An Invitation

Hi Friends!

I have something new for you today…an invitation.

Your kids are headed back to school. Most of your life is narrowing into a straighter line, a tighter tunnel. Not so much less busy as it is just more focused: classes, ball games, practices, lessons, homework. Monday through Friday – wash, rinse, repeat.

So, I’m wondering, are you headed into deeper study of Jesus? While your kids are learning the fundamentals of arithmetic, literature and history, are you studying the one and only thing that will fundamentally prepare you to face each next chaotic day, each next difficult relationship, each new phase of parenting or married life?

Several months ago, a very dear friend introduced me to Good Morning Girls, a groud-breaking group of women who have harnessed the Internet in order to internationally declare Jesus and to bring to women everywhere a feeling of community as they study God’s Word.

I am finishing up the training to become a leader/facilitator for the next Good Morning Girls Bible study that starts on September 2. We will be studying in the book of Luke, following the theme, “Loving Like Jesus.” I’m inviting you to join me in this study!

The simplest of explanations: The study is conducted on Facebook. We will have a secret group once all of our participants have joined. Each day you will individually “SOAP” (Scripture, Observe, Apply, Pray) a passage of Scripture. Then, beneath a heading on the Facebook page, everyone will leave their comments about that day’s lesson. There will supplemental, short reading from Good Morning Girls and the authors of the study. The FB group will become interactive as we read each others’ insights, talk on a personal level and share our lives. I’ve done four studies like this now and I love it!

Again, the study starts on September 2, and enrollment, which will allow you to have access to the materials (reading guide and printable book) is from August 19 -September 1. Please let me know here by a comment or email that you would like to participate in my group and I’ll keep you informed with the details.

In the meantime, I wrote this poem today, an overflow of my study in Good Morning Girls, “Women of Influence.”

Faith is an unlikely thing,
In the trembling hands of a prostitute, a crimson cord.
Faith, unlikely in an ancient man to wait another year,
nine months, youthful years.
Faith, unlikely in a puny army,
To route the enemy at the hand of a woman.
Faith, unlikely in the sands of Egypt, the hungry woods,
After nine plagues, after forty years.
Faith unlikely, is an untimely thing.
Forever tardy, slipping in on the last cool breeze,
The dying breath of hope.
Faith untimely after 400 years of Heaven’s stony silence.
Through generations of sunrise, sunset.
Waiting on. Baited breath.
Past a wish. After hope. Often after life.
Faith slips in on the last cool breeze,
Hope’s dying breath.
And grips with one last talon,
The shred of light remaining.
Faith clings till sunrise, one more time,
And sees just a little farther, over the horizon,
And waits…

Thoughts on Anything

Dear Lord,
If I open myself to Anything
You will open windows to every horizon.
I can tread every coast and sail any storm to get there.

Daughter,
If I say I can take you Anywhere,
I will carry you Everywhere.
As you abide in me, I am with you Everywhere.
In my arms you can rest through Anything,
even violent seas raging against your soul.
You will defy fear in Everything.
The most staggering example of
“Anything is possible,”
Is my gift of Everything.
The last full measure.
Myself.

~Abby

This poem was prompted as I read the book by Jenni Allen titled Anything

Consuming Eternity

787290_a_little_landscape_with_little_river

I hustle and rest,
I try my best
To place you in the center.
Then find my heart in barren winter.
How with such pure effort,
Can I not comport
My self in righteousness,
Shaded by your holiness?

How do I find myself excavated
All my energies relegated
To survival, to clinging to shreds
Of dignity, goodness and holy fruit?

Like a thirsty tree thrusting branches higher,
When clean deep trenches gush with water.
I clamor for refreshment in obvious places,
Ignorant of your ready, near, abundant graces.

You are not far!
Though you hung the stars.
You never cleave,
Call me to cleave.
If I could but wrest away
My hands from briefer things.
Then part with time,
Spread these dormant wings,
And live this day, in its place
On the timeline of eternity.

On a Monday

imagesDamp clouds hug the earth.

Early rains,

Press their cheek to mud and clay.

And lift to leave the stain of

Sun kisses,

Daffodils

Hail Spring!

Cherry Blossoms

Hail Spring!

Stubborn, purple headed weeds,

Hail Spring!

Banish the winter!

Postpone the heat!

Driven by springs insatiable beat,

I begin to itch from inside-out.

Infected.

This fever a contagious malady

Soothed only by spring’s

Cool, soft, damp melody.

Morning clouds hug me close,

Press your dewy brow to mine.

Sun, plant your lips delicate, fine,

To my cheeks.

Redemption Birthdays

Monday was my birthday.

I was raised right –  you always write snail mail thank you letters. My morning quiet time didn’t start out to be such, but as I sat cross-legged in my monstrous, blue prayer chair, it just kind of bubbled out of my heart.

