Pages

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Midnight Mass, A Christmas Offering


Give me a heart
of incense
smoke that rises
in hazy spirals
rippling like fragrant
satin ribbons-
My worshipful heart
ascending
carried in the smoky praise
Breathe me in
Let me fill whatever lungs
inhale Heaven's air-
I am only this

Midnight Mass
by Kat Cavanaugh LaMantia

To Jesus who bent down that I may rise-
Merry Christmas to my Savior!
12/24/2013

It is Christmas Eve and I will be attending Midnight Mass at St. Patrick's in Anchorage, AK.

St. Pat's has Mass all evening but they only perfume the sanctuary with smoking censers of sacred incense at midnight.

That is the one for me.

It evokes childhood memories of counting the minutes until Jesus would be reborn for us all each Christmas. I always wanted to begin Christmas in church. I wanted Christ to find me there come early to the party. Waiting.

When Mass was over the smell of worship and welcome lingered on my hair and clothing all the way home. In all the ways that matter the Holy, Holy, Holy of it lingers still. The difference is that I am discontent to simply stand in the incense offered by other hands. I want to be that fragrant offering Heaven saves in bottles
to be released to the joy and excitation of praise from the Beasts around His throne.

Unbelievable as it seems, Eternity wants this. Heaven breaths on the offerings I have made to charity but it inhales my unadorned worship spoken in secret- just my heart to the One upon the throne and those who attend Him. All any of us have to give is what is in our hearts. All we have to celebrate began with Christ and His obedient offering.

Tonight as I stand in the smoky sanctuary I will be His gift rising from the ashes of His own sacrifice.*

I invite you to join me from right where you are.

-kl


Blessings for a Holy-Merry-Fragrant-Christmas!


* I will also have with me a special love offering in memory of and in celebration of the sons of three mothers who are my friends: Sally's son Justin, Melody's son Brent and Kelly's son Jason. Sons who are too loved to be forgotten.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Songs Unknown To Cats


Broken Blessings

He uses the bare lilac as a ladder
hopping furtively closer to the chipped
iron railing and finally to the old ceramic
bird feeder filled with salvation

He is less afraid today or maybe
just more hungry than yesterday
His flight feathers are injured and I would
guess he was preoccupied when the tabby
caught him just barely but not enough

He will heal in time if he is careful to stay beyond
her unforgiving claws and if he does not starve
Thistle seeds will help- these prickly, purple holy things
A curse on the earth but a blessing in afterthought

Sometimes the very things that undo us
prove our passage-paid-ahead to some blessed event
The world is full of gratitude waiting to be revealed like
nourishment hiding beneath stickers

Tomorrow he will sit upon my hand and we will both feel less injured
We are brothers, bird and I, and we will sing songs unknown to cats
until the lilacs speak of spring

-Kat Cavanaugh LaMantia


You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Psalm 23:5

Thursday, November 28, 2013

On Thanksgiving Day


 














This has been a busy week for our family. The Thanksgiving service at the Mission followed by the dinner served to our homeless neighbors, plans for our son's soon graduation, the homeless ladie's Christmas Tea coming up next week and yesterday- my mother's passing. Busy and hard. Bitter and sweet. The cares of this life and the freedom of the next. Jesus every moment. The Friend Who Sticks.

I am sitting in my brocade chair with a tummy full of Chinese take out. (Shades of A Christmas Story). I am remembering who Christ has become to me over all these years since my soul was invited in off the street and found a home in Him. Heaven may have a word to describe that heart-melding but just now words fail me for the wonder of it.

As I read over an older post from Thanksgiving a few years ago, just for the comfort of it, I was filled with such a sense of His endless, boundless, simple goodness in loving me. He loves you that same way.

Here is dessert on this Thanksgiving Day. May your heart overflow. Follow the link below.

