Posts Tagged With: choice

Palm Branches

Here is a reflection poem on Palm Sunday.

Photo by Tatiana Syrikova on

Palm Branches

They thought they knew

How it would all play out

When Messiah came.

When He did come

He did not do what

He was supposed to do.

They did not have room

In their hearts,

Hardened by certainty.

No room for adjusting

And aligning

Their thoughts

Their actions

To God’s.

What about me?

Do I have room?

Or am I so certain

I know the way –

That I miss it?

Mary had a choice.

She heard the invitation

And sat at his feet,

Became a disciple,


She had room

In her heart.

Her acceptance

Of the words and teaching

Upturned the Patriarchy,

And helped her brothers

To have room as well.

But the palm waving

Crowds shouting

Hosanna, quickly turned

To Crucify him

When he did not do

What they thought 

He was supposed to do.

Categories: Faith, God, growth, Lent, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Questions I Have

What is this division you bring?

What about peace on earth, goodwill towards all?

Is it about our choice?

To love and serve

Or horde and kill?

Do you come to us at our borders in T-shirts and flip flops

Or camped out in our city parks?

One more opportunity to choose

As you ask, “Who will you serve?

Me or mammon?”

Ok, I choose you.

Now I have enemies.

What did you say about enemies?

I have to love them too?

Now that is hard to do.

Oh, you did that.

I see.  Is that how this works?

Love changes everything.

Love is the force that brings peace

Far and near and finally


How long?

“Until all is changed and all submit

To love

Singing praises!”

Your ways are better

Your ways are higher

Than ours.

What is impossible for humans

Is possible for you.

Now we must 

Get up on the highway

Of your ways

Watch and see

What you can do with love-

The strongest force there is

Moving mountains and

Raising valleys.

May we make the choice

To love

Rather than continue

This madness.

© 2019 Julie Clark

Categories: Faith, God, Life, Love, mountains, Paths, Peace and Reconciliation, Poetry, Prayer | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Wedding Poetry Reading


These are the four poems I read at Nathan and Sarah’s wedding this last Saturday in Dubach, Louisiana. The first I wrote for Michael and Analia’s wedding in Tarija, Bolivia in 2009. The second I wrote for Suzie and Lich’s wedding on Whidbey Island in Washington State in 2010. The third I wrote when Nathan and Sarah were about to graduate from Tien Shan International School in Kazakhstan in 2009. The final poem was written in 2014 especially for Nathan and Sarah’s wedding.


Love is a choice I make today

Oh joyous day finally arrived

Long waited for dreams come true

Songs filling the air and our hearts

We choose love today.


The dance begun with timid steps

Continues on ever stronger

Each step uniting us closer together

Oneness and unity belong to us

We choose love today.


Each new day will come

Some with joy, some with pain

Love is patient

Love is kind

Remember the ancient words

They are life

Strong medicine when the heart feels sick

Love is a choice we make each day.

© 2009 Julie Clark


The story began

Long before you opened your eyes or breathed your first breath


Love has always been

In the Ancient Circle of Three


As the nature of love is to grow and be given away

It will never diminish, but multiply from generation to generation


As each new set of lovers take their place in the dance,

Unique in wonder and glory,

They replay the original heartbeat of the universe in their steps


It’s true

Our wildest and best dreams

Love is at the center

Not perfected in us yet

We see only dimly through a glass

But each choice to love brings closer the time

When love will rule the day

And there will be no more darkness

No more night


So take your place young lovers

Follow the wind of the Spirit

Who will lead you on

Choose love each and every day

For one another and for all those who enter your circle

As surely as the sun rises each day

The world will be brighter and lighter

Because you two have joined the dance


© 2010 Julie Clark



Love Has Time (Fridge Poetry)

Love has time

For summer music

Playing magically

Like moonlight

Bouncing upon the night


Love has time

To wait

For blossoms in their buds

To spread forth into the light

And say “I am here in all my glory”.

© 2009 Julie Clark


Who knew?

That waiting would take this long?

That your lives would weave together again


Who knew?

That your hopes and dreams had to die and be buried?

That a surprise resurrection was coming?


Who knew?

That there were tender eyes watching?

That there were strong hands guiding and weaving?


Who knew?

