Thursday, April 26, 2012

Hope I didn't do this last year...

Hello all. Life is interesting. This week has been busy. Some years the week of my birthday is a bit trying for me. I think I just get a bit bogged down in ordinary. Maybe I can't get over myself. This year I had 1 day this week of "that guy". Maybe he finally took a hint. I'm not big on parties. So my families have given me the best of both. Sort of "mini parties". Last Sat. was M's day. We had fun. Sun my nieces, sister & brother-in-law, for lunch. Supper with my parents. Tomorrow is with all my in laws, as tomorrow is the day separating my b-day from on of my sister-in-laws. Her b-day is this Sat. [as is my cousin's]. Sat. some folks from my growth group/LW & a high school friend of mine will be hiking Rickett's Glen with me. Can't wait. Then, I think, the "spoiling" will be over. Almost forgot, Wed. night was cool, listening to the group sing along with Chris Tomlin [amazing grace {my chains are gone}]. Love hearing them sing.

This picture is from the kitchen table this morning. A small gift from Mick [M]. markers, notebooks, & this Guitar card. Cool huh? I used to play, when we were dating. My big gift is new prescription sunglasses. [that was hard on the wallet] Hopefully they last as long as the others have [roughly 17 - 20 yrs]. It's late, so this'll be it for today. I've an unfinished poem rattling around that I hope to post later. Written to the "grumpy one" I mentioned here. And I must figure out how to gently talk to a facebook friend about their posts of late. I don't want to "unfriend" them [or offend]... yet I'm not sure if I want my facebook page to have those kinds of word pictures floating around on it.
oh yeah... the hope I didn't part...
The Beatles Birthday

Monday, April 23, 2012

what used to be

what used to be
[poem version]
seems that some of my old choices
long ago check marked boxes
have gone dog-eared
[or fading?]
I haven't forgotten why
they were checked
what drew me to them
an old drawing
 it is
well... not tragic
don't get lost
on that dusty dead end
my sometimes trusty old soul
yeah, as you said to me
don't build a shrine
to what'll pass
in time
this forward
seems forever
both in it's direction
& in how long it's taking
still seems
the best way out
to admit
I like it
liked it a lot, once
that was then
a man [or boy]
I was
the way
it used to be
the path to this me
I think I'm liking
this me
the further away
I get from
the way it used to be

by b.e. noll

Thursday, April 19, 2012

a poetic rambling reflection

what used to be
[poem version]
seems that some of my old choices
long ago check marked boxes
have gone dog-eared
[or fading?]
I haven't forgotten why
they were checked
what drew me to them
an old drawing
it is
well... not tragic
don't get lost
on that dusty dead end
my sometimes trusty old soul
yeah, as you said to me
don't build a shrine
to what'll pass
in time
this forward
seems forever
both in it's direction
& in how long it's taking
still seems
the best way out
to admit
I like it
liked it a lot, once
that was then
a man [or boy]
I was
the way
it used to be
the path to this me
I think I'm liking
this me
the further away
I get from
the way it used to be

a poem of life

war of the soul


all wish to dance
spinning me around
away from?
which dance
should I join?

knowing there's a war
is only half of the problem
part of the scare
the really scary part
did I choose the right side?
[to join]

do I let
the imposters
have their day?
or do I let
the master
have his say?

the throne
has only 1 seat
who sits in it
decides just how
neat my story goes.
[and whether or not
my story
is worth reading]

Saturday, April 14, 2012

I know I said...

I know I said I'd be trying to lay off the "music in blog posts for a while, but...

I think it's cool, poetry in motion, to see sign language to a song. @ Lw during second service we have a sign language section. I love to watch them sign praise songs. Don't know why it casts a spell on me like it does. I just know it does.
Mick & I enjoy Paul McCartney's music. He's kind of a "soundtrack to our love story".
[at least the pretty, romantic parts of it]
He directed a video of his original song My Valentine, which feature Natalie Portman & Johnny Depp signing much of the song. I think that's really cool.
so here's a link to the video: My Valentine ["the dance of fingers" version]
Have a great day. It's going to be beautiful here.
pray for the midwest, where it will be scary.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

a song & an origin

Don't know if I ever posted this before [sorry if I did]. As a segway into... several paths I might take moving toward the end of the month. I'm going to post a poetic song to/ about Jesus. Over the Rhine is a band that ..."fuels" my poetry bug. This song is the title song of the first disc I picked up by them. Mick & I have been hooked ever since.