-kl 

http://iamcallingshotgun.blogspot.com/2011/11/his-sea-bed-is-love-without-end.html


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Singing To The Morning
















Singing To The Morning


I leave behind

the familiar colors

the heart-stirring scents

of life lived under the blue sky

under clouds bleeding rain

under snow and shadow

I have become every color

light layered upon light

transparent, immediate-

a perfumed sunrise

singing to the Morning

-Kat Cavanaugh LaMantia


In memory of the Homegoing
of Aaron Lorentzen's grandmother

Just Glorious, Oil by Diane Morgan

(Since I had written this my own mother has made the journey to Eternity. May His Perpetual Light shine upon her. -kl)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Ascent























Ascent

I wind my way
   

to the top of the stairs

to a secret place

where prayers await

discovery

They do not come

out of me,

these supplications,

but cling to me there

like field seeds

to feral fur;

left behind by other

penitents or angels;

mice in corners

chanting to the One

The earth is full of

unspoken adoration

waiting to be ours

for the climb

-Kat Cavanaugh LaMantia 




Sunday, November 17, 2013

Willow


 
Willow

Fall's breath frosting leaves
she folds her hands to pray

Pale sunlight catches her
transforming aspect

The world in light or gray
belongs to the Creator

The One who dreamed
of willows dreams of me

So I fold my hands
as perfect as her branches

and chant in frost or sun
a litany of praise

-kl
 
            From you comes the theme of my praise...Psalm 22:25 NIV

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Winter Wheat

The pumpkins are carved
The apples are picked
Fields gleaned of their goodness
are quiet as an empty womb yet
they whisper even at rest, "Fill us"

Those obedient first fruits are content,
the ones who fell as seed from hands
newly come from April's sunrise prayer,
fully ingathered now and bursting with
summer's stored vitality

The empty fields do not call
to such delicate seed to be filled
They beckon to the hard-shelled,
Johnny-come-latelies who slept through
spring rains and abstained from the
glorious summer sun
"Fill us" they call as the days
shorten and the ground chills

There is bounty saved for these
late hours where frost sings
your beauty to life-
where December celebrates
Christ's nativity and your own

You are the second spring whose
holy bread all the long winters of this world
have waited for

Winter Wheat by Kat Cavanaugh LaMantia
for Melanya

A friend asked me to write something for a teaching she is doing on getting a late start. I am hoping she will post it to her own wonderful blog and I can list the link. It would be a blessing to all of us who were slow out of the gate. I do recall how the greatest race horse who ever lived made leaving last his signature move- but with most of us we fear we will never "catch up".

Sarah and Abraham probably had those "lost" thoughts but look at the turn around their lives took. The truth is if you have breath you have possibilities. 

After all, God was petty old when He took up gardening.

-kl

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us. Ephesians 3:20








Saturday, September 14, 2013

Honey Cake


Honey Cake

She beats the batter full of amber sweetness
folding words of the
HaMelech into the eggy goodness.

God is King over his Creation as she is sovereign over the honey cake.


The spoon goes around and over, sweet batter clinging to wood.


There is flour on her hands and a sheen of butter.


Did you have the dust of our life upon you in Eden?


When you stirred the earth's natal waters did you pray into the dark waves as I pray into this bowl?


Holy King! King of Justice!


Stir my heart. Make my life a cake of honey.

-kl


 
http://www.strawberryplum.com/cardamom-orange-honey-coffee-cake/

Friday, September 6, 2013

Erleben

















Erleben*

A world away the most devout 

rock and pray
slipping desire or remembrance
into a crack in a stone wall
Pleadings on bits of vellum
hope fading long before
the tear smudged ink
The last of the ruined temple
treasuring so many names

My thoughts lift to You
that ruined temple rebuilt
The wall grace made between
me and my sin-
and I take my deepest hopes
my most ardent thoughts
and into your pierced side
they join fast to your power and
purpose never to fade-
wailing hushed by thanksgiving

There is room enough

-kl


Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let’s not let it slip through our fingers. We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Hebrews 4:14-16

*Experience, go through, relive

Thursday, August 29, 2013

To Rachel With Honor

When my soul is in the dumps, I rehearse everything I know of you- Psalm 42:6 (MSG)

Not long after I accepted the chaplaincy position at the Mission I met a young woman who was spending time here while she secured housing. In the opening moments of our evening service I usually ask for requests for prayer. There is never a shortage of requests. The people we serve here never have a shortage of needs.

