Sunday, December 28, 2008


i put my hands over my ears

squinch my eyes shut tight

and scream

"for God's sake,


people, this has got to change

we can't take this any more

we're going to destroy ourselves

put down your guns

free your slaves

what happiness do we get

from the suffering of others?

oh, God! help us see

that it is in choosing

to suffer ourselves

rather than inflicting suffering

that we find what it is

to truly live

Friday, December 26, 2008

Simeon's prayer

"Now Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in peace, According to Your word;
For my eyes have seen Your salvation,
Which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
A LIGHT OF REVELATION TO THE GENTILES, And the glory of Your people Israel."
Luke 2:29-32 (NASB)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

my Christmas

How can we celebrate joy
And peace on earth
When the only joy we know
Is not even mere happiness
And the peace we love
Is only ignoring fear

The angels came, proclaiming peace
So we grasp this promise
Hold it tight in our fists
For our protection
And hate and murder those
Who threaten it

Beautiful things, given by God
To give away, and find joy in sacrifice
We hoard, exploit
And rob humanity for more
Love, gifts, and all things beautful
Lie in shards at our unhappy feet

Jesus, in our emptiness
Will You return again?
To wise men that seek You
Peace, oh God!
Upon this earth
Across the borders that separate humanity
And demand an offering of blood
Across groaning lands held in the grip
Of oppression and death
Will You please return
And bring the peace and joy
We can't give ourselves?

... and so i sat
in thought and anguish
until the sky deepened
into brilliant setting
the first stars of evening
shimmered against it
and Jesus came to be with me
ME! just one of this mess
peace and joy came at His presence
and He bade me
be His messenger

Friday, December 19, 2008


Home for two weeks! What a luxury! So far I haven't done much except eat, sleep, hang out with my adorable sisters, and hold the darling dog. Little things are so much fun and hugely precious when you have not had the opportunity to do them for a while... hearing Candace say "I'm not sure what that really means, but that's OK", talking with my parents about situations I'm facing... Carol showing off her latest aced Math test, reading "Alice in Wonderland" to Lori, and brushing Kelsey's teeth before she goes to bed. (In the event of your lack of observation, grammar is subjective to rambling, disjointed thoughts.) Oh, yes. I did do some other things too. I visited school today. It was just a little weird to walk into the building and not have ownership of the second grade classroom! In some ways it seemed as though I could easily have been there the entire year... but so much has changed, for me and for them... last year seems a long time ago. Three months seems a long time ago. It warmed my heart to be showered with hugs and smiles and to hear kids tell each other, "Miss Yoder's here!" Candace says she's gasping for air. I think she might require my assistance. [and i grin gleefully ;)] This should be fun.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Romans 12:15

"Rejoice with those who rejoice [sharing others' joy], and weep with those who weep [sharing others' grief]." (Amplified Bible)
This picture was one of those "show off your battle scars" deals, but I realized a few days ago how symbolic it is. This post is dedicated to the many incredible people who laugh and bleed with me... and who give me the beautiful privilege of doing the same with them. I could write a long list of names, but I hope you'll know who you are. :) I am humbled at the privilege of knowing you. You are what the church is all about... fellow Jesus freaks being genuine with each other, learning what it really means to love each other as we bring the Kingdom to this beautiful, broken world.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas w/ my FB family

This post is especially for you, Kathy! :) You've been asking for pictures, sooo... here you are! It took nearly an age to upload these with the slow connection I have, so please enjoy them. ;) This is the Christmas party we had a few nights ago... lots of food, singing, stories, and lollipops.

I must concede that I cannot take credit for any of these pictures. Thanks, Emily, for capturing these moments for us! And thanks to everyone at FB... you all are a part of my heart. It's amazing to have a family this big. You are living examples of the Love that came down at Christmas.

Friday, December 12, 2008

beautiful Redemption

The Lord has made a proclamation to the ends of the earth:
"Say to the Daughter of Zion,
'See, your Savior comes!
See, His reward is with Him
and His recompense accompanies Him.' "
They will be called the Holy People,
the Redeemed of the Lord.
Isaiah 62:11-12

Friday, December 5, 2008


you're falling asleep in my arms
dimpled hand grasping my finger
droopy blue eyes study mine

complete trust and adoration

i stroke your head and wonder
what thoughts will go 'round in there
when you're all grown up

i wonder how you'll change your world
when you're a man
what heartaches you'll have to suffer

dear little baby!

is it possible that, then
you could offer more to this poor world
than you do now?

