life: acoustic & amplified

poetry, quotes & thoughts about life

Archive for the month “May, 2014”

how is it then that we’ve come to imagine that Christianity consists primarily in what we do for God?

The gospel is absurd and the life of Jesus meaningless unless we believe that He lived, died and rose again with but one purpose in mind: to make brand new creations. Not to make people with better morals, but to create a community of prophets and professional lovers, men and women who would surrender to the mystery of the fire of the Spirit that burns within, who would live in ever greater fidelity to the omnipresent Word of God, who would enter into the center of it all, the very heart and mystery of Christ, into the center of the flame that consumes, purifies, and sets everything aglow with peace, joy, boldness, and extravagant, furious love. This, my friends, is what it really means to be a Christian. Our religion never begins with what we do for God. It always starts with what God has done for us, the great and wondrous things that God dreamed of and achieved for us in Christ Jesus.
– Brennan Manning
the furious longing of God


my every day challenge!

Suppose God tells you to do something that is an enormous test of your common sense, totally going against it. What will you do? Will you hold back? If you get into the habit of doing something physically, you will do it every time you are tested until you break the habit through sheer determination. And the same is true spiritually. Again and again you will come right up to what Jesus wants, but every time you will turn back at the true point of testing, until you are determined to abandon yourself to God in total surrender. Yet we tend to say, “Yes, but— suppose I do obey God in this matter, what about . . . ?” Or we say, “Yes, I will obey God if what He asks of me doesn’t go against my common sense, but don’t ask me to take a step in the dark.”

Jesus Christ demands the same unrestrained, adventurous spirit in those who have placed their trust in Him that the natural man exhibits. If a person is ever going to do anything worthwhile, there will be times when he must risk everything by his leap in the dark. In the spiritual realm, Jesus Christ demands that you risk everything you hold on to or believe through common sense, and leap by faith into what He says. Once you obey, you will immediately find that what He says is as solidly consistent as common sense.

By the test of common sense, Jesus Christ’s statements may seem mad, but when you test them by the trial of faith, your findings will fill your spirit with the awesome fact that they are the very words of God. Trust completely in God, and when He brings you to a new opportunity of adventure, offering it to you, see that you take it. We act like pagans in a crisis— only one out of an entire crowd is daring enough to invest his faith in the character of God.

– Oswald Chambers
My Utmost for His Highest

Cast all your anxiety on God, who cares for you.
—1 Peter 5.7

Your anxiety is not you:
it is a separate burden,
shaped to your shoulders, yes,
but not your soul, your flesh.
Stop, be still, and rest beneath it;
go down to where you are.

Breathe deeply of the Presence
who dawns within you,
who loves you dearly,
who is your bone and muscle,
who grows about you like skin
and bears the burden for you,
though it lifts only the tiniest bit
from your shoulders,
and holds the weight
so you can breathe.

God will hold it
until you walk free.
Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

I am loved by God as I am, not as I should be. – Brennan Manning

A good humored Christian who accepts others as they are, not as they should be, is an evangelist.
– Brennan Manning

Lord, help me in what You have called me to do…


becoming free like children

Lord, thank you
for setting me free.
Free to blow bubbles,
fly kites,
listen to seashells,
cuddle kittens,
build castles in the sand,
wish on stars.

Thank you
for setting me free.
Free to hunt for four-leaf clovers,
explore oak trees with inviting branches,
run laughing in the rain,
walk barefoot,
jump puddles,
wave at trains.

Thank you
for setting me free.
Free to yellow my nose in buttercups,
catch a firefly to see his light,
pick the first wild strawberry,
count the stars,
talk to ladybugs,
chase a thistle.

Thank you
for setting me free.
Free to see you in
sunlight dancing on the water,
dogwood smiling at the sky,
willows curtseying to the river,
azaleas flaming across the land,
rainbowed cobwebs,
drifting leaves.

Thank you
for setting me free.
Free to play with,
wonder at
and love
all that you have given me.
And free, as well,
to give it back
to you.

Lord, do archangels
need you
as much as I do?

Father, thank you
for setting me free.
Free to be

Thank you for setting me free.
Free to be

Thank you
for setting me free.
Free to be

Thank you
for setting me free.
Free to
break through,
let go,
enter the flame.

Father, thank you
for setting me free
by binding me
more closely
to yourself.

– Sue Garmen
in Souvenirs of Solitude by Brennan Manning


sometimes memories sound like a melody










Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened. –Reverend Billy Graham




the cost of freedom is never cheap. so very grateful for courageous women and men who are willing to serve our country – even as we grieve and pray.

To be free is nothing, to become free is everything. – Unknown

pray for peace

A Sight in Camp in the Daybreak Gray and Dim
by Walt Whitman

A sight in camp in the daybreak gray and dim,
As from my tent I emerge so early sleepless,
As slow I walk in the cool fresh air the path near by the hospital tent,
Three forms I see on stretchers lying, brought out there untended lying,
Over each the blanket spread, ample brownish woolen blanket,
Gray and heavy blanket, folding, covering all.