Deliverance from drugs or from alcohol, healing from abuse, comfort from the death of a loved one or divorce. The needs are staggering in scope. Food and shelter often lead the list. This particular evening I was receiving about what I was expecting and I was readying my spirit to agree in prayer for God's answers.

Then I called on Rachel.

"Pastor, I need a drum! Pray God gives me a drum!" A drum? Really? Rachel needed a home. She needed food. She needed a job. At that moment however, she saw her greatest need as the need to express worship to the One she called Savior. Rachel slept in a borrowed bed but her soul had furnished a room for God. 
We prayed for a drum.

Often since that night, when I inventory my particular needs: how I can better open the Word to people, how I can reach a heart that has been wounded into numbness and retreat, all the other personal life needs I have, I find myself praying for my own "drum". This teacher has become the pupil. Rachel shared her wisdom with me and it informs my days.

We have a need to worship and that need will always precede the blessing.

About ten days after we all agreed together that Rachel should have a drum, a lovely wooden frame drum with its taut goatskin head and ancient pedigree was placed in her waiting hands. It was the style of drum the women in Israel used to celebrate their many festivals. The kind of drum they sang into while they played. The drum had come home to Rachel who had made God her dwelling. 
Her other needs were met soon after by the Father who delighted in her. She stops in occasionally to let me know all is well and that she is still playing her drum. That delights the musician in me as well as the minister. I know God must love her enthusiastic gratitude.

I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress. Psalm 59:16

Do you have a pressing need? I encourage you to pray Rachel's prayer. You may not have a desire for drum-worship but Rachel's prayer is a prayer of putting God first, setting Him above, satisfying Him. The rest will follow the music. 
Praise precedes the blessing.

John LaMantia
(featured in the September Rescue Mission Newsletter)

Monday, August 26, 2013

Lullaby



Lullaby
 
Under the sway of water lapping against the rocks
beneath the rhythm of waves rippling through grass
below the hum of the hive
and the velvet lament of the morning doves
just beyond the sound of lovers lips parting
 
there is a living quietude
susurrant music almost out of range
divinity whispering into the ether
 
it sometimes wakes me just after the first stars appear
or takes my hand between the loons calling for their mates in
the vaporous swirls above the lake

there and not there- but substantial
beckoning me to follow
murmuring soft promised secrets
 
Sleep casts its net over the day
my heart beats in unison with that incorporeal pulse
and I slip quietly into the whisper where God
rocks the world in His arms
 
-kl



For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. Romans 1:20 NIV
 
Kasia Derwinska Dreamlike Photo

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

bàta-ràmh

bàta-ràmh

I swam in the black ocean
I swan and swam out beyond
civil discourse, beyond gentle greetings
I swam where there was no grace said over meals,
no thank you notes written in blue ink,
no benedictions
I swam in the cold, thick water
and forgot the smell of bonfires
the feel of hot sand,
the sound of fishing line running out,
the taste of good night kisses,
the breaking of bread
I swam out to the moonless deep
a weight of unspoken apologies
held me under like stones
Your hands on the oars-
a boat named forgiveness
rowed to the edge of oblivion
calling my name

-kl


Sometimes we sink. Sometimes we row.

 http://fineartamerica.com/featured/yellow-light-on-dark-water-ericka-herazo.html

Monday, August 12, 2013

10


The paper bag was on her nightstand when she woke up.
Her name was on it in blue pen with the K gone back
and forth over and over where the ink started to flow.
She sat up and opened the bag smelling something new.
Her six year old fingers were quiet and she was
careful not to tear the bag, to tear her name.
The bag was stiff and would give her away.
She would not be able to enjoy it half so much
if the rest of the house were up and busy.

