Bogged

Hey there, dear friends. I have had a lot going lately from VBS skits to welcoming a new pastor, facing renewed and new frustrations…

And I find myself…weary. Whereas there should be joy in some of those things, I find it there, but only for the moment it takes for raindrops to fleck and fade on glass.

And the frustrations are just…a lot of unwanted visitors who return again and again. I could voice my thoughts on such, and yet…

It begins to feel without any real use. I hate to term it “jaded”, but, it’s certainly edging into that territory.

And so…I go quiet.

Tight-lipped over how I really feel.

Stop all the confiding, any attempts at exhorting others, since it feels disingenuous, or seeking encouragement, since I can’t seem to allow it in the way I should.

Until…

It all bursts forth in poem eventually.๐Ÿ˜

Now, I don’t think of this as my best attempt, and, please don’t take offense, but I am beginning to feel even this place, my beloved WordPress, is not necessarily the help it once was.

Not due to any of you, of course. This is all me.

My quiet spells and lack of concentration to keep up with everyone here are increasing, which does give me a pang of regret, as I care sincerely for each of you.

Not to mention fatigue. Realllly tired of arriving at this mindset again and again.๐Ÿ™„

The determination not to wipe out my work here remains strong.

But the desire to write and participate is…waning.

And I don’t really want it to.

Yet…I feel it slipping out of my hands this time.

Anyway…enough spiel. Here is my latest thoughts in poem. Thanks for reading. Blessings and prayers as ever.โค

So many things to write in my brain…

Big beginnings without an end….

They rise up only to be sent

Down the proverbial drain…

Had some triumphs in these weeks,

Some lovely things of which I feel I ought rightly to speak.

Had a few mighty blows, too,

Disappointment and unsettling discoveries anew,

But sadness from such has only burrowed on through,

Tunneling in deep.

Smiles I cannot seem to keep,

But nor can I summon up theย  strength to weep…

No…instead, my eyes only dim with need of sleep.

I guess you could safely say

That I am trapped in once again by

This indescribable malaise,

This tiring, bogged-in-the-reeds sensation,

Like the African Queen, only without yet a summation.

It isn’t as if love is not there,

Nor joy-

In fact, I have lately had a good share.

And, of course, I know that God is always, always there.

Yet, I face some unhappy truths

Of pain, loss of energy, loss of youth.

I find despite all efforts to push on

I just don’t feel like much from dawn to dawn.

I still pick up my Bible and read with a prayerful heart,

Of more things I have pressed myself to take part,

Yet all I gain seems to fade before I can even start.

Hurt aplenty piles in,

Poor feelings I fear I nurse.

I have to ask-is this mire just my own sin,

And lack of ability to bravely take on the worse?

I don’t know.

I don’t know, and I tire of asking myself…

Perhaps it’s time all these ponderings

Be laid upon the shelf…

Please take them, Lord

And draw us into better accord…

The Simple Truth

Hey, there, dear friends. Been managing my thoughts fairly well with the strength of my patient heavenly Father to rely on. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have actually been able to push aside my own personal cares a bit more and renew concentration on other concerns.

I’ve been pondering a lot lately on how we as humans complicate the truth of salvation, in the world as well as the church. A few thoughts I jotted down in the last couple of days on the matter…

Found myself thinking on humanity today

And all the futile efforts ever on display…

There are so many complicated ways

We aimlessly strive for heaven.

So many foolish tries derived

From the devil’s crafty leaven!

And, yes, the unchurched is bogged by its fair share of cares,

But my musings are more than equally logged by

The church itself –

With its mangled thoughts and jangled “oughts”

They increasingly demand its people to bear.

And, oh, all the sins they no longer recognize

In their vain attempts to be “progressively” wise!

They shut their eyes to the Word of God

While evoking His name on paths both twisted and broad,

“Fixing” what needs not be fixed

While ignoring the rotting within the mix…

And, oh, the tragedy of trying our hearts out

To make our hearts right by ourselves!

