Nature speaks

Every time you feel in God’s creatures something pleasing and attractive, do not let your attention be arrested by them alone, but, passing them by, transfer your thoughts to God and say: “O my God, if Thy creations are so full of beauty, delight and joy, how infinitely more full of beauty, delight and joy are Thou Thyself, Creator of all!”

Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain

Love & Peace,

Nests In Your Hair

My 3 brothers and I, we got trust issues.  Here I am, my 6-year-old gullible self, once more the target of their good-natured, little-sister teasing.

A warm summer evening in 1968; the sound of the brothers laughing.  I go outside to investigate.  Big mistake.

The brothers are shooting bats.  Yes, bats—with BB guns.  Saturday night entertainment and I find myself the star of the show.

“Watch out!  Bats love to fly into little girls’ hair!” Brother 1 yells.

“What?!” My heart begins to race.

“Yeah,” Brother 2 joins in, “They’ll fly into your ratty hair and make a dirty old nest!”

“What?!!” My hand instinctively reaches up to my tangled, uncombed head.

“Duck!” screams Brother 3, and I hit the ground hard. 

To this day, I hate bats.  I know they are God’s creatures and all, but I still hate bats.

»»————- ♡ ————-««

I re-read the words of Martin Luther,

You cannot keep birds from flying over your head but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair.” 

I’m reminded of the bats. 

But, it’s not about bats or birds or any such thing.  It’s about negative thoughts. Fearful thoughts.  Lying thoughts that cause me to hit the ground hard.

I can’t always prevent a negative thought from entering my mind, but I don’t have to allow it to build a nest in my hair.  I have the power to choose what I believe and what I allow in my mind.  And that’s a powerful thought.

So when a negative thought flies over head, I count backwards from five.  Five, Four, Three, Two, One … and I shoot. Sometimes more than once, but eventually, the thought hits the ground hard, not me.

How do you prevent negative thoughts from building a nest in your hair? 

Love & Peace,

“… and we take captive every thought …” 2 Corinthians 10:5

The Good Eye

“I wonder why I didn’t see it there before …”. Belle, from “Beauty and the Beast”

“You have a good eye”, she says.  “A good eye for color.”  I like the sound of that.  A good eye–my heart smiles.  I feel artistic, creative, color-full.  Yet, what does it really mean–to have a good eye?

I read the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “There is no object so foul that intense light will not make beautiful.

He says it, too, the beast/prince to Belle in the fairytale, “Try to find me and know me…no matter how I may be hidden from you.”

Is it possible to see this world with a good eye?  To see the prince in the beast? To see beauty in the ugly, in the wretched, in the unlovely?

The eye is the lamp of the body.  If your eyes are healthy (good), your whole body will be full of light“, the words of The Good Book reveal.

Full of light.  To be light-full.  No hate, no disgust, no evil intent.  Soul eye clear of life’s distorting cataracts–those shifting memory-shadows that shade, darken, infect.

A view through the lens of wabi-sabi: finding beauty in imperfection. Eye-filling goodness that transforms. 

Centered only on the prevailing light of the good eye of the Father of Lights … the bad eye becomes the good eye, seeing through the wretched to the hidden good and perfect gift within. 

 “Try to find me and know me…no matter how I may be hidden from you.”

Is it possible to see the world around me with a good eye? I’m not sure. But I think I’m willing to give it a try. At least I want to be willing. And maybe that’s good enough for now.

Love & Peace,

Note: Updated from my archives.

Our hearts are with the victims and their families in Dayton and El Paso. They remain in our prayers.

 

See No Boundaries

The Pioneer Woman

There stands a statute in Ponca City, Oklahoma, of a Pioneer Woman with a young boy by her side.  Artfully cast in tons of bronze, standing 17 feet tall beneath the Oklahoma sky. 

She wears a bonnet upon her head and hidden within the brim, the words, “I see no boundaries”. A lasting tribute to those courageous women–the women homesteaders of the American West.

Imagination captured. Inspiration ascends. Yes, I am the pioneer woman! Pioneering through wilderness wanderings to crossing and conquering in unchartered lands of promise. 

Yet I am also the young boy, grabbing hold of the Pioneering Spirit. Led hand-in-hand towards my inheritance as a son.

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God.

And for a brief moment … no windows or doors, ceilings or floors. I see no boundaries. Only God.

In wide open spaces, in untamed places. It’s where I’m staking my claim.

Love & Peace,

The 1862 Homesteading Act guaranteed free farmland to heads of households with the stipulation that the applicant must stay on the land for five years and make noticeable improvements to the land before the deed was awarded. Women who were single, widowed, or divorced were eligible to apply for land as the head of their household and many headed west into Dakota Territory. 

