How Much Longer? Are We There Yet?

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How to stay sane until November…

I feel like a child in the back seat with two squabbling parents
fighting for the steering wheel. I can’t ask, “Are we there yet?”
So I’m left with – how much longer can we stand this?
The fringes of our society have taken hold of their ideological ends
and are reaping us apart like skirt seams.
I cannot wait for the sun to rise on November 8th.
It will be the 58th quadrennial U.S. presidential election.
Like deep-sea divers, how low can we go?
I hope that those who have drowned their sense of civility and elected to
engage with prosecutorial glee in depraved depths of inhumane rhetoric,
blatant falsehood and tribal rage will once again be neighbours and friends.
Did the salacious appetite for coliseum-style politics seep
into our veins while we were asleep?
How did this get so vicious that we are demanding the heads of political rivals on silver platters and shackles on their supporters’ wrists across the aisle?
Surely America is better than this.
Surely once again, rays of love will beam across this land,
and we can fix the labels sticking out like tongues at the back of our heads.
We are officially in the twilight zone, and we should all feel
betrayed by the state of our union.
What to do? Let’s pray and read haikus to ease our troubled minds.

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Full moon night
All that is
and isn’t.


“Xyz?”
“Abcdef,
Xyz!”


Hydrangea rain
will I see you again
in my dreams?

Credits:
Haikus – Johan Bergstad, Kika Hotta, and Kris Kondo respectively
Images – Pixabay.

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The Foolishness of Nature Worship

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The Foolishness of Nature Worship by King Solomon.
(Reflections of a royal philosopher)

For all people who were ignorant
of God were foolish by nature; and
they were unable from the good things
that are seen to know the one who exists,
nor did they recognize the artisan but his works.

They supposed that either fire or
wind or the circle of the stars, or
turbulent water or the luminaries of
heaven were the gods that rule the world.

If through delight in the beauty of these
things, people assumed them to be gods, let
them know how much better than these is their
Lord, for the author of beauty created them.

And if people were amazed at their power
and working, let them perceive how much
more powerful is the one who formed them.
For from the greatness and beauty of
created things comes a corresponding
perception of their Creator.

Can we blame them? Perhaps they go astray
while seeking God and desiring to find him.
For while they live among his works,
they keep searching, and they trust in
what they can see, because the things
that are seen are beautiful.

Yet again, not even they are to be excused;
for if they had the power to know so much
that they could investigate the world,
how did they fail to find sooner the
Lord of these things?

Credits:
Text – Paraphrased from The Book of Wisdom (Chapter 13) – NRSV Edition
Image – Pixabay

 

 

 

 

 

The Aftermath – What Remains?

 

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Credit: Pixabay

The shaking is intended for certain heartbreak and our fainting.

How do we deal with the aftermath?  The consequences of a significant unpleasant event lingers like a bitter aftertaste. It is the rumble left behind when our foundations are jolted out of alignment by an unexpected earthquake. It is when embedded chains even invisible to us are brought into full focus and we have to deal with our new reality. Are we going to stay bound or break free from false foundations? Anything that can be shaken should not have been trusted in the first place.

I would not confuse
the bogus
with the spurious.
The bogus
is a sore thumb
while the spurious
pours forth
as fish and circuses.  (An excerpt from Spurious by Rae Armantrout.)

We hold fast to wrong  foundations as the definition of our core identity till a slip-up exposes the hollow circuses  we’ve allowed to define and be responsible for our happiness. I held on to the love of a certain boy long ago, whose lopsided smile took my breath away till fishes and circuses rained on my parade. It was a fantasy interrupted by a rude rap on my door.

Who goes there?

Rain.

I’ve been a Californian for so long –  I don’t know how to behave in the presence of rain.
Especially a torrent propelling me down fury’s road of liquid drama featuring three deranged and frazzled people needing Dr. Phil’s intervention. Metaphors are always adept in helping me manage painful realities. I closed my eyes and refused to see rain – messy, distressing and unwelcome.

Marriage, friendships, job or career, beauty or charm, money, wealth, sexual orientation or even race, make pretty wobbly foundations.  I’m not sure race should even make the list but in the context of self-worth for some pathetic folks, it is an over-aching standard.

Still I refuse to give up on family and children – pain and joy comes with the territory and privilege of loving and being loved by others. I found out through my experience that only faith can withstand the tremors and earthquakes.  Faith is what remains. God is able to turn what was intended for our unravelling for some sort of good – like stripping us from clutches, laying a new foundation of greater faith and exposing our false gods.

“When you connect your purpose to your perspective, nobody else holds your keys.” Pastor  Steven Furtick 

The venom of anger and hate would only serve to shackle my future to my past. Praise is the only tool powerful enough to break every chain. Indeed life is so much more than these disappointments that now loom so large but in a few years will be so insignificant when compared to God’s greater vision for our lives.
May each aftermath find you and me standing in faith, with hands raised so high the chains are broken. There is only One worthy of our trust because He will always be faithful in His love for us.

Peace to all our broken pieces.

 

A Part of Me has Died

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The Scar Head Sculpture from the Balearic Islands of the Mediterranean, Spain. (Mallorca Monuments)

We ask a lot of questions, we humans. This gift of speech and language can sometimes seem like a curse. We transitioned seamlessly at the age of two from sweet innocent babies to obnoxious toddlers – if you ask me that’s why it is called the terrible twos. The unending quest for answers to everything rages on like a California forest fire.

Why? Why? The annoying, nagging questions that can drive you up the wall as a parent, surely irks God. Instead we should be asking, How? As in, how can this set of circumstances work out for my good?  Or What?  As in, what can I do now? Why is the proverbial split milk, the water under the bridge, the shattered glass on the kitchen floor. As humans, we desperately want our scars understood. MercyMe‘s song, The Hurt and the Healer, reminds us that “Healing doesn’t come from the explained.”

Nobody asks why something good happens, when it does. Like Julie Andrews in the classic movie, The Sound of Music, we are quick to assume that the grand old universe is paying us back because we “must have done something good.” I’d like to know how the nineteen year old boy in Chino Hills, CA who bought ONE lottery ticket deserves the huge chunk of the recent $1.5 billion dollars jackpot. King Solomon, the wisest and richest man who ever lived said, “The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.”*

There’s little gain in wallowing in pain, till tears carve a permanent groove on our faces. There’s only One who’s there during the dark nights of the soul, who comforts us during the winters of the heart. If we believe He is with us, we will not ask dead-end questions. God never promised that we would never NOT feel His presence – but that He will never leave nor forsake us. For sure He is real, His promise is sure even when we’re deep in a spiritual gloom. When He feels distant, we are simply being weaned of our emotional dependencies.

What makes a difference is reminding ourselves of His promises because they have not changed and neither has God, not one iota. This is maturity – the ability to discern the difference between God’s omnipresence and the manifestation of that presence in the midst of suffering. My new prayer has become, “Lord, find Your glory even here.” That whiny toddler in me has died.

 

Image Credit – PixCove . *Eccl.9:11

 

From Beautiful Offerings – My Story

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My story has always been one of grace and I appreciate everyone of you who has taken the time to visit, read and liked my offerings. As my Annang people would say, Sòsòñò – Thanks to Him, and you as well. This song from the acclaimed contemporary Christian band – Big Daddy Weave, pretty much sums up this year for me. Enjoy!

“My Story” by Big Daddy Weave (Beautiful Offerings – 2015)

If I told you my story
You would hear Hope that wouldn’t let go
And if I told you my story
You would hear Love that never gave up
And if I told you my story
You would hear Life, but it wasn’t mine

 

If I should speak then let it be
Of the grace that is greater than all my sin
Of when justice was served and where mercy wins
Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in
Oh! To tell you my story is to tell of Him

If I told you my story
You would hear victory over the enemy
And if I told you my story
You would hear freedom that was won for me
And if I told you my story
You would hear Life overcome the grave

If I should speak then let it be
Of the grace that is greater than all my sin
Of when justice was served and where mercy wins
Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in
Oh! To tell you my story is to tell of Him

This is my story, this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long
This is my story, this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long

For the grace that is greater than all my sin
Of when justice was served and where mercy wins
Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in
Oh! To tell you my story is to tell….
Of the grace that is greater than all my sin
Of when justice was served and where mercy wins
Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in
Oh! To tell you my story is to tell of Him
Oh! To tell you my story is to tell of Him.

This is my story, this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long.

BIG DADDY WEAVE lyrics are property and copyright of their owners. “My Story” lyrics are provided for educational purposes and personal use. Copyright ©BDW 2015.
Get “My Story” on iTunes – http://smarturl.it/bdwmystory
Image Credit -Pixabay.