We bend the beauty of salvation out of shape every time,

Presuming we know which way to climb,

Straining to reach heaven by our own deed,

With our sin-stained hands

Ever searching for the remaining

While the only thing required was done,

Already won

When the Lord took pity upon our need

And for us did bleed…

If only in all our dim thinking

Into that one untangled thought we’d truly delve!

We’d find the truth.

There’d be nothing left to prove.

If only we could surrender the notion

Of knowing better,

From the ugly claws of deception

We’d find ourselves finally unfettered!

Oh, teach our hearts to be so simple, Lord!

Help us each to take your

Uncomplicated offer on faith

And learn to rightly carry it forward,

Finding in You the endurance to stand,

Resting in the assurance of eternity’s hand.

A sweet guarantee indeed,

When once we see from all humanity’s been freed!

May we hold onto and hold out to others the simple truth of salvation in Christ! Blessings and prayers! Thanks for reading! โค

Fight for Praise

Hey,, there. Just some thoughts born this week. Sunday, I was feeling rather adrift in social anxiety visiting a church group not my own. I will be frank-I really didn’t feel very much inclined to be there. ๐Ÿ˜

Actually, I desperately longed for escape, but, being as I was there for my husband’s sake, I took a deep breath and prayed hard I could stay the course.

And then, there came praise and worship…. No magical cure by any means, but as I quietly pushed on word by word, I was reminded of and bolstered by His ever-steady presence.

Today as the struggle and the ponder continues, I am having to remind myself He is there…

God, sometimes, the connection

Between You and me comes

Flowing like clean and cloudless

Sunshine-

Sweet and easy and free.

And sometimes, there rolls a storm

Across the skies,

Causing in me a need

To fight for praise,

Through pensive night and drudge of

Day,

A tooth and nail session,

In order to gain possession of all

That You have granted is mine

And all that You desire for me to be.

Ah, I know it’s not You, Lord

That shifts away the sunlight in these

Times.

Rather, these moments are just

Evidence

Of the human frailty through which I

Currently ford…

Some days are darker,

Harder to find the spark for.

Then, it becomes a seeking,

A beseeching thing,

Knowing when to press ferociously

Into the fray

Or when to simply lay aside my

Sword

And rest my heart in whispered

Remembrance of

What it is to humbly pray…

Oh, how I love when the praise just

Comes

Bubbling up,

And I joyfully raise my already

Overflowing cup…

So uncomplicated by care!

Yet, I find I treasure the praise that

Much more

When it is the fiercely fought for,

And I find again Your hand to help me

Bear….

Blessings and prayers, dear friends. Thanks for the read. โค

A Social Gospel?

As Resurrection Sunday approaches, my mind naturally inclines to Calvary, to the glorious and complete redemption there.

But- it further goes to the churches in our land of late.

To pondering what the sermons across the country will consist of…

Will humble gratitude for the cross prevail?

Will a brokenness over the broken body of our Savior have its proper place?

Or will the disturbing trend for feel-goodism be front and center?

It can be a blatant parade of back-patting and busy work, a focus firmly centered on egg hiding and hunting and new clothes…

Or it can be more subtle, a type of gladness without the substance.

Doing the things because we always do the things, but all without pausing to contemplate why we do the things…

Or, sometimes, even if they are God’s things!

Yes, indeed, speaking His name, singing His praise,and doing good unto others can most definitely be His things!

But, then, there is also speaking His name in an attempt to gain His endorsement over sin, doing what we call good deeds that do not a thing for someone’s eternal destiny, aligning with what we deem the “correct” culture that has not a hint of Biblical correctness or an understanding of what mercy really means, and singing in a soulful, hip sort of way, but rarely inviting Him further than our lips…

It is a something that has infiltrated our churches at an alarming rate.

I did not coin this phrase, but it well suits where we are-

What we are far too often presenting is:

A social gospel.