Homesteading, http://www.ndstudies.org/

Inspirare: To Breathe

pan-flute-1379285_1920

The word inspire inspires me.  I breathe in its meaning…

“From the Latin inspirare, meaning to breathe or blow into. Originally used of a divine or supernatural being in the sense of imparting a truth or idea.”

“Fascinating”, pipes the voice of the flutist within me.

In a moment, I am back on the White Mountain reservation—an invited guest of a friend known and loved by this Apache tribe.

The former Chairman speaks, “Dagot’ee”.  Welcome.  He continues in his native language, a word in English here and there for my benefit, I imagine, as he addresses his people.

He invites me to speak.  I don’t speak Apache.  They don’t speak English.  Curious Apache faces gazing hard into my uncertainty.

Deep breath.

Inspiration comes…I pick up my flute and blow.

And the Ruach of God translates. And His people are inspired.

 Ruach, a Hebrew word for the Spirit of God, translated spirit, breath, or wind by the Hebrew sages.

Air put into motion by divine breath, the sage in me translates.  Poetic and creative.  Life-giving Spirit breath that speaks.

Aslan, the great lion king of Narnia and the son of the great Emperor-beyond-the-Sea in the storybook knows the Ruach.

What an extraordinary place!” cried Lucy.  “All those stone animals–and people too! It’s–it’s like a museum.”

“Hush”, said Susan, “Aslan’s doing something.”

Aslan breathes the breath of life upon the creatures turned to stone by the evil witch. And something wonderful happens.  “Everywhere the statues were coming to life”.

Breath that brings life into the extraordinary museums of our lives—those hidden places where nothing is really lost, only waiting to be rediscovered.

On the branches of the willow trees, we hung our harps and hid our hearts from the enemy”, pens the psalmist.   Yet, we can rest assured that the breath of life will  blow again upon life’s willows.  And when it does, we rediscover what has never really been lost, as we take up our harps and play, born again unto a living hope.

Now, hush…for the Ruach of God is doing something. His breath is ever-moving; breathing life in you and through you.  And by the divine breath of His Spirit, He moves.  He imparts.  He speaks.  He inspires.

“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”  Genesis 2:7 (KJV)

A Revelation of a Revolution

Photo by Myicahel Tamburini on Pexels.com

Human dignity—the foundation of human rights

Call me strange, but I really do believe that every living man, woman and child has an innate ability to hear God’s Voice. I also believe that nothing brings more dignity to humankind than knowing that the God of the Universe desires to share His good thoughts towards us–thoughts of a hope-filled future.

Prophecy (hearing God and speaking what He says) restores human dignity–the necessary cornerstone of a human-rights approach to social justice. 

Today, I am looking to the Heavens. If only God would once again send those who know His Voice, and who are not afraid to stand for Truth, into the harvest fields of justice upon the earth.

Yet, at the same time, the still small voice within reminds me that heaven’s view of justice may not necessarily be my own. 

Looking to the horizon, I sense the approach before it fully comes into view. A revelation of a revolution. I’m talking a “Martin Luther King, Jr., I have a dream!” kind of revelation. A revelation of a cleansing movement of Truth that brings about a revolution in the hearts of men that births something new upon the earth.

I don’t pretend to know what it will look like, but I do know this … God’s Voice living through His people will be in its foundation.

“Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you.” Psalm 89:14

God is building a foundation.  If you want to be at the top … well, that could be a problem.

Love & Peace,

Lois

The Finely-Woven Tapestry of Life

Have you ever experienced a “suddenly” in life–a moment of sudden breakthrough when there is absolutely no doubt a Higher Power (God) was at work in your life?

Well today, I’m leaning into the “subtleties” of God. Those moments in life when God acts in a subtle way–a way that can be so easily ignored.

Subtle…the Latin root originally meant “finely woven”. I like that.

It takes some imagination, some creativity, some forgiveness and patience to see the subtle beauty in the finely-woven tapestry of life. Some layers gray, dull and threadbare; some vibrant with colorful purpose–but all wondrous and a bit magical when looked at with the right view.

The right view … usually through the reflection in my rear-view mirror.

My life has been a tapestry of rich and royal hue
An everlasting vision of the ever-changing view
A wondrous woven magic in bits of blue and gold
A tapestry to feel and see, impossible to hold

Carole King, Tapestry

The tapestry of life reveals itself in rear-view mirrors. Sometimes it takes a long, long distance–maybe even an eternity, I suppose. But eventually, I have to believe, I will see “a tapestry of rich and royal hue“.

Meditating upon the finely-woven subtleties of life today–the depths of purpose and layers of meaning that saturate everything He does (Psalm 92:5 TPT).

Love & Peace,