She made her way down the hall to the stairs
passing to look into their bedroom.
Even in the half dark she could see his black
hair against the white pillow case and the one
leg that always escaped the covers no mater how
cold it was.

She was glad he was home.
She had missed him and not just because he
would eat the runny eggs that imprisoned her
at the breakfast table until they disappeared.

He was tall and fast and could outrun her.
On his shoulders she could touch the very
top branch of her favorite peach tree.
He would take her on his calls and talk to
her about stones and streams and saints.

Her feet fell lightly on the stairs but she
paused and waited each time one creaked.
She left the lights off and the bird covered
in the dining room and found the kitchen
with the sun just starting to make a pattern
on the yellow and black linoleum.
Light enough.

Cross legged on the floor she tucked her
nightgown under her bare legs against its
chilled hardness and opened the bag less
quietly.

It yielded a soft suede pouch gathered
at the top with a leather cord.
It was brown on the back side
and turquoise on the front with
the words she would learn later as
'DALLAS TEXAS' embroidered
on it. She held it up to her nose
and smelled the scent of leather
and cigarette smoke. It was lovely
and special and a mystery.

She opened the puckered top and
another smell was released into the
empty kitchen- rubber.
A pink rubber ball and ten tiny metal
jacks spilled onto a bright yellow square.
She knew how to play but had never
gotten above six but these jacks were smaller
so she started to bounce and grab.

The ball flew into the air and the silver jacks came
right to her over and over one more each time without a miss.
St. Bernadette put the final sweep of ten into her palm.
One by one she kissed each jack, and then the rubber
ball with its bitter taste, as they were dropped back
into their leather home. Her finger traced the letters
she would learn to say later and even still later would
live there with her own child.

For the moment the day was as golden as the linoleum.
The peach tree was not yet cut down in a rage
and the flow of empty beer bottles, that even the powerful
Bernadette could not staunch, had yet to intrude on
her childhood.

She had made ten.
Ten was perfect.

-Kat Cavanaugh LaMantia

Novelist Tom Robbins is often quoted as saying, "It is never too late to have a happy childhood."  I agree. I want to agree. My faith in the One who loves me best helps my happy choices.

How many of us have had one peach tree or another uprooted, chopped down, plowed under? Countless, I imagine. I grew up in an alcoholic family system that not only bled our bank accounts (including our little piggy banks) but bled out trust. A hard thing to recover. So many of my adult choices were due to the dysfunction in my childhood or a reaction against it.

I had mostly eight good years before spin the beer bottle began to strip away the happiness from our family. In that time I began to be drawn to the Lord whom I would later fully embrace. In those eight years my father planted some good seeds and I have some wonderful memories of them. The ones that followed were a different story. I will not elaborate. Forgiveness is the fruit of the most sacred Tree.

Suffice it to say that I learned to plant my own peach trees. I wanted peaches and I was not getting enough waiting for charity. I got a shovel. I grabbed up the "whatever things" admonition of scripture and drew up plans for an orchard.

If you have peaches you can eat well and you can share. You don't have to be stuck with a hole in the ground. If there is something you miss, if there is a godly way to get it,  then go for it. Why wait for someone else to beautify your emotional landscape when you have the best gardener in the universe as your Father? You get your talent from Him.

Can't replace that exact thing?  Substitutes are allowed. Start planting and when your yard is full of whatever it is that comforts your heart, just step over the fence and keep on going.

The world needs your peaches.

Who listens to the Word will find good, and happy is one who trusts in the Lord.- Proverbs 16:20

-kl

https://secure1.heifer.org/gift-catalog/trees.html

My favorite tree as a child was a peach of peach at the far end of our yard. It got the ax and when I couldn't stop thinking about it as an adult, I thought about planting my own. At the time I did not have a yard of my own so I planted my peaches in the yards of poor children around the world. Beauty for ashes. I just may see those peaches in Heaven.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Neighbors

Marie lives in a tent in the woods across the street from me. 
 
