hum. I was still mopey. That was until, I paused to take a look at my sister-in-laws rock collection. 

Seriously. 

Rocks knocked me out of my funk. My blues turned to fascination with God’s creation, flipping my despondency into motivation for a brand new day. The captivating colors of rocks reflecting the imagination of God, triggering awe in the microcosms of my mind. Truly. I then began to realize — if God can design a lifeless rock with intrinsic, artistic beautiful layers of surprise, how much more can He take care of me? 

I have a feeling I’m not the only one who wakes up like this once in a while. Even after the sip of morning coffee, we start singing the blues. Maybe it’s time to roll with the rocks and allow Jesus to knock us out of our melancholy with His wild creation of imagination. 

Who would have thought the rocks would cry out today, reminding me of His ability to care for me?

“Here the rocks contain precious lapis lazuli*, and the dust contains gold…”

(Job 28:6)

*Lapis Lazuli (a bright blue metamorphic rock consisting largely of lazurite, used for decoration and in jewelry)

*Lapis Lazuli (a bright blue metamorphic rock consisting largely of lazurite, used for decoration and in jewelry)

Wallets.

On the way out the door this morning something was missing.

But it wasn’t just some thing. It was the thing that holds things.

Valuable small piece of leather, holding plastic and paper together

I began to really wonder whether — or not

the feathers of lost wings began to fly away with my things…

Did I lose it?

Was it stolen?

Did the kids highjack my pockets?

I’m definitely sure. I don’t have it anymore.

It’s not on my shelf, not in my room

But wait. I have to fly away on an airplane soon.

I need the pictured plastic piece of ID.

The folded green stuff comes in handy

& cards of debit remind me

that it might be time to call Wells Fargo…

Oh no, where did it go?

The wifey gives the pizza joint a final call.

Hallelujah!

The people designing crusts saw it drop

& held onto it when it was time to mop,

then waited for me to stop on by to pick it up.

It was this fantastic ever important thing we call —

a wallet.

Airports.

Travel is a trip. Literally…

I’m always filled with a mix of emotions when I travel.

It all starts with the Uber ride from my free parking spot a mile away. I have about a 4 minute, 30 second conversation with a stranger who I probably will never see again in my lifetime. But if his or her car smells good, the conversation is usually fun and to the point. Where are you headed? Sports talk. Music. The Fam. You know, all the uncomplicated conversational jargon saved for Uber trips.

Then, the airport. Depending if I’m traveling international or domestic, there is the baggage check. Today was a bit complicated since I had a suitcase full of books and the check in guy wasn’t budging when my bag was 4 lbs. over. So, I then proceeded to open up my suitcase in front of strangers to repack, wondering how many people saw my freshly folded socks and undies. I’ll never know. But isn’t that the fun of it. I swear I weighed my bag on my personal scale at home. Guess I’m a bit heavier than I thought I was. Finally, bags are checked and I’m off to the races.

Next up. Security check. I think the best $85 bucks I ever spent was signing up for TSA pre-check. So rad. I didn’t have to flash the hole in my right sock because I get to keep my shoes on when we pass through the magic radiation underpass. And. The line is sooooo much shorter. Absolutely love it.

Now onto the waiting game. Sometimes a wait in line to grab a cup of coffee. Other times, a quick snack. And others, a mad rush to the gate to board the plane. Today was pretty chill. So I sat down next to more strangers, and looked around. What did we do before smart phones? Sit and look at each other? Man, talk about the “epidemic of text neck”. Sheesh. Next time you are waiting to board your flight, if you are not looking at your phone yourself, take a quick count of how many people are looking down at their phones while sitting at the airport. It’s nuts!

Once it’s time to board, I love to ask for an upgrade, just in case they wanted to move me to first class out of the kindness of their heart. Hasn’t worked yet, but I know if I keep knocking, one day the door will open. Still, one of my favorite moments is the time from the airport to the airplane. The handy dandy “jet bridge” where you cross the threshold of no return and enter the realm of time travel…

Time to buckle up, sit back, chew some gum to keep my ears from popping, and begin the journey of jet lag, new sites, engine blasts, and stale pretzels with some Ginger Ale. Why is Ginger Ale so popular on flights anyway?

Photo by  Keith Chan  on  Unsplash

Photo by Keith Chan on Unsplash

Life... Blood...

Blood.

A word so delicately used.

infused with holy liberation through one drop — stop

to notice the new life He streams through veins — rains

of refreshment through His circulatory system — listen.

To the river of joy pulsing, moving, transforming

the lifeless to brightness, explore this

way of living.

He initiates the transfusion, healing my confusion

about who I am and

the way of his plan and

the meaning of man and

how can I stand in —

the midst of a fallen world.

His love unfolds, He reveals

then seals my security

with the mercy of His own blood.

Photo by    Joel Filipe    on    Unsplash

Photo by Joel Filipe on Unsplash