Thursday, December 4, 2008


I remember, as a preschooler, mentally picturing a slimy green frog with goggling eyes and a swollen throat when I heard the word "groggy". I knew the actual meaning of the word, but it sounded so much like "froggy" that I couldn't help imagining one.

This morning, I feel groggy. And, what's more, a slimy green frog with goggling eyes and a swollen throat personifies quite well this grogginess. Here's a word to the wise: when you already have a head cold, do not (I repeat, do NOT!) start reading The Shack for the first time as a way to unwind before you go to bed! You will not unwind. :) Sleep fled and my hands and eyes were adhered to the book. Entirely robbed of free will, I remained mesmerized until hours after I should have been asleep. (I won't divulge the exact hour; that might prove to be far too useful information.) A book hasn't been able to exert quite this strong a power over me since I first read Uncle Tom's Cabin years ago.

Once I finally became partially conscious of my surroundings again, I (with no little difficulty) dropped the book to the floor beside my bed and proceeded to lie in great alertness for quite some time. Highly unusual for me. I could see with clarity so many happenings in my own life that caused me to carry a Great Sadness. I suddenly had permission to grieve, permission to release the dark guilt that accompanied the doubt of God's presence and love.

Suffice it to say that I highly recommend reading The Shack. I do not recommend doing so when sleep is necessary for the battling of a cold. Doing so will result in your feeling like a frog.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Religious Right No More?

By Cal Thomas, Tribune Media Services
Published in The Daily Progress, Charlottesville, VA
Nov. 7, 2008

When Barack Obama takes the oath of office on Jan. 20, 2009, he will do so in the 30th anniversary year of the founding of the so-called Religious Right. Born in 1979 and mid-wifed by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell, the Religious Right was a reincarnation of previous religious-social movements that sought moral improvement through legislation and court rulings. Those earlier movements-from abolition (successful) to Prohibition (unsuccessful)-had mixed results. Social movements that relied mainly on political power to enforce a conservative moral code weren't anywhere near as successful as those that focused on changing hearts. The four religious revivals from the First Great Awakening in the 1730s and 1740s to the Fourth Great Awakening in the late 1960s and early '70s, which touched America andinstantly transformed millions of Americans (and American culture as aresult), are testimony to that. Thirty years of trying to use government to stop abortion, preserve opposite-sex marriage, improve television and movie content and transform culture into the conservative evangelical image has failed.The question now becomes: Should conservative Christians redouble their efforts, contributing more millions to radio and TV preachers and activists, or would they be wise to try something else?I opt for something else. Too many conservative evangelicals have put too much faith in the power of the government to transform culture. The futility inherent in suchmisplaced faith can be demonstrated by asking these activists a simplequestion: Does the secular left, when it holds power, persuadeconservatives to live by its standards? Of course it doesn't. Why,then, would conservative evangelicals expect people who do not sharetheir worldview of God to accept their beliefs when they controlgovernment? Too many conservative evangelicals mistake political power for influence. Politicians who struggle with imposing a moral code on themselves are unlikely to succeed in their attempts to impose it onothers.What is the answer, then, for conservative evangelicals who are rightly concerned about the corrosion of culture, the indifference to the valueof human life and the living arrangements of same- and opposite-sexcouples? The answer depends on the response to another question: Do conservative evangelicals want to fell good, or do they want to adopt a strategy thatactually produces results? Clearly partisan politics have not achieved their objectives. Do they think they can succeed by committing themselves to 30 more years of the same? If results are what conservative evangelicals want, they already have a model. It is contained in the life and commands of Jesus of Nazareth. Suppose millions of conservative evangelicals engaged in an old and proven type of radical behavior. Suppose they followed the admonition of Jesus to "love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit those in prison and care for widows and orphans," not as ends, as so many liberals do by using government, but as means of demonstrating God's love for the whole person in order that people might seek him? Such a strategy could be more "transformational" than electing a new president, even the first president of color. But in order to succeed, such a strategy would not be led by charismatic figures, who would raise lots of money, be interviewed on Sunday talk shows, author books and make gobs of money. God teaches in his word that his power (if that is what conservative evangelicals want and not their puny attempts at grabbing earthly power) is made perfect in weakness. He speaks of the tiny mustard seed, the seemingly worthless widow's mite, of taking the last place at the table and the humbling of one's self, the washing of feet and similar acts and attitudes; the still, small voice. How did conservative evangelicals miss this and instead settle for a lesser power, which in reality is no power at all? When did they settle for an inferior "kingdom"? Evangelicals are at a junction. They can take the path that will lead them to more futility and ineffective attempts to reform culture through government, or they can embrace the far more powerful methods outlined by the one they claim to follow. By following Jesus' example, they will decrease, but he will increase.They will get no credit, but they will see results. If conservative evangelicals choose obscurity and seek to glorify God, they will get much of what they hope for, but can never achieve, in and through politics.

