Monday, May 30, 2005



let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the house of Jacob.
He will teach us His ways,
so that we may walk in His paths.
The law will go out from Zion,
the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
He will judge between the nations
and will settle disputes for many peoples.
They will beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.


O house of Jacob,
let us walk in the light of the Lord.

Isaiah 2: 3-5

Sunday, May 29, 2005

I Am

You say I'm your healer.
I am.
You say I'm your peace.
I am.
You say I'm your joy.
I am.
You say I 'm your best friend.
I am.
You say I'm your provider.
I am.
You say I'm your defender.
I am.
I am for you, what you allow me to be in your life.
I am only limited by your faith.
Who do you say that I am?

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Blog changes

My oldest son, Abe, and I spent quality time together last night redoing and personalizing my blog. There is now a link to the website for St. Sabina, the church I am a member of.

American Tune

Many's the time I've been mistaken,
and many times confused
Yes, and I've often felt forsaken,
and certainly misused.
Ah, but I'm all right, I'm all right.
I'm just weary to my bones.
Still you don't expect to be bright and bon vivant,
so far away from home,
so far away from home.

And I don't know a soul who's not been battered.
I don't have a friend who feels at ease.
I don't know a dream that's not been shattered,
or driven to its knees.
Ah, but it's all right. It's all right.
For we've lived so well so long.
Still, when I think of the road we're travelin' on,
I wonder what's gone wrong.
I can't help but wonder what's gone wrong.

And I dreamed I was dying.
I dreamed that my soul rose unexpectedly,
and looking back down at me, smiled reassuringly.
And I dreamed I was flying,
and high up above my eyes could clearly see
the Statue of Liberty sailing away to sea.
And I dreamed I was flying.

And we come on the ship they call the Mayflower.
We come on the ship that sailed the moon.
We come in the age's most uncertain hours,
and sing an American tune.
Oh, and it's all right, it's all right,
it's all right.
You can't be forever blessed.
Still tomorrow's gonna be another working day
and I'm tryin' to get some rest;
that's all - I'm trying to get some rest.

- Paul Simon -

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Labels II

David - King of Israel
David - Adulterer/ murderer
Jacob - Patriarch
Jacob- Trickster
Solomon- the wise
Solomon- the Idolator
Saul - chosen
Saul - Rejected
Elijah - Victorious
Elijah- Suicidal
Jesus- Prince of Peace
Jesus- Turning over tables.

Labels...Can a label really define anyone? Can it really summarize "in a nutshell" the complexities of any human being? Can it really draw the boundaries of their potential? Can it really negate their ability to change? Can it express all of their human experience? Their history? Their point of view? Is anyone so easily defined?

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Fry Bread & Architecture

I am a huge fan of Frank Lloyd Wright, more because of his personality than a deep appreciation for his architecture. Its undeniable that he was a genius. But, you know, as great an architect as he was, he was not an engineer. As a result, though very beautiful, many of his buildings have serious problems, which today engineers are having to go back and address. Its kind of a shame that Wright didn’t work with engineers at the time he was planning his structures in order to avoid this. One of my favorite movies is “Smoke Signals”. It is set in the Native American community and centers around two young men, one of whom’s father has just passed. The young man, Victor, is kind of aloof and cool. He needs to go and take care of his father’s belongings but has no way to make the journey unless he accepts the help of his bookworm, very uncool, childhood friend. In order to encourage him to accept help, his mother talks to him about fry bread. She is well known among the people for making the best fry bread around. She tells her son, Victor, " You know I didn'’t learn to make great fry bread on my own. I had help. I had to listen to people.”" Then she proceeds to explain to him that over the years when people told her that her bread needed a little more of this or that, she would pay attention. I love this story, because it illustrates so well what happens when we allow ourselves to be open and learn from each other, rather than being defensive and shutting each other out. We really do need each other.

I Corinthians 12:27 "Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it."

Saturday, May 21, 2005


I would like to post a quote from one of my favorite books, "THE MAN WHO PLANTED TREES" by Jean Giono. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it. It is a very powerful yet quick read.

"For a human character to reveal truly exceptional qualities, one must have the good fortune to be able to observe its performance over many years. If this performance is devoid of all egoism, if its guiding motive is unparalleled generosity, if it is absolutely certain that there is no thought of recompense and that, in addition, it has left its visible mark upon the earth, then there can be no mistake."

Thursday, May 19, 2005


My life goes on in endless song
Above Earth's lamentations.
I hear the real, though far off hymn
That hails a new creation.
Through all the tulmult and the strife
I hear its music ringing.
It sounds an echo in my soul.
How can I keep from singing?

