life: acoustic & amplified

poetry, quotes & thoughts about life

Archive for the category “Judging”

mirror mirror   

Reborn as a court reporter

Inside a waking dream

Trapped between misspelling Subpoena and shouting guilty over and over

In a feudal land someone personified Justice as a woman, as a joke.
Oh the bliss that reason brings

Cold, calculated, harmony of all things

Where we agree, to agree, to disagree

That we can all agree on something.

“If only I got what I deserved”

Said no man ever.  

The wrongs of another cannot be punished too harshly

Until you turn the eye inward,

To the mote and see yourself,

Know yourself,

Judge yourself,

Find mercy for yourself if you can.

Such a futile exercise for man

When you are done with yourself, 

Ask if you can ever withhold forgiveness again?


Finding Mercy by Charles Cooper

We are all of us judged every day. We are judged by the face that looks back at us from the bathroom mirror. We are judged by the faces of the people we love and by the faces and lives of our children and by our dreams. We are judged by the faces of the people we do not love. Each day finds us at the junction of many roads, and we are judged as much by the roads we have not taken as by the roads we have.
The New Testament proclaims that at some unforeseeable time in the future, God will ring down the final curtain on history, and there will come a Day on which all our days and all the judgments upon us and all our judgments upon each other will themselves be judged. The judge will be Christ. In other words, the one who judges us most finally will be the one who loves us most fully.
Romantic love is blind to everything except what is lovable and lovely, but Christ’s love sees us with terrible clarity and sees us whole. Christ’s love so wishes our joy that it is ruthless against everything in us that diminishes our joy. The worst sentence Love can pass is that we behold the suffering that Love has endured for our sake, and that is also our acquittal. The justice and mercy of the judge are ultimately one.

~Frederick Buechner originally published in Wishful Thinking and later in Beyond Words

              Somewhere between what it feels like, to be at

one with the sea, and to understand the sea as

mere context for the boat whose engine refuses

finally to turn over: yeah, I know the place—

stumbled into it myself, once; twice, almost.  All

around and in between the two trees that

grow there, tree of compassion and—

much taller—
tree of pity, its bark 

more bronze, the snow
              settled as if an openness of any kind meant, as well,

a woundedness that, by filling it, the snow

might heal…You know what I think? I think if we’re

lost, you should know exactly where, by now; I’ve

watched you stare long and hard enough at the map

already…I’m beginning to think I may never

not be undecided, about all sorts of things: whether

snow really does resemble the broken laughter

              of the long-abandoned when what left comes back

big-time; whether gratitude’s just a haunted

space like any other.  This place sounds daily

more like a theater of war, each time I listen to it—

loss, surprise, victory, being only three of the countless

fates, if you want to call them that, that we don’t

so much live with, it seems, as live for now among.  If as

close as we’re ever likely to get, you and I, is this—this close—


Carl Phillips. 

Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 19, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets

I am not your enemy.

I am for you, not against. 

I am not like your anger,

I am not your fear.

I am your joy, your peace. 

I am your breathing, your heartbeat, 

your blood, your Being. 

I am the fullness of you, 

unfolding as you let me.

I have only blessing for you,

like a mother for her newborn. 

I am your perfection, longing for you. 

My judgment is not harsh, but pure mercy,

my seeing your brilliance folded in the bud,

my knowledge of your beauty waiting in you.

I do not judge your doubts 

but give you strength to tear them open

and find in them the mirror of your grace.

I know your childish fears, 

your helpless lashing out,

I have seen the rage seeping into you.

My wrath burns not against you but that lie.

I will hold you until you quiet in my arms.  

You are angry because you are afraid

that I am not here for you

but I am here

                   for you.

Be still, and let me hold you. 

Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light

that feeling 

Yesterday we obeyed kings and bent our necks before emperors. But today we kneel only to truth, follow only beauty, and obey only love.


~ Khalil Gibran


We often confuse unconditional love with unconditional approval. God loves us without conditions but does not approve of every human behavior. God doesn’t approve of betrayal, violence, hatred, suspicion, and all other expressions of evil, because they all contradict the love God wants to instill in the human heart. Evil is the absence of God’s love. Evil does not belong to God.
God’s unconditional love means that God continues to love us even when we say or think evil things. God continues to wait for us as a loving parent waits for the return of a lost child. It is important for us to hold on to the truth that God never gives up loving us even when God is saddened by what we do. That truth will help us to return to God’s ever-present love.