Friday, November 28, 2008

"blessed are the peacemakers"

You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war. ~Albert Einstein

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

winter solace

walking alone in a transforming land
grateful i am and wishing i wasn't
with only the silence to hear the words
breathed into an empty left hand

one set of footprints follows behind me
only my face upturned to the sky
while only my voice sings praise to Yahweh
only the trees reach out to guide me

but the snowflakes kiss my face and hair
the elven-carved icicles dance with lights
the chipmunks are fast asleep far underground
the trees all white, lacy bridal veils wear

and i am not disconsolate

Saturday, November 22, 2008

the sacrifice

cradled in my cupped hands, my alabaster box
beautiful, exquisite, more precious
than my very life

i want to give You my everything
because You did for me
i offer this

my heart rends into jagged pieces
i force my hands to break this
to break this open

tears of pain, love, and loss mix with
tears of worship and adoration
for You, my Jesus

with this, i annoint Your feet
You are worthy

more than anyone, Jesus
more than anything
i love You

Thursday, November 20, 2008

the gift

True friendships are lasting because true love is eternal.
A friendship in which heart speaks to heart is a gift from God,
and no gift that comes from God is temporary or occasional.
All that comes from God participates in
God's eternal life.

Henri Nouwen

Monday, November 17, 2008


looming. taunting. its shadow covers my head. this is like that nightmare where i can't run. fear is choking me. if i had a light, would this dissipate? or look more monstrous? Dear Father! swoop down on eagles' wings. carry us away. rescue us! i can't see beyond this hideous unknown.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Lord's Prayer

Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name
[We, the children to whom You granted birth, bow before You in silence]
The Kingdom come
[To all the crevices of this little globe, to the hearts of Your living temples on S. Lime St., in Baghdad, North Korea, Uganda... breathe into us Yourself... let hatred die]
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven
[Help us to see that serving ourselves is killing us... we need Your help to want what You do]
Give us this day our daily bread
[Give us bread that does not drip with the tears, sweat, and blood of those weaker than us]
And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors
[Oh, help us see that we don't deserve Your forgiveness and may the picture we see compel us to radical love for those who hurt us]
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil
[Grant us a thirst for You that drowns our haunting ability to turn desires from You into lusts that exploit others]

For Thine is

the Kingdom,

the Power,


the Glory



Sunday, November 9, 2008

Prayer of Committment to Christ

Grant us the privilege
Of seeing through Your eyes
The mystery of Life from death, Joy from suffering
Make us Your disciples, Jesus
Forgive us for idolizing
Self-serving comfort
Forcalling upon Your Name as we live for ourselves
Make us Your disciples, Jesus
We kneel before the cross
Your blood splatters our faces
And drowns our tears of love and adoration
Make us Your disciples, Jesus
We offer ourselves
As living sacrifices to You
Use us, in life and death, to honor You
Make us Your disciples, Jesus
We have put our hands to the plow
We will not look back, but on Your face
We will follow Your bloody footprints
Lord, increase our faith!

Thursday, November 6, 2008


This prayer was on Missio Dei's Breviary for this evening's reflections. It spoke clarity into some of my deepest thinkings fears, and desires of late. It was cleansing to pray this from the bottom of my heart:

"Sovereign God, teach us to keep our arms ever open to love, to forgive and to serve. May we be willing to be hurt rather than hurt, willing to love and not be loved in return.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen."