That you would be invited to join together in the great dance of love?

That you would hear the invitation and say yes?


Who knew? God knew and now we all know!

Let the source of all Love teach you now how to love one another.


© 2014 Julie Clark





Wedding Poetry Reading


Categories: beauty, Faith, God, Hope, Life, Love, Marriage and Family, Prayer | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

New beginnings

1/1/2012 New Years Day Sermon Notes

I love that God our Father gives us new mercies every day.  We don’t have to be stuck in yesterday. Or even be the same as we were yesterday.  There are always new beginnings for us. There are new chances to start over, to make things right, to begin again.  We even get to be born anew.  How cool is that?!  And the best of all He is making all things new: a new heaven and a new earth.

I am struck by the fact that we have a part to play in our new beginnings.  Our choice.  This is a gift that God has given to every person that makes these new beginnings possible.  It is the gift of choice, or the gift of free will.  It is a precious gift.

We can say yes.

We can say no.

We get to choose:

Light or dark

Life or death

The power or authority to choose is ours.

Every day we choose which path we are going to follow.  This is where we meet God.

He chooses us, we choose him.  He does not force us to love and follow him, but invites us.  Then the choice is ours.

He shows us the way – we choose to follow or not

He invites us in to the banquet – we choose to stay out in the cold or come in

Sounds easy right?  But why is it so hard?

Why do we struggle so hard to do the right things, to say no to the wrong things?

Jesus said some really strange words once:

Luke 16:16 “The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone is forcing their way into it.”

I am not sure I know exactly what this means but I get the sense there is some action on our parts to enter this kingdom. We have been given an Inheritance from our Father.  It is a gift to us.   Yet, we have a part to receive it.  We can think of it as a matter of a few legal issues.  Can you imagine the daughter or son of a very wealthy person who has just inherited all of her/or his Father’s estate?  I think there are few legal matters to take care of in order to claim that inheritance.  #1 Prove who you are. Yes, I can prove that I am the heir.  Sign a few documents perhaps.  It is not going to do you any good if you just point down the road to the property and say yeah, that is mine, and not do anything about it, to claim it.

I think this is where again we meet God with our free will.  He invites us to come into his kingdom and join his family.  We have a few things to do to claim our inheritance.

Agree to the adoption

We belong to Him.  He is our Father.

Leave our old house and come into his.

Sign up and follow him.

Back to the question why is it so hard?

We forget we are in a battle.  One of the areas the enemy strikes us at is at our will.  He wants to get us to lay it down.  It is very dangerous to him when we use it to choose the things of God: The good, the light, the life.  It pushes him right out of the picture. He lives in evil, in darkness, in death. He tries to get us to believe we can’t do it.  Anybody ever hear voices like this in their heads: “It is just too hard.  Or you have failed before why even try?  You have messed up this far, might as well keep going.  It doesn’t really matter.  You’re never going to be able to change.”  We have heard them so much that we start agreeing with them.

On the contrary: “We can do all things through him who strengthens us!”  We can! We are able.  We have the gift of free will.  We have authority. We just need to learn how to use it.

Titus 2:11-14 “For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.  It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,  while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.”

Another reason it is hard.  Between choosing and receiving our promises there is often a space called waiting. We don’t like to wait.  We pretty much want everything now. It is an important part.  The waiting is a preparation for the gift.  Sometimes we aren’t quite ready for it.  When we wait we get stronger.

Isaiah 40: 28-31:  “Do you not know? 
   Have you not heard? 
The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. 
He will not grow tired or weary, 
 and his understanding no one can fathom.  He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, 
 and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope (wait for) in the LORD 
 will renew their strength. 
They will soar on wings like eagles; 
they will run and not grow weary, 
 they will walk and not be faint.”

One more verse to help us with our resolutions:

Hebrews 12:12-13 “Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. “Make level paths for your feet, so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.”

You see we have a part in our healing.  We strengthen our feeble arms and weak knees….then we wait. In that  waiting and strengthening our Healer comes.

This is really good news.  Everyday is new. Everyday we have the opportunity to walk more into our inheritance. We get to choose to say yes to our Father, hoping in Him and waiting for all that He has promised us.

Categories: God, Life, Sermon Notes | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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