I promised this year that I would be naked with you. That includes unveiling private prayers and praise. That includes confession met with kindness which leads to repentance. And it includes the birthdays of redemption stories. So, here is my journal entry on Monday.

Jesus,images

Seventeen years ago, I woke in an angular, gray-blue bedroom, in a treatment center because I was starving myself. I wished away the emotional power of the day and the exacerbated loneliness, the sense of abandonment by my parents and sister asleep in a nearby hotel room. Monday.

Since then, there was my 30th year, crying alone over a rumble of boiling noodles while my husband spent his energy on a computer game.

And so many other March 11th’s. Year 23, at Fort Bragg, at work. Loneliness always tempered by your presence.

How is it that you have never failed me? Never even left me to myself and my upturned, shaky hands crying, “I’m done, completely, all done.”

I do truly love you more every single day. Maybe really, it’s a sharper knowing of how much I need you, that I couldn’t live or breathe without you. The priceless beauty and value you have put into my life, Savior.

My heart would drain out on this page. How you contain and spill your love for me through vessels of a tender husband, his daily deeper understanding the needs of my heart. You warm the morning air and tinge the skies, ochre, amber, slate to clear. As if you hold my shoulders and spin me round to drink that pressed of patience; feast on the produce of your passion.

I am overwhelmed by your love, Savior.
Overcome by your awareness of me.
In you, I have seen my own created beauty, the blossom
and flourish of your skilled heart, touch, breath,
That I live!
That lungs still spread in my chest,
And suck in gifts and glories,
I would have turned away.
It is your mercy.
It is your…nay,
It is you.
Only you.
All of you,
That I live in and for.

Obvious

For an obvious reason
My heart is weighty with your praise.
Obvious as the icy rain that
hangs frozen in mid-air.
Obvious as the durable, quiet man upstairs
(between my sheets.)
Obvious as the smallish mongrel who insists
to share my seat.
Obvious as that blest morning aroma,
Perfume of homes worldwide.
My own tamed with milk,
thin brim of foam.
Obvious as its porcelain cup,
“I love you,” on its side.
Obvious as the three faint lamps
Lending softness as they provide
My eyes with visions of your word
And highlight pen to page.
So here I scrawl my meager words,
Slight as they may be.
To altar the obvious praises
Of my perfect, worthy King.

My heart overflows with a pleasing theme; I address my verses to the king; my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe. Ps. 145:1b

February in poetry

Snowflakes, fingerprints of heaven fall
A cross between drips of creamy milk and pin-sized shards of tinsel
Soft, liquid, hard and brittle
Till touching dirt, the life of manORGANIZERBLANK2012daveramseyfan
Where it melts and dies
Or, the lucky ones to fall on stream
And add their tiny life
To the rush over rocks, gentle bumps against bank
Now brown as blue, water and clay
Till lapped for refreshment
Then carried by wind, or carried by stream
Or born on critter’s paw

Launching into February, full steam ahead. I’m actually kind of sad to have finished a full month of One Word 2013, Naked. There’s so much more to say, so I will intersperse it with themes of coming months. For most of February, I will take a close look at C.S. Lewis’, The Screwtape Letters. 

A virtual monologue, it is a one-sided conversation between the head demon and his budding protege nephew. Lewis skillfully slices open the gray matter of deceit that divides absolute truth and lies. It is a microcosm of everything I wish to share here on Predatory Lies. Uncovering the lies that destroy our lives, so that we can live in the unfiltered light of truth.

Join me!

Endless Beginning

Servant, Child

Lamb of mine.

Once I stepped into your time.

Never before had I curbed my power

Paid homage to a ruthless hour.

 

Beneath the burden of your yesterdays

And the looming knowledge of my own tomorrow,

I wept, I laughed and I shared your sorrow.

You cringe with ending, each night a mystery.

Does life await with next sun’s warmth?

 

I once inhaled the fog of death.

But of my own, breathed out life-breath.

In my plan of beginnings, life’s fruit a bounty

I first exhaled life’s breath.

I watched the lungs I gave to you

Expand.

 

Take it in! I smiled

All true and new.

Take it in and begin

With nothing to prove.

Missing Beauty

Like a child at Christmas

New to a world of unbridled joy

Toys and gifts unshelved and labeled just for me

Scantily wrapped in bows to entice

And to celebrate the more beautiful giver

With an eye to Glory and Grace.

 

But I ran through the piles,

Stepped on a few.

Past love and peace and a new set of eyes.

Past my new heart and a clean mind.

I reached for the lowest branch,

And plucked an eye catching bauble.

As I turned the plastic charm around in my palm

Narcissus, I boasted in my glossy reflection.

Oh the prize of this cheap decor.

 

But a hook skewered my finger

Biting my pink, immature flesh

It held and my blood dripped upon

The beautiful gifts meant for me.