Curious I halt and silent stand,
Then with light fingers I from the face of the nearest the first
just lift the blanket;
Who are you elderly man so gaunt and grim, with well-gray’d hair,
and flesh all sunken about the eyes?
Who are you my dear comrade?
Then to the second I step—and who are you my child and darling?
Who are you sweet boy with cheeks yet blooming?
Then to the third—a face nor child nor old, very calm, as of
beautiful yellow-white ivory;
Young man I think I know you—I think this face is the face
of the Christ himself,
Dead and divine and brother of all, and here again he lies.

by Mary Oliver

That time
I thought I could not
go any closer
without dying

I went closer,
and I did not die.
Surely God
had His hand in this,

as well as friends,
Still, I was bent,
and my laughter,
as the poets said,

was nowhere to be found.
Then said my friend Daniel
(brave even among lions),
“It’s not the weight you carry

but how you carry it—
books, bricks, grief—
it’s all in the way
you embrace it, balance it, carry it

when you cannot, and would not,
put it down.”
So I went practicing.
Have you noticed?

Have you heard
the laughter
that comes, now and again,
out of my startled mouth?

How I linger
to admire, admire, admire
the things of this world
that are kind, and maybe

also troubled—
roses in the wind,
the sea geese on the steep waves,
a love
to which there is no reply?

A Prayer for the War Dead

For those killed in battle, Lord, mercy.
For those wounded, maimed or haunted,
minds and hearts broken by mayhem
and the doing of mayhem— mercy.

For those whose spirits died to pull the trigger,
whose souls withered to do what they had to,
their hearts and faces held in the horror— mercy.

For those, now broken, for whom there are flags
but not food, shelter, health or sanity—mercy.

For those of other nations, who also served,
who also were taught to make enemies
of those who had been taught to make them enemies,
who suffered our terror—mercy.

For those who suffer without choosing:
the innocent, the families, the land, the cities— mercy.

For those who suffer for peace nonviolently,
who sacrifice and die protesting, healing, teaching,
for all of gentle hearts—mercy.

For us who call others to kill for us,
who continually offer our little ones in child sacrifice,
who find no better way, and who glorify
the killing and the dying rather than repent—mercy.

Lord of Gentleness, we confess our violence;
we confess our fear and self-centeredness;
we repent of our cold-heartedness and beg you:
forgive us, heal us, and bless those whom we have harmed;
in the name of Christ, who died loving,
who received and did not pass on our evil. Amen.
Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

“If you can¹t you must, and if you must you can.” – Tony Robbins


You Do Not Need Another Self-Help Book

Just get up from your desk
and open the window,
keep silent until you hear three
sounds you’ve never heard before,
run your tongue around your mouth,
smell the air.
I tell you what, put down this book (phone, computer)
and do this one thing now:
let your hands drift out and touch,
then drift again;
run your fingers
over rough wood, then let them fall
against your own soft skin. I met a woman once
who told me to touch her jumper,
Expensive, she said. It bobbled
under my hand so she told me
I wasn’t feeling it right,
and for too long I believed her
because she said quality spoke.
I didn’t see how beautiful
the world is
with its only wish
that I belong,
and how my touch,
my smell, hearing, sight,
so different from hers
is the only one that matters.

You Do Not Need Another Self-Help Book by Sarah Salway, from You Do Not Need Another Self-Help Book. © Pindrop Press, 2012.


you’re so good you get a bonus! xoxo

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.

God gives to all mortals life and breath and all things…
so that they would search for God
and perhaps grope for God
and find God—
though indeed God is not far from each one of us.
—Acts 17.25, 27

Disregard the patron Saint of Confidence.
Never mind the ones who nod knowingly,
as if looking at the blotty picture saying,
“Seriously, don’t you see the cow?”
Their smugness is their idol. Ignore it.

You were not created to know, not destined
for certainty. You are created to search,
groping in the light, reaching out
through the thicket of your moments,
wondering, wanting more, hungering.

God doesn’t want people who are finished,
trophies hanging on the wall. God wants—
wants, like we want, groping, perhaps finding—
hunters who are still seeking, explorers,
children of wonder and blessed unknowing.

In reaching out you expand your world.
In groping you open yourself. In not knowing
you allow God to exceed all bounds.
In searching you stay alive. Let your worship
be the praise of unfinished embraces,

of pauses in conversations. Let unknowing
be your sanctuary. And oh, as you flail,
like an infant not knowing the finger you grasp,
how God, so close, loves the touch of your probing,
and holds your wandering hand.
Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light




manifesting dreams

Come, go with me,
or else –
Excuse me while I kiss the sky.
Pardon me while I hug the moon.
Forgive me while I dance with the ocean.
Give me a minute while I ring up a few stars.
Hold your horses while I sing to the angels.
Patience, my old friend, while I make love to the world.
Get some rest while I fly the skies with the eagles.
Count some sheep while I paint a masterpiece with Mother Nature.
Come lay with me and hold me.
caress my skin with lovers hands.
whisper secrets my soul longs to hear.
sing to me softly.
kiss me like butterflies.
while I love you forever
and ever.
and we fall asleep together
every night.
Sweet dreams, my love.
good night.

AL 1/17/14










#313 spontaneous

Success is not a result of spontaneous combustion.
You must set yourself on fire.

Find what you love and let it kill you,
Fine advice from Bukowski.
Set your soul,
Your very life, on fire.
Then let it loose
all over your world
Feed it well
Let it breathe
Until your song
Rises from the ashes
Of what used to be your broken life
but now warms the worn
and speaks grace to the pilgrims
Resting along the way

AL 11/13/13

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