An attempt to “cool” up and make “user friendly” the message of Christ that strips all the meaning.

And it sure doesn’t have to be Resurrection Sunday to see it.

But this season we celebrate His indescribably beautiful sacrifice to us does emphasize for me the disparity existing far too often between the soul of the church and the soul of the Lord…

So, all that spiel to say I offer you a perhaps different something to think on this Good Friday.

A list, if you will, of what the Gospel is and is not about…

It’s not about being cool.

It’s about being faithful.

It’s not about putting a happy face

To every gritty ounce of grace.

It isn’t the nod to embrace

The filth of our sin.

Rather, it is the precious breaking of

Those terrible bonds

Our mind must stay upon.

The cross must brutally remind

Of the Salvation we could not

Ourselves find…

Sundays of lapping up a self-soothing

Phrase,

Cannot cure the disease of humanity’s

Vacant glaze.

For your belly with fill for a while;

You might even dare a smile.

But the hollow, sin-shrunken frame

Stays on your back mile for mile…

You trade true freedom

For endless, useless scrabbling,

A weak, powerless strum

Over allowing Jesus in to blast away

All the wastelands you’re still

Inhabiting!

“But, I want to feel good, ” a grumble

Rises in the crowd,

“Jesus means all I do and all I am is

Stamped approved!

Let me float on my mellow cloud

And the rest of you can just sit there

Letting your Bible and your truth bog

Down your mood…”

“Ah, but friend,” comes the pleading

Reply.

“There is but one Bible. One truth. One Christ.

Christianity has never meant you’ll

Feel good for always-

Not in this life, anyway…

It’s about Jesus taking on the

Degradation we could not will away.

Not that we might stay in it,

But that He could split the veil

And show us a better way….

It is about endurance of hope

In the recognition of every high and

Low.

It’s about denying self and taking up

One’s cross,

Knowing the depth of His love

Covers every cost.

It is mercy, to be sure.

But blended perfectly with His

Holiness,

And this alone, church,

Must be our answer-no compromise!

For only in His truth do we begin to recognize

Desperate humanity’s cure….

May we hold fast to His truth this Resurrection season and always! Blessings and prayers on your Good Friday, dear friends! โค

The Better Ground

Hey, dear friends! Last night was another Wednesday, another gathering with our youth.

We managed a little pizza making, a bit of fun, a precious piece of worship, and a life-giving morsel of challenge to persevere in walking upright and in gratitude with the Lord.

And, for myself, I even experienced a slight expansion of tolerance for some of the situations weighing so heavily on me.

It’s not major shifts in my world or circumstances, but, rather, a step by step sort of journey, as I highly suspected it would be. In other words, God is beginning to move as I begin to allow His hand on me in this season of rebirth. A few words of pondering on the process…

The Better Ground

It’s a tough and a tender surrender,

A slow ache in the soul

Of the careful pretender.

Yet, there is a deeper goodness to be

Found

As I learn my Keeper always guides to

The better ground.

Not to say there is a sudden absence

Of pain in the climb

Nor that I don’t weary of

Drumming rain and the dull drag of

Time.

But, as He ministers lifebread along

The way,

Calling out both rest’s sweet

Deliverance

And the urge to seek the crest

With feet of forebearance,

I am gratefully discovering

I am sustained yet another day….

May we each allow the Lord to keep us and guide us in the climb. And may we seek both the perseverance and the gratitude needed. Blessings and prayers, dear friends! Thanks for reading! โค

Wrestling

Still abiding in His wings, though I do rather chafe as this current circumstance in my writing goes on. I find myself wrestling for every word and fighting the shadow that saves me. Not to mention weary of posting here on depression. ๐Ÿ˜ Some for myself, but also, yes, because the old fear of wearying someone else too much for them to stick around lurks within me yet. But, then, there are the other depressed souls that might just need to recognize themselves here. At any rate, He called me to honesty, so better that I remain in it…

Here I run to His river again,

In my hand my trusty pen.