And though the tempest loudly roars
I hear the truth, it liveth.
And though the darkness 'round me grows
songs in the night it giveth.
No storm can shake my in most calm
While to that rock I'm clinging.
When love is Lord of Heaven and Earth
How can I keep from singing?

When tyrants tremble in their fear
And hear their death knell ringing.
When friends rejoice both far and near
How can I keep from singing.
In prison cell or dungeon vile
Our thoughts to them are winging.
When friends by shame are undefiled
How can I keep from singing?

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

His story?

Funny things I learned at the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago:

1. There was a historical pillar engraved by King Senacherib stating that he had defeated Hezekiah, although we know from the Old Testament as well as Herodotus that this was not true...male hubris, sigh.

2. One ruler had "Sargon, King of the Universe" carved into the side of his palace...then he died, just like the rest of us....more male hubris, sigh again. (sorry guys!)

3. My favorite proverb was, " Don't buy an ass that brays too much." I took it personal. Ha!

Monday, May 16, 2005


"Be the change you want to see in the world."
Mahatma Gandhi

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Tough Love

Remember “tough love”? What a misnomer. That'’s the only kind of love there is. As much as we would like to think otherwise, real love isn'’t birthed over candlelight dinners and valentines. That’s romance and its wonderful, but we make a mistake when we confuse it with love, because real love is birthed in the bitter places of life, between the rock and the hard place. Real love is what keeps one hanging in there when it appears there is absolutely nothing in it for self. Real love goes the distance. It endures loneliness, suffering, betrayal, misunderstanding and persecution. It does what is right for the other person, regardless of the cost to self or reputation. It really does bear all things.

I Corinthians 13:13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Prayer of Generosity
St. Ignatius

Dear Lord, teach me to be generous.
Teach me to serve you as I should.
To give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labor and not to ask for any reward
save that of knowing I am doing your will.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

"They Tied Themselves to the Mast and Steering Wheel so not to be Washed Overboard"

I have become completely unembarassed about prayer and praise these days. I am liable to start singing or praying at any moment, any time anywhere. I don't care if people laugh, think I'm crazy, showing off, or trying to impress them...etc. The intensity of the circumstances of my life have worked together to produce a completely unashamed and unapologetic praying Christian woman. I woke up yesterday morning and all I could see was the deck of a ship in a fierce storm. The crew was on board and they were tying themselves to the mast. It was dark. The waves were crashing and the boat was rocking violently, but they just kept wrapping the rope tighter. They were soaking wet, couldn't see, and their hair was everywhere. It was not a pretty sight, but they just kept wrapping the rope that much tighter. I knew God was showing me something about prayer and praise.
When we are going through a storm our persistent prayer and praise is what ties us to the one we hope in. Are you going through a hard time? Just keep wrapping yourself in the rope of prayer and praise. Is it dark? Are you having trouble seeing what is going on? Just keep wrapping the rope. Do things look a little messy right now in your life? Just keep wrapping the rope. Have your friends turned on you? Just keep wrapping the rope. Are you receiving evil for good? Just keep wrapping the rope. Is your heart broken because of what someone did or said about you. Just keep wrapping the rope. JUST KEEP WRAPPING THE ROPE!

I Thessalonians 5:17 pray continually;

Monday, May 09, 2005


Labels are a funny thing. They can be very helpful, depending upon how they are used. If they are accurate they can help us to organize and reveal the contents of a container at a glance. But they can also be confusing or misleading, especially if the contents of the container have long since changed and no one bothered to change the exterior label. This is one of the reasons that labels, when attached to people can be particularly ineffective and sometimes downright harmful. Have you ever tried to change in the presence of someone who refused to see you in any other light other than what you were previously? Its hard isn't it? Change is difficult enough in and of itself...but its particularly difficult in the presence of those who by the way they speak to us and look at us they let us know in no uncertain terms that in their minds we will always wear the label of what we once were.
How different is Christ! He sees us in our sin and brokenness and calls us to a better way by calling us who we are meant to be! You're the apple of my eye! You are fearfully and wonderfully made! You are my friend! More than conquerors! God's elect! Chosen! Shouldn't the things that we say about one another bring life and call us to who we are...not what we were? Let's resist the urge to label each other with anything other than what Christ says about us.

