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His People: Shepherds

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His People: Shepherds
Pinpricks of light pierce the inky black. The soft bay of sheep carries on the wind. The night air stirs; a desert chill. Cloaked shepherds abide with their flock, tending them, rod and staff close at hand. Some nod, chins falling into the crook of their neck. Others softly run fingers in silky wool accounting for every sheep in their fold. Outcasts of society, making a meager living, resigned to live among smelly animals. The care they provide these weakly needy creatures is profound. Could this be the reason Our Father sent His herald to them first - these quiet solitary men? Was hope always on the fringe? Did it whisper in the souls of these shepherds? A source of mystery they could never touch until the manifest unfolded, radically changing their lives in one moment.
Nearby, in the fields outside of Bethlehem, a group of shepherdswere guarding their flocks from predators in the darkness of night. Suddenly a messenger of the Lord stood in front of them, and the …

Collage: A Holiday Spectacular

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What kicks off your Christmas season?
For me, it is Collage: A Holiday Spectacular, put on by UK Choirs and guest ensembles at the Singletary Center for the Arts. My friend, James Aaron, introduced me to this wonderful festivity. The concert has quickly become a tradition.
The performance blends different mediums: percussion, choir, bells, along with other musical instruments. Musical genre bleeds into the next from traditional, jazz, bluegrass, and acappella. It can leave one spinning in glorious sensory overload.
A former choral performer, I love the sound of harmony. The definition of collage is a piece of art made by sticking various different materials together. Using difference to make a whole, a resonant notion in these times. I mulled this over while listening to the artistic synthesis of various voices creating one breathtaking sound.
There is an exquisite mix of old and new. The elements I know I’ll enjoy are singing “Joy to the World”, feeling my heart drum to the passion of…

Communion: He renews ALL things

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What have I done with my kingdom heart? Where am I currently taking it?... You have a heart for joy—where is your hope for joy set right now? You have a heart for redemption—where are you taking your heart for redemption these days? You ache for restoration, yours and those you love—where is your hope for restoration these days? – John Eldredge, Ransomed Heart Daily Reading
“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord & have made the Lord their hope & confidence.” – Jeremiah 17:7
Melancholy, the word itself sounds morose. It fits ill upon the tongue. Still, this is where my boat is moored, along melancholy lake. The water is glass still. Fog seeps across the surface, hugging tight, making every view slant and eerie. In periphery, I see fires burning: warm, inviting. There is a stirring that cinches my gut. At the hearth of these fires, burning wild & bright, is where I was meant to be. In communion with that which makes me whole, The Divine. In communion with others. For th…

An Interesting Dichotomy

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An interesting dichotomy, the feeling of invincibility & mortality. As I grow older I find these two trains of thought sobering, disquieting, & encouraging. As time barrels through like an unhinged freight train I seek presence. To stay tethered to the moment when life is spinning at break neck speeds, unending demands beating down the door, is difficult. My thoughts hermit away into the dark caverns of my mind. I’ve created a utopia there. The world cannot hurt me when I’m locked away in my imaginary world. As the months bleed into each other, and 2017 has shuttled –  more than half over – I find myself awake, 37 years of age. In three short years 40 will be knocking at me door. If I’m fortunate, this means that half of my life will be over. I don’t know how to breathe in this skin. The older I get, the work I do, the reality seeps in that I’m not so invincible. Mortality dances around my thoughts like a merry jester. I realize, as vaporous and finite as we are, that life is …

What the INFJ?

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It’s a hard world for a second guess girl With one hand and another I try to take it in but it leaves me spinning Trying to love my sister & brother… -Second Guess Girl; Sara Groves
As a second guess girl comfort is a foreign language. The war rages, whispers mount in deep recesses – everything becomes challenging. As if navigating a ship without sails or rudder, I become an untethered play thing to be tossed at the wave’s folly. The ache of insecurity seeps deep, rotting the hull, creating holes that cannot be patched with pitch. Abandoning ship, I sink deep into the inky blackness, salt preserving alabaster – a shell of what I always thought I would be. The outcome is the point. Trust in safety. Adventure needs to be measured with security. “You cannot live to keep yourself safe,” my counselor said. I don’t want a “safe life”. The fear of being found out. I know I’m too much. It is just a matter of time before everyone sees my skirts. They see the inner workings - the darkness that ke…

What Change Brings...

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“The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself.” – C JoyBell C.
“See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness & streams in the wasteland.” – Isaiah 43:19
“And we’re dancing in the minefields We’re sailing in the storm This is harder than we dreamed But, I believe that’s what the promise is for…” -“Dancing in the Minefields”, Andrew Peterson
May 2016, we experienced a traumatic death at the Hope Lodge. In that moment, a part of me also died. I powered down hope & fell into despair. A cloying desolation filled every atom of my being. I suffocated under the weight of it. Life became a ‘chasing after the wind’ – utterly meaningless. I didn’t see any way out. Going through the mo…

Remnant of Hope...tiny steps toward healing change!

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Hadassah: “What hope, Mark? What hope is there?” Mark: “ God always leaves a remnant.” -A Voice in the Wind, Mark of the Lion series; Francine Rivers
remnant:           n. a small remaining quantity of something           adj. remaining
          My precious friend, Abby imbued me with a frame to fill with purpose for 2017. What I will embrace, engage in, be, believe, break free from, do daily, let go of, learn from, live by, give, and how I will grow. It sits at my desk as a daily reminder. My pastor touched on how women seek the ideal in every situation. In a biblical God given capacity it can be a treasure, but it also can be a hindrance that leads to sin. I had such a beautiful ideal for 2017. The start was filled with potholes that left me a bit bereft with a twisted ankle and need for a dark room and copious amounts of sugar. I felt aimless and without purpose. I knew there was more, but God’s more wasn’t matching with my ideal. It wasn’t fitting into what I had pictured.
          How…