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

election day

Today being election day, I've been thinking all morning about what God thinks of what's going on today... and I started wondering if He cares as much as we think He ought. When all the reds, whites, and blues are stripped away, it's only a few more ordinary people grappling for fame and power. And we think they're making history? I got this picture of Jesus walking the streets of the ghettos and huddled in a flimsy shelter with the children of Iraq as the bullets fly like hail today... Somehow I think His eye is on the sparrow instead of DC.

Jesus, to you alone do I pledge allegiance.

Friday, October 31, 2008

may I introduce

some of the most amazing people I know? A year ago, this is what I was doing. Wow, I am privileged to have been part of their lives for a year! It's weird how you get to know a class so well, then they move on to the next grade... and a part of your heart follows each of them...


Shattered in the street
A protective windshield
To a snow of glittering razors
Sidestep the beautiful mess
Swerve to the other lane

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


The intention of this post is to make insanely jealous those of my friends who live in areas deprived of magic.


I walked, rather than drove, to the Post Office for the sheer joy of being alone in a falling white world. Snow clung to my hair and eyelashes like diamonds, including me in the transformation of everything in sight.

*more snow than Lancaster County had the whole of last winter :D

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Geronimo is one of my heroes. Yes, you read right. Even though I deeply believe that violence in retribution for inflicted violence achieves nothing but more carnage, even though I am convinced that the blood of an assailant is more precious than my own comfort and freedom, I have felt a certain kinship to Geronimo since I was knee-high to the proverbial grasshopper.

"I was born on the prairies where the wind blew free and there was nothing to break the light of the sun. I was born where there were no enclosures." I have never been able to articulate why, but I've always understood why something in Geronimo died when he was forced to adhere to the white man's iron mold of "civilization", with all its walls. A tamed horse might perform well until its master thinks its will conquered, but there always remains a fiery wild streak that, without warning, necessitates breaking the confining harness and bolting to run uninhibited. Why is wildness seen as something to be squashed? Why are so many threatened by the unconquered?

"The soldiers never explained to the government when an Indian was wronged, but reported the misdeeds of the Indians. We took an oath not to do any wrong to each other or to scheme against each other." Geronimo's courage in his desperate fight against the atrocious injustices committed against his people inspirits my personal battles against the injustices I see in my world. Geronimo knew and admitted his battle was ill-fated. He was a brilliant man who, though he eluded and held at bay the entire U.S. army with his small band of poorly-armed warriors (and the women and children under his protection), could see his inevitable defeat. And yet, he remained tenacious. He knew that success is not dependent on a peachy conclusion to the story; failure is only pronounced upon those who close their eyes and stop their ears to the cries of the oppressed and cease to fight for them.

"I cannot think that we are useless or God would not have created us. There is one God looking down on us all. We are all the children of one God. The sun, the darkness, the winds are all listening to what we have to say." ~Geronimo

Thursday, October 23, 2008

With Lifted Hands


With lifted hands I bow
As my spirit nears Your Holy Throne

Purify my heart
Cleanse my hands
They're stained again

Cleanse me, Oh God!
This earth leaves stains on my soul

It's easier
To embrace despair
Than to keep fighting for hope

But Hope, irrepressible
Rises up

Your bloody hand
Touches mine
May I cover it with tears?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

thanksgiving for bliss

Abba Father,

You have seen my upstretched arms
Hands yearning toward impenetrable sky

Your rain pours down
Cleansing face and drowning tears
Holy liquid fills my hands
Flows down my arms
Quenches my being

Open my fingers, Father
They want to possess this flood
Open my fingers
Let the water flow through
I will feel every drop
But let it fall

Saturday, October 18, 2008

i wish...

