life: acoustic & amplified

poetry, quotes & thoughts about life

Archive for the month “July, 2014”

only grace


Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

T’was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
‘Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’ve first begun.
– John Newton


And I have no idea why all of us keep holding each other to a standard of perfection instead of letting us all be held by the arms of grace.

We are not here to be perfect. We are here to be real – to let Christ be real in us.
– Ann Voskamp

Every happening, great and small, is a parable whereby God speaks to us, and the art of life is to get the message. – Malcolm Muggeridge


Nature will bear the closest inspection. She
Invites us to lay our eyes level with her
Smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its


The raspberries
in my driveway
have always
been here
(for the whole eleven years
I have owned
but have not owned
this house),
I have never
tasted them

Always on a plane.
Always in the arms
of man, not God,
always too busy,
too fretful,
too worried
to see
that all along
are red, red raspberries
for me to taste.

Shiny and red,
without hairs—
unlike the berries
from the market.
Little jewels—
I share them
with the birds!

On one perches
a tiny green insect.
I blow her off.
She flies!
I burst the raspberry
upon my tongue.

In my solitude
I commune
with raspberries,
with grasses,
with the world.

The world was always
there before,
but where
was I?

Ah raspberry—
if you are so beautiful
upon my ready tongue,
what wonders
lie in store
for me!

“Raspberries in my Driveway” by Erica Jong

life abundant


Let a stalk of wheat
be your witness
to every difficult day.

Since it was a flame
before it was a plant,
since it was courage
before it was grain,
since it was determination
before it was growth,
and, above all, since it was prayer
before it was fruition,
it has nothing to point to
but the sky.

Remember the incredibly gentle wheat stalk
which holds its countless arrows fixed
to shoot from the bowstring—
you, standing in the same position
where the wind holds it.

“Wheat” by Ishihara Yoshiro





Although I watched and waited for it every day,

somehow I missed it, the moment when everything reached 

the peak of ripeness. It wasn’t at the solstice; that was only
the time of the longest light. It was sometime after that, when

the plants had absorbed all that sun, had taken it into themselves

for food and swelled to the height of fullness. It was in July,
in a dizzy blaze of heat and fog, when on some nights
it was too hot to sleep, and the restaurants set half their tables

on the sidewalks; outside the city, down the coast,
the Milky Way floated overhead, and shooting stars

fell from the sky over the ocean. One day the garden

was almost overwhelmed with fruition:
My sweet peas struggled out of the raised bed onto the mulch
of laurel leaves and bark and pods, their brilliantly colored

sunbonnets of rose and stippled pink, magenta and deep purple
pouring out a perfume that was almost oriental. Black-eyed Susans

stared from the flower borders, the orange cherry tomatoes

were sweet as candy, the corn fattened in its swaths of silk,

hummingbirds spiraled by in pairs, the bees gave up

and decided to live in the lavender. At the market,

surrounded by black plums and rosy plums and sugar prunes

and white-fleshed peaches and nectarines, perfumey melons
and mangos, purple figs in green plastic baskets,

clusters of tiny Champagne grapes and piles of red-black cherries

and apricots freckled and streaked with rose, I felt tears

come into my eyes, absurdly, because I knew
that summer had peaked and was already passing

away. I felt very close then to understanding 

the mystery; it seemed to me that I almost knew

what it meant to be alive, as if my life had swelled

to some high moment of response, as if I could

reach out and touch the season, as if I were inside

its body, surrounded by sweet pulp and juice,

shimmering veins and ripened skin.

“A Warm Summer in San Francisco” by Carolyn Miller

At the end of the day: do others feel loved in your presence? This is the spiritual bottom line. – Masin Kipp


I have walk long and alone. I have sought truth in my life and I have been careful about sharing it with others – even in my closest relationships.
I thought it was mainly because of the dogma of fundamentalism I grew up in, but I have recently discovered it is mainly because of the rejection, control, verbal, mental and sexual abuse I have been through.

Holding my truth, my way of living as sacred to me was my way of protection.
I am seeking to be more open, more honest with my truth, open myself in new ways in close relationships. I must admit, it is somewhat terrifying – which makes me know it’s the right thing.

As I walk into this brave new place I am aware of all that has brought me here, and I am grateful for all of my learning which allows me to step into this personal place of revealing my naked truths to others. I believe in the importance of it. I believe it is the only way I will truly overcome the shadows, wounds and pain of my life and come into the fullness of joy in my life.

Life is a process. Only love can break a heart. Only love can mend it again.
We are here for both parts – IF we will step into the place which will allow us to fly and be free – even with patched up, broken and battered wings.



You know me


You are a creation of God unequaled anywhere in the universe…. Thank Him for yourself and then for all the rest of His glorious handiwork.
–Norman Vincent Peale

But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.
– Matthew 10:30

“Every human has four endowments — self-awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom… The power to choose, to respond, to change.”

— Stephen R. Covey

O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee. For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee. Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men. For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain. Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies. Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (‭Psalms‬ ‭139‬:‭1-24‬ KJV)

safety vs. joy


That our God would only be safe if He were dead.

