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!

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Naked in 2013

Welcome to 2013!

I have been bumbling this morning, trying to encapsulate everything I want to share with you. A chronic problem of mine, (I’ve had it since college) is that I don’t know how to procrastinate or to manage time. My only mode is NOW! If I have an agenda of things to share, I am hard pressed to place them on a timeline of 365 days.

I want to talk to you about nakedness. Nakedness in all its forms: Spiritually, “Who told you that you were naked?” That time-warping moment in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve were first embarrassed at their unclothed image – that same image that they inherited from their Creator.
Nakedness now: How and why we still cringe and cover ourselves and our sins with anything we can find to avoid the shame of exposing our essences, the good and evil.
The nakedness that is uncensored in the month of January. With New Year’s resolutions on everyone’s minds, we are suddenly exposed to the “perfect” nakedness that we are encouraged to aspire to. Even as I sat down to write to you, I passed seven magazines with prominent displays of nearly naked beauties. All of them declare in bold, 46 pt. font, “Your Best Body Now!” Ironically, stacked on top of several of these magazines was an issue of Life magazine simply titled, “Jesus,” the Creator of our nakedness. And another lay nearby, “The Self-Esteem Companion.”

This topic will inevitably lead to discussion about the lies we believe concerning our bodies. You know my personal story, a vicious battle with anorexia for 18 years. I almost consider myself an expert on body image lies. With the helpful resource Finding Balance, I will continue to help you find the truth about your intrinsic, and yes, Naked worth.

Our primary focus at Predatory Lies is to expose the lies that destroy women’s lives and  replace those lives with life-giving truth. Recently, I was lucky to see a play rendition of The Screwtape Letters. This is C.S. Lewis’ imaginative dialogue between a head demon and his protege. The entire conversation is a pack of lies, through which the truth becomes glaringly, even sarcastically obvious. This is the perfect tool to exploit here at Predatory Lies! So I expect to do a slow, personal and applicable review of this book in the coming months.

It’s a start. I will continue to share with you the things I am learning about and sharing with Haven Journal, She Loves Magazine, Finding Balance and Start Marriage Right. 

May I pray for you?

Jesus. It’s strange to pray for people I feel as if I know personally and yet whose faces I have never seen. It’s strange for a feeble mind to understand that each person I hear, see or touch is a SOUL. There is nothing impersonal about them to you. I ask you Jesus to give me a clearer understanding of the value, eternal quality, Christ-image of each person – those I know and love and those I don’t. Father, I seek your slowness, your peace, your patience, your passion, you compassion, your HEART.

Jesus, more than anything, I want each of those who read this blog to hear YOU. I want your voice, the voice of truth to be louder, more gently compelling than anything I have to say.

Jesus, you are beautiful. May these key strokes inscribe your matchless worth on the pages of lives connected only by digital conversation. May no one who reads this blog escape the truth that they are reconciled to God by Jesus. Their only small step into immediate eternal life to believe in Jesus, your Son.

In Jesus Name, your daughter

October! Fall is the new spring

I finished my quiet time this morning, pleased with the four full pages of prayer in my journal. You see, I’m trying to sort this simplicity thing out. I’m trying to find MY calling, MY truth, MY way – you know the “special purpose that God has for each of us.” The reason we be.

I worry that I’m not using MY talent, the gifts God gave ME. What if I’m not writing in the right venues, what if I need to put down my pen and DO something. I grabbed Brave’s leash and headed out the door the welcoming promise of October.

Here is October, barreling down on me, and I’m no more sorted, planned, completed, figured out or purposeful than I was before. Or before that, or before that. So, I kept my prayer going.

God, what am I going to write about this month? What can I share with others in October to help them be wary of the Predatory Lies so pervasive in the world?

And finally, God interrupted me.

Love, will you ever quit talking? Even our special times are filled with your words, your pages. Isn’t this supposed to be a conversation?

You do well to point out the lies that you believed and to warn others to be clothed in my armor and to be on their guard and to stand firm against the lies of the devil. But, what then? If you are standing against something, shouldn’t you also stand for something? If there is a lie, there is also a truth. If you know truth, you won’t fall for the lie.

I am the way the truth and the life. You must know me.

Understand this, I already know you. Yes, I love to hear your prayers, but you cannot tell me anything I do not know. I know your needs before you feel them, I know the pulses of your heart, I know when you sit and rise and, Dear One, I know your very soul. It is my breath.

But you don’t know me. If you spend the rest of your life sitting in my lap, querying me about myself – my goodness, my glory, my love, my wisdom, you will never know me fully. Shouldn’t you set your heart to the task of knowing me, even as I know you? (1 Cor. 13:12) It will take your life time.

So, hush. My friend, David, a man after my own heart, learned this. It became his life’s pursuit and the intention of his eternity.

“The one thing I ask of the LORD—the thing I seek most—is to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, delighting in the LORD’s perfections and meditating in his Temple.” Ps. 27:4

So, I will hush. My new intention, life plan, purpose and pursuit is to listen and see before I speak or write. To attend to my Savior and to see Him in His glorious October. This month, I will share with you where I find truth. Together we can revel in His presence.

