Tuesday, March 30, 2010

prayers in song

music/prayers to YAHWEH
I Need You by America [I'm lifting these lines from a cover version by TransAtlantic]
"...I need you
like the flower
needs the rain
you know
I need you
guess I'll
start it all again
you know
I need you,
I need you
like the winter
needs the spring
guess I'll
start it all again
you know
I need you,
I need you,
I need you..."

I first heard this on Iona's live disc: Heaven's Bright Sun. Joann Hogg's voice unaccompanied as she sings. Haunting, beautiful...

I Will Give My Love An Apple
I will give my love an apple
without any core
I will give my love a house
without any door
I will give my love a palace
wherein he may be
And he may unlock it
without any key

My head is the apple
without any core
My mind is the house
without any door
My heart is the palace
wherein he may be
And he may unlock it
without any key

Reflections on a hill...

I've pulled an old disc back out & have really been swept away with it right now. This is the first track off of At the Foot of the Cross.

Clouds, Rain, Fire

The dust of
Your feet
Clouds are
the dust of Your feet
You cover light
with clouds

The water from Your side
Rain is the water from Your side
wash me white
with rain

The chariot You ride
Fire is the chariot
You ride
You slay the night
with fire

this week, holy week, we pause & reflect on what is, essentially, the good news of "life isn't fair". I've heard, let's face it, I've said: "it's not fair". ...if life wasn't fair to it's author... what do you seriously think your odds are?
...then again... if life were fair, we should all be going to hell, at the same time, by ourselves. Maybe life not being fair...is a good thing?

The longest week of the year...
this week holds it all
this week hope will
seem to bleed out
hope will appear to breathe it's last...
yet hope...
will gain
hands & feet
the words:
"behold I make all things new"
become alive
no longer a promise
a promise fulfilled
this week we look
to a blood stained hill
to a man whose death
changes death...itself.
a man killed by those he came to save
another paradox unfolds
for killing this man
saves the murderers
who killed him
[& all us sinful fools who've come after]

this week
is the epitome of "unfair"
the one
and only one
who can truly say
what I have foolishly said too often:
"it's not my fault"
"I didn't do anything wrong"
"why do I have to pay?"
and I
both know
why he had to pay
...because I

B.E. Noll

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Reflection [room 8]

…now we come to the end. A room to reflect in. I could give several blog posts, & not even scratch the surface of my own reflections from just this one. However I won’t.
I hope you enjoyed it.
I hope it draws you closer to Him.
There are good books on Lent here [Thanks Byron]

A Time to Speak [room 7]

I have trouble with this. Part of the “origin” of this blog is my need to speak. Speaking is very difficult for many. I think long & hard about what I say [the meaning /emotions behind what I say]. Steve Taylor wrote an arresting lyric, when he wrote: “…& my mind is like a wet stone now, sharpening things to throw…” Sometimes our words can be just as lethal as our hands. I like to be silent, so I can hear others speak. Yet, as I wrote & reflected on this room, I came to a few thoughts. My silence could also mean I kept something from another person. Someone could have been encouraged. Someone could have felt less like “the only one who feels a certain way”. A new idea, or direction could have been born/taken… alas, we were silent… when we should have spoken.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A time to tear [room 6]

I didn’t want anyone’s writing to be distracting. So there is only one picture here that shows what’s on the leaves. You pick up a leaf, a sharpie marker, & write down… something to let go of. …this, of course, is the easy part. It’s actually letting go, that’s hard. To walk up to God, put it at His feet, then rise… & slowly turn & walk away. Never picking it up again. In the youth ministry I was in, our leader used a songbook as an illustration of how we typically give something to God. [tossing the book up toward the ceiling] “ok God, here take this from me… [the book slowly starts to fall back toward him] …now wait, um, can I have that back, God? [catching the book again] …thanks.” I’m sure you’re not like that… me, uh, well, I gotta run… [perhaps another leaf…]

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Time to Laugh [room 5]

This room is set up to reflect summer. And right now it’s spring outside. Things are growing… returning to life. New life is emerging. The sun is visible for a larger portion of the day. People are out walking, playing, running, embracing the warmer temperatures.

I didn’t take many pictures of this room. As I went through, I must admit, I was jealous of those who were in this phase of life. It felt like it had been winter in my whole being for a long time. I think my love for sunsets & skies was partly a feeling of having “been on the ground for too long”. Like I weighed so much that I couldn’t even jump. It was as if there was no way to get air under my feet, even for a second.

While I still have moments, even some days where I slip backward. I do feel like a "new sun is rising" for me. And I cannot wait to see what this "brand new day" will bring...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A time to mend [room 4]

I like the “mosaic of broken pottery” flower. This flower growing out of broken pottery… a visual of a remade life, blooming. Blooming where once there was ruble. Mending can be a slow process. It takes time. As I look at it, I see my life, I see the church. Carefully put back together. Built into something better than what got broken in the first place. Something dead, stale, turned organic. Growing toward it's maker/ healer/ restorer.

Monday, March 15, 2010

A time to weep [room 3]

The different pictures spoke different stories to me. The 2 larger photos of women made me think of a girl I know who is even still struggling. Things are a bit better for her, but she’s far from “out of the tunnel”. So I love her as she is, & pray… sometimes till I can’t get off the floor.

This one conjures up thoughts of community. Thoughts of Jesus & others. Who are there to sit in the ruble, when nothing can really be done. Rejoice, when a struggle is over. Or just celebrate the ability to get together. [especially after being apart for a while]

In times of sorrow, at least in my experience, are times when God seems near. If I were a painter, I’d paint a picture of me hugging him & crying on his shoulder, with tears running down his face too. [I'm not, so I’ll stick with words] We seem to sit wordlessly, together. Like we are in solidarity. Oddly, we are paired. Him knowing all the answers in vivid detail [why, for how long, what’s the point, when will this end, will I make it though, will I have to go through something similar because I won’t quite get it this time, etc.], & me wanting the answers…& afraid he might give them to me. Afraid of the answers, because maybe having the answers won’t make me feel any better…at all.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Sacred Space for Lent [room 1]

Lent. I used to make fun of Lent. "I'm giving up Lent for Lent this year." Was my little quip. Then LW started doing "The Labyrinth". Which later on became simply known as a "Sacred Space". That ran in our Chapel during Lent. I miss it this year. Nothing's been said. I think we just can't take the Chapel away from it's other uses this year. And I understand that. Still... I miss it. We have been blessed with very creative people. -at least I have. Last year, I gathered up the courage, early one Sat. morning, to go in with my tripod & camera & "sneak" a few pic.'s of our Sacred Space. I made sure not to disrupt anyone in there. I actually was completely alone for the entire time I took these, which was the only way I had the guts to do it. I never want to distract anyone from their alone time with God, or make anyone uncomfortable. Sometimes I've gone in these feeling like they are "triage" for my soul. I hope you enjoy these. [oh, if anyone objects to my doing this, I won't continue... assuming someone tells me they are bothered by it] There is a companion book that goes with this, explaining each room. I had nothing to do with the writing of this book, so if I post anything to go along with any room, it will not be plagiarized from the book.
Well... I will give the name for each room...


This room was common for all Sacred Spaces. We need time to quiet ourselves so we can be attentive to God. This room was always one of the rooms I personally spent a great deal of time in. Writing down all the little whispers of "I don't have time to quiet down" in. Then I'd close my notebook, & sit... until it was as quiet inside... as it was in this room...

Friday, March 5, 2010

Let Me Be Myself

I laughed when I first saw the Geico commercial that this song was in. When I viewed it on youtube, I laughed, at first, because it’s part of the “official music video” for the song. The “geico cavemen” are all the way through the video. I did think of someone who I felt I could sing the song to… but I couldn’t let go of the song. Somehow, I thought that it wasn’t because of a need to sing the song to someone. So then I wondered, & even prayed, could… could there be someone who needs/ needed to sing this to me? Sobering, to say the least. I even wondered about the band. Did someone in the band go through a situation where the song would be appropriate? Did they know someone who they felt was “no longer their true self”? Weeks passed, not that this was the only thing I thought about during that time. Finally, an even darker, more important truth was revealed. I knew who I really needed to sing this song to… me. The reason the “other person” couldn’t let me be me… was because I couldn’t. I had to be somebody else. [so I thought] As our relationship got better, I thought they were changing… it wasn’t them, it was me. Do I get in the way of being me? Am I the me I'm meant to be?
Why share such insecure thoughts?? Because, sometimes we need someone else to share what we are thinking. We need someone else to prove that we aren’t the only one to ever struggle with something.

Be you. No one else will ever do it right. No one else knows how to. Your cooler than you think. Your not as alone as you think, either.