We met when she was "borrowing" a few watts to charge up her cellphone by way of an outlet on my garage. That was a few weeks ago. Since then Marie and Guzman come and go, mostly unseen, to the plug or the hose with my blessing. 

Early today there was a loud and relentless knock at my door. (Early even for me). I opened the door in my nightgown with my hair....never mind how the hair looked...and there she was. "Hi! Remember me your neighbor from across the street?" She had an issue about something in the neighborhood and she just knew I would want to hear about it. 

All that aside, what struck me was that Marie considered herself to be my neighbor and considered I was hers. "Hey, you in the tree. Yeah you. Better get down. I'm showing up at your house today for dinner." (Jesus to Zacchaeus). 

Here all along I had been thinking "homeless" and Marie was thinking "neighbor." Bless me Father for I have sinned...


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Build Me A Boat

The water is wide I cannot cross. And neither have I wings to fly. Build me a boat that will carry two and both shall row my love and I. - English Folk Song
God’s unfailing love for us is an objective fact affirmed over and over in the Scriptures. It is true whether we believe it or not. Our doubts do not destroy God’s love, nor does our faith create it. It originates in the very nature of God, who is love, and it flows to us through our union with His beloved Son. ~ Jerry Bridges
Whatever water you need to cross there is a boat waiting at the shoreline. The oarsman came from Eternity to row you across.


Painting by Marc Fishman

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Peace


I had a stirring prophetic revelation today of how deeply, absolutely and completely Christ is our Peace. He is not just the terminus of sin and sorrow; of grief and despair. He is the restorer of our splendor, the One who returns to our tarnished life its luster, its lushness, its juicy promise; its vibrant harmony by His own goodness. 

His peace comforts and caresses but it also creates the future we hope for. It is a trustworthy peace.



 The Great Preacher of peace and love came for you, and His voice found those of you who were near and those who were far away.  By Him both have access to the Father in one Spirit.  And so you are no longer called outcasts and wanderers but citizens with God’s people, members of God’s holy family, and residents of His household.  You are being built on a solid foundation: the message of the prophets and the voices of God’s chosen emissaries with Jesus, the Anointed Himself, the precious cornerstone.  The building is joined together stone by stone—all of us chosen and sealed in Him, rising up to become a holy temple in the Lord.  In Him you are being built together, creating a sacred dwelling place among you where God can live in the Spirit.-Ephesians 2:17-21 (The Voice)

The Peacock Feather by Ian Rafferty

Monday, June 10, 2013

Wild Pears

Wild Pears

When first I heard it, it sounded like a stiff petticoat
or a rainstorm but it was only frantic leaves in a strong breeze.
The first time I sat high enough to make the starlings nervous
thorns drew blood.

Wild pear trees are less hospitable than apple trees.
Apples spread their branches wide and make a lap for you.
Uncivilized pears are narrow in the hips and stingy on invitations.

You might suspect that attitude would leach into the fruit
but you would be wrong. Feral pears are as sweet as
their pedigreed relations. You might not know unless you
tasted one.

I know some people who live on the street. Some are wild as
pears. They have thorns. They throw around, "God Bless"
but might as well be saying, "Go to Hell." It is easier to
pass them by than get a ladder.

I have to prayerfully remember that Jesus didn't come for the fruit

made for a still-life. He came for the feral fruit. Wild, hard to pick, 
well defended and unclaimed. He came for a hidden sweetness.

So I am learning to keep a ladder in my heart.


-kl


The LORD doesn't see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7

Monday, May 27, 2013

RUWA'

In Worship and in Warfare.






