– Henri Nouwen



‘In all the languages in the world, there is the same proverb: “What the eyes don’t see, the heart doesn’t grieve over.” 
Well, I say that there isn’t an ounce of truth in it. The further off they are, the closer to the heart are all those feelings that we try to repress and forget. 

If we’re in exile, we want to store away every tiny memory of our roots.

 If we’re far from the person we love, everyone we pass in the street reminds us of them.
‘The gospels and all the sacred texts of all religions were written in exile, in search of God’s understanding, of the faith that moves whole peoples, of the pilgrimage of souls wandering the face of the Earth. 

Our ancestors did not know, as we do not know, what the Divinity expects from our lives – and it is out of that doubt that books are written, pictures painted, because we don’t want to forget who we are – nor can we.’

(in “Eleven Minutes”, by Paulo Coelho)


photo sources found at 

what sacrifice?

how can you call it a sacrifice when you do it willingly because you believe in it?   – Aung San Suu Kyi 


I am this morning meadow

         into which you pour yourself.
I am the still air

         in which you rise, a mountain, huge.
I am this city street

         which you walk, a crowd 

         with your stories, your nations.
I am this bird

          and you are flight, and song.
I am the ocean

         and you are my water.
I am the desert

         and you are my stillness.
I am this heart

         and you are my beating.
You are this day

         into which you pour me, 

         breath by breath.

         we are this life.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light


there is no cage 

love must be stepped into 


there is no withholding 

love gives it all away. 

there is no have to’s 

love must be given and received willingly. 

there is no selfish motive 

love always wants the highest and best for the other person. 

there are no ‘no’s’ 

love always says yes. 

love takes commitment. 

it is not an easy job, 

both parties – 

equal and 

100 percent in it. 

you must choose what you want, 

along with the consequences of those choices. 

Just know, for sure, 

love will always set you free 

there is no fear in love



We have been sent into the world to be living witnesses of God’s unconditional love. – Henri Nouwen

Instead of putting others down, try improving yourself
instead. The only person you have a right to compete with is
you. In the meantime, treat others how you’d like to be
treated. One trait that some of the best (communicators) share
is empathy. A couple of kind words can not only make a
person’s day, but earn you a friend and supporter for life.
For the rest of the week, whenever you see someone you want to
judge negatively, pay them a compliment instead. See what
happens.                                                 – Neil Strauss

I believe God wants you to know…

…that being “right” has nothing to do with it.

The idea that you call “right” is the idea that someone

else calls “wrong.” The solution that you call “perfect”

is the solution that another calls “unworkable.” The

position that you feel is unassailable is the very

position that others assail.

What will solve all of this? Not attack, that’s for sure.

And not defense, either. So what is left? Simple human

love. The kind of love that says, “It doesn’t matter who

is right or wrong. It only matters that you are not hurt.

And that we both can benefit. All true benefits are mutual.”

– Neale Donald Walsh

I am finally in Ohio!!! More tomorrow!


I am so thankful for this amazing trip I just took to Connecticut & Boston!!! Still driving! 3 more hours…

spiritual understanding is not understanding at all…

but listening for God’s voice and being free to follow that calling and your intuition, in spite of what everyone around you would say is the ‘right thing’. It is sometimes a very lonely and misunderstood path. but it is the only way to know intimacy with God. Communion with God is eternal life, which comes by faith in Christ. A mystery we will never completely understand, for when we think we know all about God and that we are the only ones that have that knowledge – we have lost it all. God is much more than our human comprehension. Shall the created stand up and tell the creator what He is? or what to do? Do I make rules for this God who created me – body , soul and spirit? Who spoke a word, and this complex, and extravagantly beautiful, universe came into being? I tremble as I think of the audacity.

Does believing this way mean I will never make a mistake? Not at all. It is a battle every day to step out of our human natures, away from our chosen form of goodness in our own flesh, and follow a call that is much more than we could ever be comfortable with. Jesus never promised us comfort. Following this path is full of risk, loss and danger. Is it worth it? More than words can express, and it makes me continue to live dangerously – in spite of the personal costs and the misunderstandings along the way. I do not share what I have found out of a desire to annoy, or hurt anyone, but because I cannot help but share this love and goodness that is changing me every minute of every day. I am His and He is mine – forever and ever. Amen. Selah.

