Friday, August 7, 2009

The Wish Wand

This week I have had the privilege of hearing part of a series by Jill Briscoe. Yesterday, used the following poem in an illustration as she spoke about the book of Jeremiah. She writes beautifully.

The Wish Wand

I had a little wish wand and waved it to and fro
Whenever thoughts turned heavenward
or the other place you go.
I thought it safe to trust it with my whole eternal soul
so I wished the life I’d lived on earth
would get me to my goal.

I wished that all would get to heaven
whatever they believed
that Buddha sat at God’s right hand
that New Age be received.
I wished that Paul would change his mind
that Jesus wasn’t right
because He spoke of lostness and a
dark eternal night;
about the way to heaven
one truth, one narrow gate, and
I was so broadminded that I wished away my fate!

So I waved my little wish wand
in the radiant face of Him
who met me at the gate of heaven and wouldn’t let me in.
I wrote to heaven’s congressman,
but he courteously replied that I should have
left my wish wand at the feet of Him who died!
For wishes could not wish away a lifetime of rejection,
and wishes could not dress my soul
in heaven’s own perfection.
And wishes could not save me now
for hell was so obscene,
that wishes there die ghastly deaths,
strangled with a scream.

So I took my little wish wand
into hell the day I died,
and I waved it at the serpent as he
slithered to my side.
It was dark but I could see him
and all I knew was fear,
and no matter how I waved my wand
he wouldn’t disappear!
Oh I wish that I had wished aright
I wished I lived again

I wished I had a body that
was whole, not racked with pain.
I wished I could remember
something other than the dirt.
I wished I could forget my sin.
So every memory hurt.
Oh, I wished and wished and wished
that I could have another chance
to cast upon the Crucified
a trusting, saving glance.

But the devil took my wish wand
and he laughed right in my face
and I went to live eternally in
darkness and disgrace,
I never wished a wish again
I had no heart to try
for hell is where hope ended, and where all my wishes died!

By Jill Brisco, in her book Heaven and Hell

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Mulch Pile.

So... it's not that I haven't been showering (I still shower daily). I have just been distracted. The following thoughts come from an afternoon of mulch-pile-moving...

..."I can't take it anymore. The mulch pile has got to go." (I moved recently... yes, again... and there was a giant mulch pile that was dumped outside my front window.)...

..."Wow, I really miss working outside. I love this..."

..."I am getting really freaking tired..."

...[to the mulch pile] "I will demolish you. Oh boy, I spend too much time with Bradshaws..."

..."I really need to fix that light switch in my closet..."

..."I never want to look at mulch again..."

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Matthew 7:1-12

1"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

3"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.

6"Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.

7"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

9"Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

Three points:

1. Respect others by not judging them.

How do we go through life not being judgmental of others? Take a look at your own life. Are you flawless?

2. Respect others by not forcing good things on them (v.6).

3. Respect others by doing to them what you would have them do to you.

A great sermon by Sara Bentley.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Humble Hearts

Humility: "The state or quality of being humble; freedom from pride and arrogance; lowliness of mind; a modest estimate of one's own worth; a sense of one's own unworthiness through imperfection and sinfulness; self-abasement; humbleness."

This is a difficult state of being. Even at our best, we often regard "successes" as being attributed to our hard work and "failures" as the outcome of bad luck or the result of the shortcomings of others. I often get an idea in my head and I'm right, darn it. No one is going to tell me otherwise- when people are finally able to reach the ultimate conclusion, they'll see just how right I am. HA.

This morning I was reminded of my daily struggle to acknowledge my utter incompetence in so many areas; not that I should dismiss them in favor of those areas in which I am more well-versed, but that I should humble my heart and my mind and seek to learn from those who know.

Monday, August 25, 2008


I suppose the "theme" of my summer has been love. I'm not talking about mushy-touchy-feely guy/girl relationship love (not that it is a bad thing). I'm talking about honest, I-care-about-you-because-God-does love.

As situations present themselves and it becomes necessary to make a tough call (relationally speaking), I'm challenged with a question- "how can I respond in love?" It can be overwhelming enough to listen and process the situation itself without even thinking about a response, let alone a loving response.

My church (Faith Community Church, Santa Cruz) has been working through the book of Hosea this summer- God coming into the "red-light district" of planet earth to love us. The prophet Hosea truly is remarkable. The book begins in an unexpected way: "2 When the LORD began to speak through Hosea, the LORD said to him, "Go, take to yourself an adulterous wife and children of unfaithfulness, because the land is guilty of the vilest adultery in departing from the LORD." 3 So he married Gomer daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son."

Who does that?

The overarching message of this book is a metaphor about God's relentless love for a people who have proved themselves unfaithful time and time again. Derek Webb, a phenomenal songwriter, spoke at a conference here at Mount Hermon this last week. Although he pulled the idea from the book of Ezekiel, his song "Wedding Dress" captures the idea of Hosea in a very creative way.

If you could love me as a wife
And for my wedding gift, your life
Should that be all I’d ever need?
Or is there more I’m looking for

And should I read between the lines
And look for blessings in disguise
To make me handsome, rich, and wise
Is that really what you want?

‘Cause I am a whore I do confess
But I put you on just like a wedding dress
And I run down the aisle, I run down the aisle
I’m a prodigal with no way home
But I put you on just like a ring of gold
And I run down the aisle
I run down the aisle to you

So could you love this bastard child?
Though I don’t trust you to provide
With one hand in a pot of gold
And with the other in your side
‘Cause I am so easily satisfied
By the call of lovers so less wild
That I would take a little cash
Over your very flesh and blood

[Chorus x2]

Because money cannot buy
A husband’s jealous eye
When you have knowingly deceived his wife

An interesting point to ponder...


This summer has probably been one of the most challenging, stretching summers of my "adult" life. As I continue to seek out just what it is that God has for me to do on Earth, I am often surprised by the things I learn about/from Him. What began as desperate cries (literally, tears) during my morning showers has developed into an active prayer life. I hope to share some of this journey with you.