P.S. I will be posting once a week in October.

Welcome September!

Believe it or not, here we are again – on the precipice of a new month. Actually, we just slipped over the edge a few days ago and find ourselves screaming through the final days of summer.

Fall isn’t so much a season in its own right as a transition with a name. I love that murky line between steamy days and crispy nights. I love the lingering green and encroaching brown. I love the refreshing promise fall holds. I love darker evenings, shorter days and first frosts. But change can leave you wondering what you missed in the moments that will never replay.

Did you play hard enough, rest long enough, spend plenty of time in the sun?

Courtesy of: http://boisdejasmin.com/2009/10

Did you finish house projects, take a father-daughter camping trip, lose the weight?
Did you do that Bible study, read your stack of books, visit your long-distance relatives?

If you didn’t “do it all” this summer, don’t despair. I sure didn’t scratch the surface of the privileges of pain, the potential of words, or the pleasure of poetry. So I’m going to keep going straight through September! Peering inquisitively into my pain, harnessing the power of my words and sometimes reigning in my tongue have been great lessons for me. They are broad brushes that color nearly every aspect of human life, leaving me with boundless questions and  an entire cannon of Scripture to ply for answers.

In honor of fall’s stealthy approach, I will change a few tiny things this month – like the first leaves to turn before cascading to the ground. On Mondays we will continue to look at the Privilege of Pain. I have a whole new perspective to consider – a medical application.

We will still celebrate Wordy Wednesdays. Ponder with me tough words like addiction. Wonder what’s in a name. Try to share Jesus without words. 

Friday will offer a little variety. I’ve been devouring a wonderful book called “In the Land of Blue Burqas,” by Kate McCord. In fact, it has fueled much of my thoughts on pain and how we use our language. I am honored to review various books for Moody Publishers, so on one particular Friday, I will entice  you to read this book.

Not that my opinion is to be over valued, but I want to share with you my thoughts on a couple other ministries and resources of truth as well. Truth is the only vaccine against or treatment for the Predatory Lies of this fallen world. And doubtless, my journal will be peppered with poetry prayers in September. I hope you don’t mind if I share them.

So there you have it! Happy September!

August

It’s time to plot another month of lies. Oh that sounds bad!

Honestly, in real-life, I’m a wanna-be organized individual. The queen of sticky notes, legal pad lists, spiral notebooks, white boards and owner of multiple calendars – and I’m still confused. Thanks for keeping me accountable here.

I like the variety of posts that pepper the week when the topic changes each day. To that end, I’m going to do another month of one topic each for Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Also, I’m stepping up my goals again of writing more purposefully. I love writing here. I love sharing the truth of Jesus Christ. I love proclaiming the truth that counters body image issues and eating disorders. I love writing my way through the ponderings of my spirit as I wrestle with a new question. And I love the feedback, wisdom and advice you all share with me.

Blog writing, however, is really sheltered writing. No gremlin is going to pop up on my screen and write “rejected” across the page in blood red ink. Blog writing involves very little leg work. I don’t have to meet a deadline, apply a topic, or follow writer’s guidelines. As I amp up my publication efforts, may I share some of my articles, contest entries and short stories here with you for feedback?

OK, on to the schedule:

Mondays we’re going to continue to counter the lies about pain. Is privilege afforded to those who avoid pain most of their lives? Or does the privilege belong to the ones who suffer, learn, stretch, grow and share from their pain?

Wednesdays we will look at the very pith of a lie: words. We use words to weave our lies and words to unravel deception with truth. Jesus was called the Word in the first chapter of John. How valuable are our words – are they dispensable and insignificant? Do we want them to be that way?

From a wise mind comes wise speech;
the words of the wise are persuasive.
Kind words are like honey—
sweet to the soul and healthy for the body. Proverbs 16:23-24

Fridays I will share poetry with you. No promises on the content, but poetry is the native language of my journal and prayers. So these poems will share the truths that I am learning through prayer and quiet time with my Father.

Thank you so much for following and reading Predatory Lies. I treasure your friendship.

July

I bet you didn’t know that July is National Blueberry Month. I didn’t either. However, I think it’s an excellent reason to share some blueberry recipes with you this month. It’s really a stretch to relate blueberries to the lies that hungrily prey on our lives, or the life-giving truth of Jesus Christ, but, I can do it!

For years, at this point, nearly half of my life, food was my enemy. If you’ve read this blog with an regularity, you’ve heard bits and pieces of my story. This blog began there, with a heart to share the truth about God’s good gifts of food, freedom, healthy bodies and a mind singularly devoted to Christ. So now it is my pleasure to share with you the joy I am finding in deliciousness. So, this is a celebration of my truth!

True? I mentioned Privileged Pain once last week. Do you believe in such a thing? Individuals who have everything they could possibly want, every privilege, are often mired deeply in pain. They look “fine.” I’ve certainly been there. I’ve lived a picture-perfect life, but pain hasn’t spared me. Is there a privilege to suffering pain? Biblically there is. We’ll take a look at this on Wednesdays in July.