Proverbs 15:30 A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

The Bus

I don't like riding the bus. The sights, the sounds, and oh yes...the smells. When I get on the bus I see people all around me who are in absolute misery. I overhear conversations of women who have a girlfriend in jail and a husband at home and who wear their recidivism rate as a badge of honor. I hear families talking about how they spend the bulk of their time either in jail, in court, or visiting someone in jail. I see women on the bus who dress like men and who look as if every ounce of their femininity has been stripped from them. I see and hear young girls who swear like marines and spill out of their clothing. I see men who look as if their manhood has been savagely crushed. I hear and watch mothers who are babies themselves cursing out their toddlers and pulling them down the aisle by their arms and slamming them into seats like they are a sack of potatoes. I encounter old people who are so ill that they urinate on themselves and the seats. I don't like the bus. Sometimes people who are obviously mentally ill get on the bus and I have to admit sometimes they frighten me. One day a man with blood on his shirt boarded. A few blocks later the police pulled us over and hauled him away. I want a car. If I had a car I wouldn't have to deal with all of this. I could turn up my gospel music and roll past it all in insulated comfort. But when I ride the bus, I can't block it out. If I couldn't see it, the young man wearing a blunt over his ear like a fashion statement, I sure could smell it...and God help us all when a homeless person who hasn't bathed in years gets on the bus, especially if its crowded and you can't move far enough away. And if I couldn't see or smell it, well I would have to hear it...all the yelling and cursing, begging for change for something to eat, and asking for a transfer. I want one too buddy..OFF the bus!
But riding the bus makes it impossible for me to live my life in the sanitized vacuum of my own little world. It is a constant reminder of the great commission and how badly people need Jesus. It is the ever present rebuke to the church of how far we have to go. It isn't Asia. It isn't Africa. But it is most certainly a mission field, a microcosm of society as a whole. I would like a car, but I know I where I need to be...on the bus.

Mark 16:15 Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.

Friday, May 06, 2005


On a recent trip to the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago I noticed that it seemed to be an ancient custom for fathers to write down proverbs for their sons. I thought this was pretty cool, so even though I am a single mother, I decided I would start to do the same for my sons. What follows is the beginning of my list. I hope to have more and will add them as they come to me.

1. The words that you speak about another person reveal more about what is in your own heart than it ever will about them.

2. Arrogance is the hubris of the deeply insecure.

3. Confidence is knowing what you have. Arrogance is acting like you have more of it than anyone else. Making others feel that way is obnoxious.

4. Anger doesn't need a reason, just a target.

5. In general, people don't decide they like or dislike you based on how they feel about you, but rather how they feel about themselves when they are around you. (this is not something that is always under your control)

6. If you do what you need to do when you need to do it, eventually you will be able to do what you want to do when you want to do it.

7. Empathy is not an abstract concept. You should have it, and people should feel that you have it.

8. Life is like a baseball game. There are those who step up to the plate and swing at the ball, and there are those who sit in the dugout and watch others play the game.

9. Look where you are going. Think like you are already there.

10. Stay away from people who consistently badmouth others. They have a way of separating you from the people you need the most.

11. Prayer saves time. Tithing saves money.

12. Human communication is an inexact science at best.

13. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1) If we stay focused on things as they are and have been, it is unlikely that we will ever see them become as they can and should be.

14. One of the most revolutionary things you can do is to tell the truth, especially when it isn't easy and it isn't welcome.


Of the many cats I have had in the past, Max was one of my favorites. I loved Max. I had no choice. One can resist only so much irrepressible, selfless love and affection. Max was born on my back porch in a litter of stray kittens. When I saw how badly they all had fleas I took pity and gave them flea baths. All of Max's siblings scrambled away, legs splayed and yowling upon release. But Max was instantly tamed. When I would put food out on the back porch, all of the other kittens would run for the dish. Max would run for me. When ever the kitchen light would go on there was Max up on the window ledge, rubbing back and forth against the glass, purring. Yes, Max tied a string around my heart... I would like to be a lot more like Max in the love dept. A lot more selfless, more willing to overlook an offense, more extroverted and relentless in my affection. Of course even Jesus couldn't win everyone's love and affection, but He died trying.

Proverbs 10:12 ... love covers over all wrongs.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Super Hero

I have a super hero. You shouldn't be surprised, you have one too. The other night I had a dream. I dreamt I was kneeling on a chair and I needed to get somewhere. But before I could even think about getting up or how I was going to get there an invisible man hoisted me into the air, chair and all, and placed me on his shoulders. He began to carry me where I needed to go. We went through potholes, mud, crowds and all kinds of confusion. At first I was a little worried , because he was invisible and I couldn't see how on earth he was going to manage to get me where I needed to go. But he began to talk to me along the journey and after a bit I could tell he was made for the job. In fact he seemed more than able to handle anything I might need. He was very friendly. He got me where I needed to go and he put me down, but he didn't leave me. I have a super hero. Can you guess who my super hero is? If not I'll give you a hint, the Holy Spirit is a "He", not an it.

John 14:16 And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever--