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.