RUWA

I have a name that is greater than this moment
Greater than what I have been called
by even the dearest of friends
Greater than my past
Greater than my problems
I have a name more potent than cancer
More enduring than divorce
Stronger than sorrow
I have been given a name that is
The sound of horses
Of trumpets
Of strongholds crumbling
I have been named by One above angels
Whose love is infinite
Whose strength is tireless
Whose sight is perfect
Whose ways are right
I have been given a name
I have been given a day
Today is that day

By Kathy
(for a friend with a good sword arm)

http://www.bibletools.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Lexicon.show/ID/H7321/ruwa%60.htm


Ruwa' (pronounced roo-ah') To split the ears with sound as in worship or warfare. A praise or a battle cry.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Unless...

Unless the eye catch fire,
The God will not be seen.
Unless the ear catch fire
The God will not be heard.
Unless the tongue catch fire
The God will not be named.
Unless the heart catch fire,
The God will not be loved.
Unless the mind catch fire,
The God will not be known.


William Blake (1757-1827) from Pentecost




 Thoughts from 'The Church Times'

In his poetry and art, William Blake was a Pentecost kind of person: all earth, wind, and fire. His radical Christianity combined the incarna­tional and the mystical, and chal­lenged the orthodoxy of his day. Passionate and charismatic, his writing is full of verve, vision, and energy: you only have to sing “Jerusalem”, with its burning bows and chariots of fire, to know that.

In this prayer, Blake is incendiary, sparking us into some kind of Spirit-fuelled action. The word “unless”, which begins each petition, invokes an urgent response. Unless you do something, nothing will happen. Lukewarm is not good enough.

For us to be Pentecost people, we need to be consensually sizzling, aflame with the Holy Spirit and raring to go.

Unless the eye of Moses had “caught fire”, he would not have seen the burning bush. He turned aside, and, behold! he found God. On the day of Pentecost, we might pray for vision and insight to see the world as it really is, and see God at work in and around us. We might also pray for the gift of prophecy to see the world as God meant it to be.

When Jesus describes the King­dom of God in his parables, not every­one is able to see or hear his meaning: “seeing they do not per­ceive,” he says; “hearing they do not listen.”

Through the invocation of the Holy Spirit, we might plead to perceive what God is doing, and hear what God is saying to the Churches today. And, unless the tongues of the apostles had been set ablaze by that same Spirit, there would be no Church. If they had not been crowned with fire, they would not have been able to proclaim salvation for all.

On the day of Pentecost, we might pray for the burning away of all our inhibitions, and the courage to name the God we believe in. May our Spirit-inspired words be made plain in everyday language, and our preach­ing come direct from the heart, without need for trans­lation.

And unless — said the firebrand preacher, just a generation before Blake — a flame of sacred love is kindled on the mean altar of our heart, we cannot love God as we ought, and we cannot witness to the love of God for the world. Fire does not last long if starved of oxygen, or if there is nothing to burn.

Our own personal love of God is to be the kindling of our mission. Mission begins with a single, burning heart. The disciples did not develop a strategy, but they were first set ablaze with the power of the Holy Spirit. Their minds were refashioned and renewed to wonder, think, and ques­tion. New ideas were forged in the furnace of faith, which purged away the chaff of prejudice and judge­ment, to make a way for justice and peace.

On this day of Pentecost, may the fire of God’s love help us proclaim: blaze, Spirit, blaze! Set our eyes, ears, tongues, hearts, and minds on fire, on this the birthday of the Church.

(Article by The Revd Dr Victoria Johnson, Priest-in-Charge of St Michael’s, Flixton, in the diocese of Manchester.  Fiery Dance painting by Vladimir Kush)

Discovering this painting and the thoughts on Pentecost by Victoria Johnson thrilled and challenged me this Pentecost Sunday. I am using her words to pray for the Church, Come Holy Spirit. Fill us fresh and full. Make us "consensually sizzling," incandescent with the love of Christ and ready to run with Promise. - kl

Saturday, April 27, 2013

When Our Soul Looks In The Mirror

 
The only way to deal with an un-free world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion. -Albert Camus
 



This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are.  Romans 8:16 MSG

Read the entire glorious chapter here:

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+8&version=MSG

Friday, April 26, 2013

Chosen


You didn’t choose me, remember; I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit, fruit that won’t spoil...John 15:16 (MSG)

There are several scriptures that come to mind that identify us as "Chosen". Picked. Planned for. Desired. That's us. Some days that is a hard sell when it feels as if  "life" is sending us to a school that preaches another gospel. A harder one to bear. One that has designed a curriculum around our flaws, our mistakes and our inadequacies. Not Good Enough U. Read that as Not Good Enough YOU! There we are not picked but picked over.  

