26 February 2007


The Benediciton -- read it again, for the first time.

I would venture to say that that most of us who were raised in the church are probably oblivious to the benediction. You know, the phrase the pastor spouted at the end of every service while holding his hand high "over" the congregation.

But check it out...it's just so beautiful.

May The Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you.
May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.
[Numbers 6:22-27]

It makes me ponder the disadvantages of routine practices during our corporate worship times.

But I guess the true test is for the one who appreciates the beauty of this time and time again.

To get to that place...

That's where I desire to dwell.

22 February 2007

The Victory of Truth

Andrew Musgrave . Eternal Flame [2006]

Victoria veritatis est caritas
"Nothing conquers except truth and the victory of truth is love"
[St. Augustine]

17 February 2007

Not Far

God desired that his people look for him and perhaps search all around for him and find him, though he is not far from any of us --

We live in him. We walk in him. We are in him.

[Paraphrased from Acts 17:27-28(NCV)]

14 February 2007

On Love [Revisited]

I originally posted this in April of 2006. It's a fitting reminder any day, but especially on a day such as this. Amidst all the mixed messages of love found in this world, it is refreshing -- in a life-giving sense -- to be reminded of the One True Love.

Then said Almitra, "Speak to us of Love."

And he raised his head and looked upon the people, and there fell a stillness upon them.

And with a great voice he said:

When love beckons to you follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.

And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.

And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden.

For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.

Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.

Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.
He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant;
And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God's sacred feast.

All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life's heart.

But if in your fear you would seek only love's peace and love's pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love's threshing-floor,
Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.

Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.

Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;
For love is sufficient unto love.

When you love you should not say, "God is in my heart," but rather, "I am in the heart of God."

And think not you can direct the course of love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.

Love has no other desire but to fulfil itself.

But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:

To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.

To know the pain of too much tenderness.

To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.

To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.

"Love" by Kahlil Gibran, from his epic poem The Prophet (1923).

Artwork by troy., from his mixed media on canvas piece, Pondering Love (2006).

05 February 2007

The Pull

So when Jesus called James and John to leave their nets and follow him, do you think that they had just pulled up a net full of fish the size of which they had never seen before? Do you ever wonder if, in a passing thought, they considered getting that catch to market and leaving for the journey with some cash in their pockets?

Or how about the disciple whose request before following Jesus was to return home and "bury" his father. Did you ever think that maybe he realized that he hadn't recently told his earthly father that he loved him? Or maybe that he longed to give his mother a hug and pass along a bit of wisdom to a younger brother who he had essentially raised?

It's all about the pull.

In the end, all three men chose to trust their Rabbi.

They gambled on faith.

The bet paid off.

Can you imagine telling your grandkids you were one of the first followers of Christ?

That you walked in the dust of Jesus?

That you saw him appear in a room days after he rose from the dead?

That you placed your hand in the wound where He had been pierced?

Today, I choose to trust.

I choose to gamble on faith.

For I am just a man.

Who am I to stand in the way of God's dream for my life?

Art by Caitlin Schwerin . Gravitational Pull

01 February 2007


I got nothing today. Actually, that's not true. I just think you need to read Stain over at Deep Calls. And if you happen to be "in the market" for some seriously deep, dramatically relevant, and beautifully true teaching, you need to be reading Deep Calls regularly.

Original artwork by Mark Rothko, Red, White and Brown [1957]
Reworked by troy. White Stain [2007]