The Trumpet Child
The trumpet child
will blow his horn
Will blast
the sky
till it’s reborn
With Gabriel’s power
and Satchmo’s grace
He will
the human race

The trumpet he
will use to blow
Is being fashioned
out of fire
The mouthpiece
a glowing coal
The bell
a burst
of wild desire

The trumpet child
will riff on love
Thelonious notes
from up above
He’ll improvise
a kingdom come
Accompanied by
a different drum

The trumpet child
will banquet here
Until the lost
are truly found
A thousand days,
a thousand years
Nobody knows
for sure
how long

The rich forget
about their gold
The meek and mild
are strangely bold
A lion lies
beside a lamb
And licks
a murderer’s
outstretched hand

The trumpet child
will lift a glass
His bride now leaning
in at last
final aim
to fill with joy
The earth
that man
all but destroyed

I once wondered how on Earth I ended up writing poetry. I'm not exposed to it. I didn't own any. ...or so I thought. Then I realized...
Rush - Red Barchetta & Jacob's Ladder
U2 - A sort of Homecoming, Running to Stand still, One Tree Hill,...
The Choir - Tear for Tear, Merciful Eyes
The 77's - I could Laugh, Frames Without Photographs
Michael Roe - Smile, Hold Dearly to Me
[I could go on]
Then I remember taking a notebook to Creation & asking a drummer friend if he thought what I'd written was songs or song worthy. "Um, maybe. It actually reads like poetry to me." "Oh", I said. Very dejected. Funny how things work out.
I kinda want to stray away from music for a while. Don't know if that'll happen. especially if I go a certain direction I've thought of going here.
Well, I should go for now...
stay tuned?

Monday, April 9, 2012

not really an Easter post

So I didn't post yesterday. Busy day. Services were wonderful. The day was great.
I could post billions of songs. You'd like some, & wonder why others were excluded.
I'm just going to go back a bit. Several weeks before Easter. I brought a song to growth group... & was asked if we could play it the following week. I said sure. You know how it goes, you say it's ok...but part of you wishes you could just "do what you want".
Boy, am I glad I said sure.
The next week another "left turn". It was beautiful outside. So a couple of guys asked if we could go out & walk the sacred path, together. So we did. Then came in & listened to the song I had originally planned to play a week earlier.
It was perfect. The song? I wonder by Leeland.

all photos by b.e. noll [the black & gold one is the moon reflecting off of Lake Redman]

Saturday, April 7, 2012

So many songs, so many verses in the Bible have been grabbing at me lately. As I reflect on This love journey Jesus went on. Today must have been the longest day in the lives of those who were there watching Jesus die. The light of the world, the son of the Living God... died. This CANNOT be part of the plan. ....can it? And why die... for me!?!
what's that old phrase:
"Love has it's reasons, which reason knows nothing of"

I look up at your macro-skies, dark and enormous,
your handmade sky-jewelry,
Moon and stars mounted in their settings.
Then I look at my micro-self and wonder,
Why do you bother with us?
Why take a second look our way?
Psalm 8:3 & 4 [the message]

5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

6 Who, being in very nature[a] God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!

9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:5-11 [NIV]

I keep hearing things Jesus said & thinking of how he lived them out.
Luke 17:33
Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it.
If you grasp and cling to life on your terms, you'll lose it, but if you let that life go, you'll get life on God's terms. [The Message]

I think the Philippians passage goes with this
"The last shall be first & the first shall be last." Mathew 20:16
in Isaiah [14:12-14] It mentions the fall of Satan. How he said he would climb God's holy mountain & sit above God, & rule over him.
[basically: "I will be first"]
Jesus came down. Lived as a servant, & died on our cross.
[basically saying: "ok, I will be last"]
He lived as a servant. Didn't he say "The greatest among you will be your servant."?
Mathew 23: 11-12 [above was 11],
For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

I could go on. I won't, however. I'll just sit in awe.
He didn't say much during his trial. Nor did he speak much during his execution.
Jesus, "the word, became flesh & dwelt among us." as John says. The one who spoke the universe into existence....was mostly silent. He could have saved himself, easily.

How much power you have... isn't nearly as important as what you do with it.
and another line from a song..."hallelujah, what a savior."
I guess we could all learn how better to use the power we have, couldn't we?
perhaps power isn't the only thing we have
that we could learn to use better...

[an untitled poem]
There is no logic
in what you did “yesterday”
no fairness
in dying for me
you never made a mistake
[even though I’ve felt like one]
It is so
“speech stealing”
“breath taking”
to know you could have saved yourself
you could have called a legion of angels
to fight for you
“take care of my light work for me will ya guys”
you didn’t
didn’t need angels to save you
YOU made US
surely you can crush us
with a word from your lips
you could have hung there & told all of those watching
“Go to Hell”
and they WOULD have
[it would have been fair]
yanked your hands & feet off that cross
landed on your feet without a scratch on you
you are that powerful
And more
We want to know
we constantly ask & seek
“Am I loved”
You died on a cross
and all you ask us is
“can you hear me now?”
“This is how much I love you”


have changed everything
You walked through the valley of the shadow of death
so we wouldn’t have to
You are the origin
of all power
You have showed me
through your life
that it isn’t how much you have
it’s what you choose to do with it
that count

by b.e. Noll

Friday, April 6, 2012

self challenge

yesterday I was "long winded". So, as impossible as it is, I will make myself be brief.
2 songs from a favorite artist.
Inside my Heart
When I survey [the wondrous Cross]

May His grace drip from your fingers,

Thursday, April 5, 2012

careful, this is long...

Matthew 23:11-12

11 "The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted."

- Jesus

Jesus. God incarnate. Came… for Good Friday. In growth group we are reading John 11. The story of Lazarus. Jesus said “Lazarus is dead. But his story will not end in death.”
So it is with Jesus, himself. His story also, did not end with a horrific death.

I remember sitting in the theater, watching The Passion of the Christ. For the first time. As I sat there, watching them whip Jesus. …I suddenly, internally, began saying: “I am not worth this. This is not worth it, just for me.” Over & over & over again. Then, just as suddenly, I felt like Jesus was sitting next to me. Like he was my boyfriend, or fatherly, it felt like he reached over. Put his arm around me, & gently whisper into my ear: “Shut up, Brian”. As one might expect, for the “tone” I felt from his voice, I immediately fell silent.
The other moment [I’m going back further in the movie], is the “creative licensing” moment. The crowd is yelling “crucify him”. Satan is walking in & out among the crowd, staring at Jesus. Jesus seems to be staring back at him. For some strange reason I heard the dialogue from The Matrix Revolutions.
Agent Smith [Satan]: Why Mr. Anderson. Why do you do it? Why bother? [getting angry] Is it for faith? Is it for love? DO YOU EVEN KNOW? WHY Mr. Anderson…why?
Mr. Anderson: [firm authoritative voice] Because I choose to.

A stranger “movie moment” for me was how drawn I was to watch X-men 3: The Last Stand.
I remember driving to the theater, & asking God: “If you have anything to say to me in this film, help me to hear it. To see some part of it through your eyes.”
For those who know nothing of X-men. They are mutants, they have special abilities. To cut to the chase here, Jean has the ability to think things & make them happen. Wolverine [Logan] has, among other things, the ability to spontaneously heal himself. He gets shot, his body pushes the bullet back out of his skin & heals shut. No scar. Jean, in this movie is fighting herself. Her good nature vs her evil, uncontrollable nature. Wolverine is the only one who can withstand her [& not forever, mind you]. Near the end of the movie [on the dvd this chapter is called “because of love” –you gotta love irony.] Jean is standing on a pile of broken stuff. Burned cars, rebar, concrete, etc. She is so angry, that she is basically causing peoples molecules to fall away from one another. Taking people apart, at the cellular level. Slowly, from the outside [skin] down to the bones, & then bones as well. Wolverine, steps out & walks toward her, calling her name. So she focuses on slowly pealing him apart. As she does this he walks up the mound to her. At one point she stops tearing him apart [& he begins to re-grow everything]. She looks at him, as if to say: “have you had enough? You gonna run away now?”. He defiantly steps toward her as if saying “no” with his foot & body language. So she rips into him again. He moans, falls to his knees…& keeps climbing. Finally he stands up, face to face with her.
Angrily she spits out “You would die for them!?!?” with tears running down what’s left of his face “No, Jean… not for them. For you.” In that moment, it felt like Jesus squeezed my arm & whispered: “that’s why we needed to watch this together. See what you mean to me?”

It’s so easy to think “am I valuable? Do I matter? Am I worth anything?”
Jesus is 100% God & 100% man. [no, I don’t understand or fathom it either] So God, died for us.
Moses lead God’s people out of bondage from Pharaoh.
Joshua lead Israel to victory against Jericho.
When God wanted to put a final end to our separation from him. To have our sin paid for, once & for all. He didn’t “farm it out” to someone else. He did it himself.
In Revelations 21:5 It is written: and He that sits on the throne said “behold, I make all things new”
You know, if you’re going to make all things new, death …would be a great place to start.
So, this weekend, when you see a cross… just think, that’s your price tag. That’s how much God wants you. As a guy, it’s easy to say to my wife “I love you to death.”
Jesus says “I love you…beyond it”

I think I'll just end with 2 songs I love by Neal Morse...
Cradle to the Grave

Father of Forgiveness

Sunday, April 1, 2012

"a new role"

I have a new role in my growth group. I bring a song to group & play it before group starts. Oh, not an original "written by me" song, mind you. This week...I'm trying to figure out which one to take. I've been writing about this next weekend for a while. Not sure what [& how] I'll end up posting things.
[this is for my Mother] This is one of the last songs we sang @ LW this morning:
David Crowder* Band - How He Loves
as for songs for Wed. [the above +]
Beautiful Scandalous Night from At the Foot of the Cross. A compilation put together by [& this was written by] Derri Daugherty & Steven Hindalong of The Choir.
Chains Hit the Ground by Leeland
Jesus... by Rich Mullins [sorry for the audio, however I don't put anything up on youtube, & this was the only version I found]
[& if I want to "go out on a limb" I can play a song that you all would find "more me"]
Gungor - Beautiful Things I posted this one because it's a cool, different version.
[thanks RELEVANT magazine. You guys are cool.]

words by Kemper Crabb
music by Arkangel

Father Adam,
won't you see what
you have done
You have given all your children
to the fire
and to the worm

And we're bleeding
We are Needing
It's a hard fate
has befallen our race
Cold wind from Eden
blows across my face
And I'm yearning
Oh, I'm burning
to be back in the garden
Back in the garden -
back in the garden

Second Adam,
Now I see what
you have done
Through Your dying,
through Your rising
You've restored the fallen sons
Through your giving
We are living

And, oh, I know
You bruised Your heel
when you crushed
the serpents head
But You pulled the fangs
out of our hearts
Giving Spirit-life instead
And I'm learning
You're returning me
back to the Garden
Back to the Garden,
back to the Garden

Of Late
I'm Realizing
That the Garden I'm desiring
is You.

Well... this is me signing off for now. Gotta get some sleep, & keep tweaking my writing for this week. A bit of a teaser to what I'm writing... How many times have you said "life isn't fair" or "it's not fair"?
I have a habit of ripping into phrases that I or others say too often.
...[said to my wife first. Though, I felt God kinda stab a finger into my shoulder as I said this] "Honey, life wasn't fair to it's author... what do you think your odds really are?" Which... as I thought about this... made me realize...
I'm kinda glad life isn't fair. Because if life was fair, we should all just go to Hell. Right now. Because that... would be fair. [not a fun thought, huh?]
ponder holy week, ...this coming Fri - Sun is the best part of the greatest love story...

your friend,
b.e. noll