And I turn my gaze to watery

Inspiration,

Seeking in my reflection therein

Some sort of summation,

Something that feels of worth,

Stirs of my spiritual rebirth.

Yet…full expression remains a

Struggle, my friends.

I keep scribbling thoughts and

Striving as I know I ought

Only to sweep them to the trash bin.

For I don’t want to just make this

Venture all

A mere means to a hollow end…

So…I keep trying to stretch these

Kinked muscles

Of my literary prowess

But in the midst of the world’s mad

Hustle,

I find thoughts dissipate and myself

Bowing to the infinite less.

I know that I know that I know

God is yet on His throne.

And I come there and cry out for Him

To show

What He has for me alone…

“God,” I whine, “I thought I was

Inching back.

I thought ‘on we go’,

And the words would flow

And I would be done with

This present lack!”

Yet…truth, friends?

These rubbery limbs of mine

Are only fumbling to now and again

Have the former knack.

So…do I just fling the pen aside?

I have thought of it, I confide.

For the last thing I want to become

Is just a sorry case of a writer’s sore

Pride.

Yet…I know the Lord’s tender,

Whispered voice

Cautions me to

Just. Lie. Still.

And further reminds me there is yet

Another, better choice,

A more lasting way to fulfill….

To let go and let Him take the words’

Often unwieldy reins.

For, honestly, it is nothing less than

Absurd

To wrestle the heavenly shadow

Meant only to heal and to sustain…

Blessings and prayers, dear friends! Struggling or not so much, may you find comfort in His shadow. โค

Wherever the Road

Hey, dear friends. Wanted to be back to some in-depth writing. Didn’t want this to be a prolonged break…but, looks like it will be. I just can’t seem to summon up anything but the dreariness I have been facing…and this space isn’t intended to be about that. It’s in the byline-It’s not about me. It’s about Him.

So…all this to say this honest little bit of poetry is my final piece to you- for a while. I hope to come back down the road a ways.

Thank you for your love, prayers, and concern. Know I hold the same for you in my heart.

I can’t do this anymore…

At least, not for quite a while.

Not packing up exactly,

Not erasing these efforts as in days past

Nor leaving an empty store.

To that determination I’m holding fast.

Just…can’t keep coming here right now

With my dialed-in smile.

Feels like any could spot it as a fake

For half a mile.

Nor can I keep comfortably coming,

Wagging this laundry bag of sorrow

And try to claim it’ll be scrubbed

Bright for the morrow.

Right now…it’s just not.

And I am caught

Without a pretty phrase left to my coffers.

No ready cheer, no heady offers.

So…it’s silence for the time being.

Not sure how long

Nor what this round of solitude will bring.

All I do know is that

I know Jesus is wherever the road takes me.

All I can rest in is that He never forsakes me…

And so He never forsakes any of us.

Until such a time as I feel He’s calling me back to this space…

Thanks for reading. Blessings and prayers to you, dear friends. โค

Our Job

I could say a lot of things today. There remains so much…unrest. Not the first instance, of course, and certainly won’t be the last.

But, I don’t think this particular bout will leave us anytime soon, sadly. And I believe it grieves the Lord’s heart.

Contrary to popular belief, His intent for us is not to stand on harsh rhetoric and self-righteousness.

Rather, it is truth- in love.

Again, I could say a lot of things. But, I won’t.

That whole truth in love thing…it’s really important.

So….I will be obedient to that.

All He really desires of me today, it seems, is to point out one key thing:

We are all so frail.

So terribly, remarkably…human.

Far too prone to pick up the hammer in our unskilled hands and make a mess trying to fix this broken world ourselves-as if it’s our job!

Far too prone to forget there is One who already came along, gathered our shambles, and did it better -did it completely, in fact-with three nails and two rough planks of wood…๐Ÿ˜‰

And demonstrated to us just why this job is not ours, but His.