And Friday. I’ve been a little slow in getting through a book that I am reviewing for Moody Publishers. I began reading Christ’s Prophetic Plans  because I wanted to read the dissenting opinion. Oddly enough, it was my opinion for most of my life and it is still the opinion of the majority of the body of Christ. We are talking about dispensationalism. I won’t provide a definition here, because that’s what the book is about, providing a definition and defense of the tenets of this eschatological belief system. I’m dying to hear your opinions.

So, I’ll see you in the sunny, summer month of July! Looking forward to it!

Catching up on Gratitude

Sorry I missed yesterday, friends. It’s been a week. I was so proud of myself as I returned from my trip to visit my sister. Last week, I didn’t feel overwhelmed at all. I felt like I landed on smooth concrete, wearing roller skates with new ball bearings. Then, this week hit. With Easter choir starting, studying to be a personal trainer, picking up shifts at work, seeing my mentees, meetings for ministries, practicing for choir auditions, addressing wedding invitations, caring for a friend’s dog, hails and farewells, and more things…. good things…but oops – blogging! I hope this is as important to someone else out there as I believe God has laid it on my heart to be.  I don’t feel free to let it go, even though in some ways it seems like the one thing I could set aside and no one would know.  I guess that’s the down-side of virtual friendships.

In truth, I learn as much from my own flying finger tips as I ever know in my own head before I begin writing. And I gain strength and courage from you comments, your blogs, your identification, your friendship. I love you, all and I thank God for you.

Other things I am thankful for…

Corporate worship

Short, extra shifts at work with fun friends

Doggy daycare

Windows rolled down

Globe-shaped grapes and summer-heart strawberries

Paper cuts from letters in my mailbox

Tomorrow I will post the schedule for March!

 

A little change, a little late

Hi Friends,

I realize it’s already the 8th (gasp!!) of December, nearly a third of the month has escaped my notice. Quite literally 11/12 of the year have skimmed past my eyes, and leaked through my fingers like so much sand through an hourglass. It has left an indelible mark on my memory, my perspective, my future, my dreams, my relationships, my hopes. You know just about everything I know about my life and about the goodness of God to me. I hope you are experiencing Him in as much of a tangible way as I am – in the middle of the pain.

For the closing of this year, I want to turn the tide of our conversations just slightly. Let’s end on a positive note, with a sneaky little twist on the Predatory Lies.

For December:

On Mondays we will talk about gifts. Decemeber is the quintessential month of giving.

Packages pile beneath evergreen trees.

Gifts of song on doorsteps please,

The neighbors who offer us cider.

Secrets for one month are good.

Below the mistletoe I stood.

Dying to tell you, longing to kiss you,

My little secret,

“I love you!”

~God’s gifts to us, unusual Christmas gifts, the best gifts, the worst gifts, promised gifts and disappointing gifts, our gifts to God.

Wednesdays we will talk about the lies surrounding Christmas. I’ve already thought of a few, but I’ll bet you can tell me more of your own. Was the idea of Christmas a lie in  your home? What did you believe about Christmas that turned out not to be true? What is true about this globally recognized holiday? Is there one true Christmas – or are Hanukah and Kwanza and fables of Santa just as valid as the truth of the Christ who came to live and to die and to rise again for the salvation of the world?

And Fridays are going to remain our play-date. I reserve the right to deliver delicious recipes and tips for navigating Holiday dinner parties, cookie exchanges and testy relationships. I’ll give you a couple of excellent links for great gifts and serene quiet times of prayer and the revival of the bank account. I might have a few poems up my holly-laced sleeves.

January will appear, unbidden. Much as I could use some extra time to resolve the crises of this year and a few longer moments to just be here; on January first, Lord willing, I will be prepared to be there. I’ve discovered some great new books by Moody Publishers that I will review and give away copies of. That’s the start of my New Year’s plan… more to come.

Merry Christmas, Friend!

The Big Plan

Everyone benefits from being organized, right?  I’m a neat-freak, but I never feel very confident about my organization skills.  To be honest, that’s one of my OCD traits – how to perfectly arrange, store, categorize and schedule everything.  I’m starting small, and for my readers’ benefit, I’m going to lay out a general schedule for this blog.  Now you know what you’re getting and when.

On Monday – Mixed Media Messages (lies we internalize from magazines,
commercials, images, internet, etc)

Tuesday – Tell the Truth Tuesday (As a Christian, I want to use this day to highlight a Biblical truth that will encourage you. Often I will be sharing what I am learning in my personal Bible study.

Wednesday – We Lie Too (I will ask you what lies you find slipping out.  How did these lies impact your relationships, emotions, etc.)

Thursday – Marriage Matters (Lies corrupt marriages.  Let’s talk about  miscommunication between spouse i.e. financial lies, fidelity, etc.)

Friday – Inherited Familial Lies (Lies that we learned from our parents or are in danger of passing onto our children such as gender roles, body image  issues, perfectionism, etc.)

I look forward to your comments and participation.  Stay tuned for book giveaways and other random surprises!  We can’t be serious all the time!