Psalm 37

1. Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.

2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.

3 Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.

4 Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

5 Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

6 And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.

7 Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.

8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.

9 For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.

10 For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.

11 But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

12 The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.

13 The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming.

14 The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation.

15 Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.

16 A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.

17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the Lord upholdeth the righteous.

18 The Lord knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever.

19 They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.

20 But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the Lord shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away.

21 The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth.

22 For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off.

23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.

24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.

25 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.

26 He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed.

27 Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore.

28 For the Lord loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.

29 The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever.

30 The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment.

31 The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.

32 The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him.

33 The Lord will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged.

34 Wait on the Lord, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.

35 I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree.

36 Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.

37 Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.

38 But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off.

39 But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord: he is their strength in the time of trouble.

40 And the Lord shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.

This one’s for me!!!


love sets free

Free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having. – C.S. Lewis
Today is a ‘Freedom Anniversary’ for me! It is a big deal! My life has been a progression of stepping towards freedom.
The battles have been long, dangerous and hard to win in order to free myself. Both physically and spiritually. I am not completely there yet – it is a life-long exploration and journey to free myself. The chains and bars in my prisons, because I find they are legion, are very strong. My Alcatraz type barren -rock islands were such a long way from shore, with many snipers, predators and sharp rocks in the water and on all sides of the shores. My guards were very alert and ready to shoot me, or keep me locked down and in solitary for my whole life. They were gleeful when I fell and happy over my pain and destruction.
And yet, the love, the words, and truth, of God were so much more powerful than any of these things, that no prison in this world could not hold me and, for 22 years now, I keep walking out of my prisons into the brilliant light and sunshine of the free!!!!

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Maya Angelou

A free bird leaps on the back
Of the wind and floats downstream
Till the current ends and dips his wing
In the orange suns rays
And dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks down his narrow cage|
Can seldom see through his bars of rage
His wings are clipped and his feet are tied
So he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings with a fearful trill
Of things unknown but longed for still
And his tune is heard on the distant hill for
The caged bird sings of freedom.

The free bird thinks of another breeze
And the trade winds soft through
The sighing trees
And the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright
Lawn and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
His shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
His wings are clipped and his feet are tied
So he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings with
A fearful trill of things unknown
But longed for still and his
Tune is heard on the distant hill
For the caged bird sings of freedom.

The Importance of Personal Responsibility

's avatarHeartWork

An Invitation to Wholehearted Living hosted by Elaine Hansen and Margaret Rahn

The importance of vulnerability and tenderness has become increasingly into the forefront of my thinking over the past couple of years. It is one of the most important choices we have to make as humans and the choices we make over this is a ‘life or death’ kind of choice. There are little decisions we make over this that lead us to live a false life.

Our society seems to encourage and celebrate ‘badness’. ‘Good girls gone bad’ seem to make people laugh and admire them for going this direction. Tiny example of this – I heard a father singing a song with his 8-year-old daughter, ‘…whips and chains excite me’. WHAT?????? WHY???HOW????? Can we truly believe we can sing and laugh over these types of words and actions and our lives and relationships will move into happy directions? Words are soooo important!!!!

Somehow we have decided we don’t want to live in reality. There is much pain in life – there is also much joy in life and in order to truly experience life, we have to allow both of these things to be felt, embraced, and accepted. We are here to help each other be better, to heal, to give love and lift each other up. We are given the choice of how we experience and share these things! And we have the power to live a happy, or an unhappy life.

Mostly we just react to life. We don’t realize we are choosing, we just strike back when someone hurts us, not realizing what we are doing. It feels natural. It feels powerful and good in that moment. But the consequences are very grave. As we choose to shut down our hearts, as we choose darkness, anger, revenge and blame, our actions become more desperate to ‘feel’ and so we spiral into addictions, abuse and secret behaviors that lead us further and further into darkness and way from shame. We begin to believe lies and forget that we are the beloved creations of God and we are loved beyond what we can ever comprehend.

If you click on the link above you will find out about a workshop I went to on Saturday and will also see two TED talks by Brene Brown on her vulnerability research. Sooooo good!!!

I have lots more to say about this…but I am out of time for this morning…think about these things!!! Make choices towards your own personal responsibility and happiness! Determine to seek it out for yourself! This is your personal life story – don’t let someone else rob you of your happiness and love!

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