So, with a snippet of humor here and a sly dig there (trust me, I feel some elbow in my ribs, too ๐Ÿ™‚), plus a fair amount of His amazing grace to soothe it all, let me remind us what our job really is…

We are such carnal beings,

In slouchy suits

And muddy boots,

Everything seeming such vital things,

But how easily we forget all but one is temporary!

And we are ever so wrong

When we flex muscles

And throw about colorful verbiage in a tussle,

Daring to call ourselves strong-

There’s ample evidence to the contrary!๐Ÿ˜

And woe to us when we pretend

It is within our puny power

To save the world with all its myriads of trouble!

Let me just gently but decidedly burst

That particular bubble:

It’s not.

Psst.

It’s not even our job. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

“But-but, I must!

It’s on us!” comes the sob.

Yes, the price of sin is ours;

No doubt, it’s our degradation the air sours,

But, remember, friend, our salvation’s

Already been bought!

For Jesus Christ paid it all,

With all that is most dear.

With each precious drop of blood

He answered our anguished call,

Taking on our fight

And making it so we might

Face eternity without fear!

If only we’d lay down the unwieldy

Hammers of our fumbled sense

And just accept our job is to accept His love fulfilled!

For, the cross is full of evidence

Of just how agonizingly,

Yet so perfectly it was unfurled!

And, then, the task becomes to go

Share this happy truth with others,

Let His love and joy in every corner of earth spill,

Shining light to both friend and foe,

And, thereby, let Jesus be the One to

Save this broken world…

Remember, Jesus is still Jesus, my dear friends! We may be fallible, but He is mighty to save and that never changes no matter what else does! Let Him be your strength this day and every day! Blessings and prayers! โค

The Onus

Hello, there! I had jotted down the first few lines of this one quite some time ago but could not find a finish till now.

It is easy to despair the state of our world and allow these cares to distract us from the mission we all have as His children. I pray we do not abandon His call to share the gospel, especially in this season where hope and healing are so desperately needed. May these few simple lines stir our hearts…

Why should we be surprised

When lost people act lost?

When their blinded eyes

Don’t recognize Calvary’s cost?

It’s dismaying,

The things they’re doing and saying,

There’s no doubt.

Yet, these heartwrenching things

They are displaying?

It’s often the inclination they know

The most about.

Never to excuse, mind you.

God’s truth is in every bit of creation

Calling out to draw and to woo.

But, believers, I feel I must say,

The burden to share Jesus

Is on us;

The onus is on us to point the way.

And, then, it is for us to stay,

Not to neglect to disciple and to pray,

But, rather, with humbleness of heart

To be a willing part,

Of seeing His filling impart,

Springing new life out of the decay.

May we indeed be about His business, sharing the truth of Jesus with those in need! Blessings and prayers, dear friends! Thanks for reading! โค

Silence

Hey, there, friends. Not a lot to speak but the pondering of why I have not a lot to speak. ๐Ÿ˜

Should have something to say, God.

Why don’t I have anything to say?

Loud, clamoring chaos has ripped

Holes in the very

Fabric of our country.

And here I sit in relative silence.

Where are my carefully crafted yet

Sharp assessments of our crumbling

Society?

Where is wise counsel to encourage

And exhort?

The pressing plea to keep You at our

Center?

I survey the oh-so-human travesty of

The last little while

And I find my response coming up

So…quiet.

My words quite nearly, almost

Astonishingly…absent.

Why, Lord? Surely I should have a

Wealth of thoughts to pen today!

Why the silence in my soul?

Ah…Silence.

And here is the answer:

Well, daughter, the thoughts are there,

Gathering in your heart,

Filling in the well,

Preparing to flow

When the time is right

And the words are clear.

For now, no flurry is needed.

No profoundness required.

For silence is sometimes the place you must go

When the noise of the world is ringing in your head

And you recognize

You must be earnestly seeking to hear from Me ….

May we all find those moments of silence in these chaotic times and earnestly listen for His voice! Blessings and Prayers, my friends!