... that we could meet at a little coffee shop somewhere in the city this evening. A coffee shop with cool art on the walls and playing blues or jazz. I would buy YOUR latte this time. ;) And we could talk to our hearts' content.
I miss you, girl!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

au revoir ordinaire!

come with me
i'm flying away
away, away!
to Never, Neverland

little flowers lift their heads
unpetal wide-eyed faces
we're flying away
away, away!
to Never, Neverland

gauzy fairies on the clouds
knew we would but wonder we are
flying away
away, away!
to Never, Neverland

Ms. Moon radiates pride
she knew we'd denounce
and fly away
away, away!
to Never, Neverland

i think that star just winked at me.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Isaiah 58:9-10

If you do away with the yoke
of oppression,
with the pointing finger and
malicious talk,
and if you spend yourselves in behalf
of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


"No man can look with undivided vision at God and at the world of reality so long as God and the world are torn asunder... But there is a which God and man have become one... It lies in the midst of history as a divine miracle. It lies in Jesus Christ, the reconciler of the world." -Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Sunday, October 5, 2008

can't go on

I don't have words to paint pictures of the scenes that tear my heart out and leave it writhing. What kind of love is one that allows me to spend an afternoon soaking up the peace and beauty of the mystical woods in solitude while they run screaming from exploding homes with no where to go that offers them a beautiful place to rest in safety while they sob their grief for their parents... for their children? I can't stop crying for the people I never met yet love with all my heart. How can I feel peace until they can do the same?

My God! We can't go on like this!

Monday, September 29, 2008


This morning, for the first time since my arrival, I didn't want to be here. I didn't feel very "how", to quote Eeyore. (Someone asks Eeyore, "How are you?" Eeyore shakes his grey head sadly and replies, "Not very how.") I had fallen asleep while reading Tom Sawyer and awoke this morning with contacts nearly adhered to my eyeballs and no time to go running with Diana. The students and most of the VSers left to spend the day in Pittsburgh hearing Dr. J. Dudley Woodberry (a Professor of Islamic Studies) lecture on subjects most interesting and pertinent. So... it's empty and quiet around here and I wanted badly to go along but was too proud to bother anyone by asking them to substitute for me. Stinks when you have nothing but your own inhibitions to thank for your disappointments. I went for the mail, trying valiantly to feel neither sorry for, or entirely despising of, myself. And, lo and behold, sorting the mail with lots of packages and envelopes addressed to everyone else produced an envelope addressed to ME! A totally cute card from Barbara with lots of writing inside and an outside that said "You are fabulous... and if you ever forget that, read this again".

You're an angel, Barbara.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Dryad Dance

Fingertips touching
Each one to her sister
Bending, bowing
'Round and 'round
'Round and 'round
Free in place
Over emerald rocks
And lacy ferns
To the ebb and swell
Of the rhythm of birds
Don't move
They know you're here
Hold your breath
'Til you're offered a limb
And swept along

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

powerful implications

Why does this picture seem so radical to us?

When are we going to return to the bloodied footprints of the Jesus Whose name we tote around?

When are we going to stop worshiping ourselves in the name of God?

Friday, September 19, 2008


I had communion at the Post Office this morning.

I'd finally finished stuffing, labeling, and sealing all one hundred sixty-four packages of catalogs. Manhandling the three tubs full of packages into the Taurus was another adventure. I was mentally dissing myself for being such a wuss and thinking they were heavy when I discovered that each package weighed 1.01 lbs. Do the math.

While I was making my second trip into the P.O. with a tub, another car pulled in. A rarity in this small town. The middle-aged lady stomped out her cig and slammed the door of her rust-spotted truck. We exchanged good-mornings and she seemed pleased when I commented on the two Jack Russels bounding around the interior of the truck, ricocheting off the windows and barking devoutly. Inside, she brushed off my apology at her having to wait so long to be waited on (my mailing took half an hour to process with the level of technology granted a Post Office of so little consequence) with "No, I don't mind. I have to stack wood when I get back home, so this is great." She grabbed another Sharpie and helped me write "media mail" on all the packages (a Post Office of so little consequence does not own a stamp of the sort). And we talked. She's trying to sue her credit card company. She canned tomatoes yesterday. I should never buy furniture from a company downtown because it's inferior quality. The lazy boy she bought from them keeps breaking down. She used to work in an office. "Thank you for calling me a lady! No one ever calls me that."