But He is the Living Word and His Word is a flashing, double-edged sword and He doesn’t write Himself into neat five-point outlines but He is like the wind — and He speaks in parables that subvert and poetry that ignites and metaphors that jolt and there is nothing safe or small or stiff about Him.

That’s what I am thinking as I scrub smudge marks off cupboards, try to wash away all these marks. Thinking what the Beaver said of Aslan:“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver.“Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

There is nothing safe about the Christ who rent the veins and the veil to save us — He is Divine and He is Dangerous and He is Detonating. He is no tame lion.

What did Randy Alcorn say and in the most Scriptural sense? “It’s dangerous faith in our untamed Savior that leads us to the joy we crave.“

And what the world desperately needs is more dangerous disciples of an unsafe God.

He is wholly unsafe and He’s the untame lion whose claws tear into the scales of my thick sins and the ripping away of everything filthy dragon can feel like a burning right through to the heart. I need His perfectly dangerous ways.

Real love is never safe.

Because grace is a dangerous thing and too often those who speak the most about grace are the most graceless of all.

I am just beginning to learn it and see it painfully in me: The modern-day Pharisees focus on avoiding sin and not on ardently loving our Savior.

What all us Pharisees need to experience is this: Ardent love for your Savior is the most direct path of sin avoidance.

What all us Pharisees need to experience is the mystery of the whole of holy Scripture and real crazy love.

“The holy wild is always pervaded with mystery,” writes Mark Buchanan.

Maybe faith isn’t as much formula as the mystery of being drawn to, surrendering to, the overwhelming love and will of the most dangerous Reality in all the universe?
– Ann Voskamp
read full blog at http://www.aholy


On this day of your life I believe God wants you to know…

…that safety is not the thing you should look for in the
future. Joy is what you should look for.

Security and joy may not come in the same package.
They can…but they also cannot.
There is no guarantee.

If your primary concern is a guarantee of security,
you may never experience the truest joys of life.
This is not a suggestion that you become reckless,
but it is an invitation to at least become daring.

Neale Donald Walsh


there will be miracles

I don’t want another Raven!
(even tho I’m so grateful for all of them, don’t get me wrong)
I don’t want more manna,
or water out of rocks –
spoken to
or struck in desperation –
I don’t want another temp job
regardless of pay
or qualification.
I want my life’s work.
My soul sustaining work.
My love song to the world work.
I don’t want to look back with sad eyes to the
‘What if’s’,
trying not to turn into a pillar of salt,
or Rip Van Winkle,
dreaming of the ocean,
springtime in Connecticut,
apple trees
and dandelion wishes.
I’ve cleared the past,
scoured the memories,
returned the hooks,
and the books.
Burned the bridges,
learned the lessons well,
made room for the new,
the view,
the unlimited possibility
of today.
I don’t want a fan,
someone to control me,
abuse me,
or a man to take care of me.
I want a life partner.
A co-builder of eternal structures.
A co-architect of a life full of goodness,
and sharing.
I don’t want to sit still any longer.
I don’t want to let another important day go by.
my patience has been monumental,
my obedience marathon,
My testing long and brutal.
I’m ready,
I’m so very ready.
and so I ask –
for no more stop gaps,
no more ravens,
no more small or large miracles in this particular arena of wilderness.
God, take me forward
into new battles,
new playing grounds,
new levels of faith.
allow me to step forward
this very moment if it pleases You,
into my work,
into Your will and work.
As in all things,
Your will be done
here in me on earth
as it is in heaven.
and everyday
may it be so

Amy Lloyd

there is enough loveliness, enough beauty, enough peace, enough love in this world — enough food in this world – if we would just share?
– Ann Voskamp






The Hummingbird comes when it seems that what needs to be done is impossible. It teaches how to find joy in any circumstance.”
– Hummingbird totem via


Last night I opened my door and received an amazing gift. A small grey hummingbird was drinking from my hanging flower basket. Completely surprised, my heart started beating fast. The little visitor stopped and came towards me, which startled me a little, and I moved a bit backward. He stopped and looked at me, like he knew my thrill and also my fear, and he flew away.

It was a truly wonderful gift and I posted it on facebook. My friend, Tina Michaels, commented and told me that a Hummingbird is a harbinger of joy.

Wow! I have been seeking God about my joy, asking for my joy to be full for the past few weeks!

I Googled it to find out more and found this quote from Steven Farmer’s book, Power Animals, to see what the appearance of this guide meant for me at this moment.

“Know that the only true prison you have is your belief in your limitations. Let them go, and experience the abundance of love and opportunity that’s all around. It only takes a willingness to see it, taste it, and feel it.”


“The Hummingbird is the only bird that can fly backwards. This is a reminder that the past can’t be changed but the past can teach lessons. The Hummingbird comes when it seems that what needs to be done is impossible. It teaches how to find joy in any circumstance.” – Hummingbird totem via


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