Time we were done with that.  

"I chose you." God said so. The God who can't, won't, never did, never will lie. The Almighty One said it and had it written down. This is important. You have to get this to graduate.

You have been chosen to be fruitful and unspoiled.

The rest of that beautiful promise unfolds gloriously: ...whatever you ask the Father in relation to me, He gives you. John 15:16 (MSG)

I read an encouragement by Sister Suzanne Mayer who asked the question,"When life seems not to choose you how do you choose it?"

She looks at the life of van Gogh, sad as it was in many ways but who persevered to create works of enduring beauty. Even in pain he set up his easel every day and mixed his paints. He claimed, "For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream."

van Gogh is an imperfect example but her point is well taken. God has chosen us. Every day we have a chance to choose life- a life in Him. A life of unspoiled fruit even in a spoiled world. Every day we can set up the canvas and mix our paints and ask the Father for the inspiration to birth Glory. Jesus says the Father will answer.

The Creator chose us and put us in the world. All the stars in His universe are not found only in the heavens. I have met some of the brightest and most beautiful right here on earth. Stars who sing. (No matter what.) Stars who dream. (No matter what.) Chosen Ones.

 
We are His starry night.

Let's mix some paint.

-kl


 http://www.flickr.com/photos/ironrodart/6102931366/

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Planting a Kiss

The flowers have appeared in the earth, The time of the singing has come...Song of Solomon Chapter 2

A Spicy Moment (with John in mind)

 Looking for a gift for you I went to the spice shop that sells candy-
Garam masala, fennel, lavender infused olive oil and...candy.
If you are comfortable referring to Mexican dark chocolate
with bacon, French white chocolate with blueberries and
German chocolate with cacao nibs as "candy".
They also sell honey from gifted bees- Mensa bees,
working exotic flower fields.
Did I mention the teas brimming over with the magic of
ancient lands and figs and dates?
Open the door and your soul expands in a cocoa,

oolong, madras melange of delight.
I bought you peaches and pecans in milk chocolate.
One bar cost what I earned an hour the first year we were married.
Delicious! D-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s!
But not so fine a delicacy, not so sweet a treat, not so juicy 

as even one of your kisses all spicy magic...and mine.
-kl


Alaska is always north of spring. Alaska is such a hold out hanging on to long winter like a loved one saying good-bye. Those of us living here are shouting out, "GOOD-BYE!" with a garden spade in our hand. Ahhh, but still the snow can't seem to make up its mind even though the geese are flying in and the ravens are flying out.

So we Alaskans get out in the lengthening days and go from store to store just to be outside in the light. I met a friend at the spice shop that has opened a tea room and we enjoyed the day talking about God and poetry over the fragrant steam coming from our cups.

The time of singing is coming. The days of flowers and landscape screaming verse is on the way. The season for planting carrots, zucchini and dahlias is inching closer. I am like a runner in a crouch, toe digging in behind an imaginary line.

Spring is almost here and if it is still too soon to plant a carrot, even if you don't have a green thumb- you can always plant a kiss! 

I did!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Marriage vs Mirage

"Marriage (also called matrimony or wedlock) 
is a social union or legal contract 
between people called spouses." 
This is the Wiki definition. 
I don't think so. 
A marriage requires a man and a woman. 
The other kind is a mirage not a marriage.
As our Supreme Court debates these divisive issues 
may we pray for wisdom and grace 
from the one who really is Supreme,
Who shed His blood for all of us 
without exception and
to whose Marriage Supper
we have been called. 
-Kathy LaMantia