Friday, September 12, 2008

the agonizing

Oh, Father!
If it be Your will
Let this cup pass from me
I've tasted before
Its metallic wine of blood
This garden is familiar
The flowers I've watered
With abundant tears
You've ordered the universe
Since the beginning of time
Will You please look after me?
Spare me this

Not my will
But Yours be done

If it brings You glory
I drink this cup

Monday, September 8, 2008


black coffee. a blueberry scone. a card in the mail. helping her. him making me laugh. a hug from God.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

offering of penance

Forgive me for the days I've lived without Your abundant Life
Lord, I have sinned
Forgive me for the chapters of my story I thought I authored
Lord, I have sinned
Forgive me for the lies I've believed about myself
Lord, I have sinned
Forgive me for the lies I've believed about You
Lord, I have sinned
Forgive me for the times I've served others to salve my own conscience
Lord, I have sinned
To live today in wild abandonment to the vibrant Life You own
Lord, I need Your help
To gaze in awe at Your pen on my scroll
Lord, I need Your help
To believe the truth about myself
Lord, I need Your help
To believe the truth You've shown me about You
Lord, I need Your help
To touch with extravagant Love Your people I meet today
Lord, I need Your help

Thursday, September 4, 2008


A US Soldier looks at the sky as he sits atop of a Bradley Fighting ...
Thu Sep 4, 5:14 PM ET

A US Soldier looks at the sky as he sits atop of a Bradley Fighting Vehicle during a patrol on the outskirts of Baghdad, in 2005. The US Army is on track to break last year's all-time record for suicides, a pace that would top the civilian suicide rate for the first time since the Vietnam war, army officials said Thursday.

(AFP/File/Liu Jin)

Stephanie Ulloa, sister of U.S. Army 1st Class Sgt. Jose Enrique ...
Thu Aug 21, 2:45 PM ET
Prev 370 of 383

Stephanie Ulloa, sister of U.S. Army 1st Class Sgt. Jose Enrique Ulloa, killed in Baghdad, reacts as she leans against the coffin, covered by a U.S. flag, containing the body of his brother during his funeral service in Jima Arriba, north of Santo Domingo, Thursday, Aug. 21, 2008.

(AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

U.S. soldiers walk past a woman sitting near the entrance of ...
Thu Sep 4, 7:30 AM ET
Prev 17 of 383

U.S. soldiers walk past a woman sitting near the entrance of her house in central Baghdad September 4, 2008.

REUTERS/Mohammed Ameen (IRAQ)

US soldiers provide security during a vehicle checkpoint in ...
AFP/US Army/File
Wed Sep 3, 6:20 AM ET
Prev 50 of 383

US soldiers provide security during a vehicle checkpoint in Baghdad, 2006. US forces killed six Iraqi security personnel north of Baghdad, Iraqi officials said, in an incident which the American military said was a case of "mistaken fire".

(AFP/US Army/File/Staff Sgt. Russel Lee Klika)

Afghan villagers surround the dead bodies of two children who ...
Tue Sep 2, 7:09 PM ET
Prev 61 of 383

Afghan villagers surround the dead bodies of two children who allegedly were killed during a raid by foreign and Afghan forces conducted by U.S. troops in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Sept. 1, 2008. The raid killed a man named Nurullah and two of his children and wounded his wife, a police officer said. First Lt. Nathan Perry, a U.S. coalition spokesman, said no American troops took part in the operation.

(AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq)

This 2004 US Navy handout image shows an explosion from an air ...
Thu Aug 21, 2:01 PM ET
Prev 373 of 383

This 2004 US Navy handout image shows an explosion from an air strike during the opening hours of Operation Phantom Fury. A former US Marine ignored strict rules for handling detainees and ordered the killing of four unarmed Iraqi prisoners during 2004 fighting in Fallujah, a landmark trial in California was told on Thursday.

(AFP/HO/File/Lcpl James J. Vooris)



By Almighty God
To mirror Himself
In all His beauty
His complexity
His diversity
Capable of giving
And receiving
The magic
Of Love
We chose
To revolt
We hate
We inflict hurt
We murder
Our fellow image-bearers
Stalks us
Keeps us alone in crowds
Makes us lock our doors
My God!
We are fallen
And blindly

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I believe in Unicorns

I believe in unicorns
Though I've never touched one
Never tangled my fingers in glacial mane
Never savored thundering muscles through my legs
Never met iridescent horn with my fingertip

But sometimes I hear thundering hoof beats
Sometimes sense I'm being watched
Sometimes misty curtains part
And I think I see a tossing head
White against vaporous white

Monday, September 1, 2008

I'm rich

This post is dedicated to those of you who read this site to see how and what I'm doing rather than what I'm thinking. :)

This past weekend was great! Julie and I left FB soon after supper on Friday evening and headed for Ski Denton. Due to the not-so-tragic tragedy of Janelle's impending hitching ceremony this weekend, those few of us who remain from the "Seven from Heaven" deeply felt the need for one last party. Getting to Ski Denton was almost a feat in itself because of sundry detours and poorly-marked exits. Hey, we did very well! We only turned around twice. Oh, it was good to see those girls again! There is nothing like telling jokes that no one else would think funny, drinking beer and watching movies (as Janelle would say, "henk-henk"), being with Amanda again after her long sojourn at Hillcrest, rolling around on the floor laughing, crying and praying with each other, chiding Bessie for her need to periodically drop everything she's doing and gaze upon pictures of herself and a very blue-eyed recent development (it's so good to see her in love again!), getting Bessie to tell how Jesse asked her to date him, getting Janelle to tell how Joe asked her to marry him (I can NOT believe we're this old!), and being un-apologetically uncouth and honest. I can't really put words to how my friends bless me. You guys are the best, and that's that. (Oh, and in case you, the reader, are scandalized over the whole drinking beer and watching movies bit, don't worry. It's an old joke involving birch beer.)

Getting back to FB was great, too. We walked up to Brubakers' on Saturday evening and helped them landscape. Doing some manual labor and getting dirty for a chance felt so good! I am really very fortunate to be in this place with these people. They're pretty incredible, in my opinion.

I'm rich.

Sunday, August 31, 2008


Lately I've been asking myself a lot of questions.

If I believe every person born is bears the image of God, how does that shape the way I interact with every person I meet in a day? For some reason, I tend to react to the injustice I see with an injustice of my own. I see how the poor continue to be oppressed, so I marginalize and loathe the rich. I see how the "unpopular" are ridiculed, so I find "acceptable" ways of ridiculing the popular. I see this reaction all around me, and somehow I'm not comforted to know I'm not the only culprit. Even though I disagree with the liturgy to which patriots worship and the sacrifice of human blood to the god of imperialism, I have a gut feeling that I'm joining the ranks of hate if I disrespect the worshipers as people. Fallen people, I grant, but am I not also fallen?

I want to be just as pleased to shake the hand of President Bush as the hand of my African-American housing-project-dwelling friend.

Friday, August 29, 2008


like voices in an empty parking garage
they ricochet around my soul


echos of voices

wails of starving children
screams of raped women
garbled mutterings of the drugged and drunk
loving words of shackled Christ-followers
laughter of those whose hearts are breaking
silence of soldiers trained to kill


like voices in an empty parking garage
they ricochet around my soul

rainbow confetti from graffiti
on the grimy concrete floor

Thursday, August 28, 2008

establishing ownership

I still can hardly believe I'm here at Faith Builders, although I think there's sufficient evidence to support the theory. Every so often, I notice my reflection in the window by my desk and think "Oh, my word. I am actually Faith Builders' receptionist." It makes me laugh. The hilarity is balanced somewhat by a very real sense that I really am meant to be here.

So far, this week has consisted of training, meetings, and interviews. I anticipate being much more comfortable with the actual position than the training process. Today was the first day I assumed responsibility for answering phones, which was by far the most intimidating aspect of my responsibilities. :) Let me just say that I have an aversion to complicated phone systems and having to broadcast my voice over the entire premises. :) While I was still in my bunk this morning, I burrowed completely under my blanket and did some desperate praying for help and confidence! I know I have some strange phobias, but the first time I had to transfer a call, I nearly panicked! This afternoon went much more smoothly, thank God.

Oh, and I also had time today to redecorate the office and a display in the hall outside the office. Being creative kinda fed my artist soul and also helped tremendously in making this feel like MY office... establishing ownership and a sense of belonging here.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


You breathe like wind
Through my despair
In this earth, the rain
Of hope is rare
And I wonder if
You're just a dream
Are you really
As You seem?

I am amazed, Lord