Posts Tagged With: gift

Last Night in Boston

Fresh snow fell through the night

Washing the world again

covering all the barren trees

with a fresh cold compress

Given as a gift

to slow

to heal

to strengthen what remains

until spring thaw

when sap begins

to flow

and new life appears

in bud and blossom

Hope arises in our hearts

as it always does each spring

reminding us not all is lost

life will be renewed

again

 

© 2016 Julie Clark

Categories: Boston, Hope, Poetry, Seasons, Trees | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Face to Face

We will never be completely whole

while we are in our bodies

but we can help ease each other’s pain

when we love one another

Tastes of heaven along the way

given in various forms

depending on the gift and giver

spur us onward with healing and hope

The homesickness deep within

will always pull us towards our origin

to the day when we will be reunited

face to face with Love

May we let love grow and have it’s way

choose it every day, every chance we get

preparing in advance for

that glorious reunion

© 2014 Julie Clark

Categories: Faith, God, Hope, Life, Love, Paths, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Reel

One person

priceless

connecting to another

 

It’s a gift

and a guard

against loneliness

 

We are fully alive

when connected

three ways

God, another, ourselves

 

We are not made

to live

in isolation

 

A delicate dance

space and solitude

with

community and unity

 

We each have

our own unique steps

still learning my part in the Reel

 

© 2014 Julie Clark

Categories: God, Life, Love, Marriage and Family, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Awake My Soul

Awake my soul to this new day

Don’t miss the adventure of your journey

There are connections of beauty and color

Weaving and waiting to be made

Keep my eyes open

My spirit listening

I won’t ignore the nudge or the whisper

Directing my path

To see the glory in another

To listen and to learn

To give the gift I have been given

And receive the one offered to me

Categories: beauty, Faith, God, Life, Paths, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

Selected Poems for November

Snow Day

I listen to the soft crush of snow under my boots.

The snow muffled quiet brings a much-needed peace to the frantic city pace.

Enforced rest by steep, frozen roads is a hidden reprieve to many.

Why does it take an act of nature to teach us to be still?

Why do we shun silence and rest?

Are we afraid if we stop, our world will fall apart?

Are we afraid if we stop, our long ignored feelings and thoughts will rise in rebellion once we have slackened control of them?

It is like long ago we stepped onto a merry-go-round in the park.

At first it slowly turned, but with each revolution it gained speed until now it is moving so fast we can’t get off.

What is this hidden hand, pushing us at this frantic, out of control, speed?

The snow day reminds us:

We can get off the merry-go-round,

And our world won’t fall apart.

Rest will help our minds and bodies work better.

Letting go of control is good for us.   We really can’t control everything anyways.

Maybe our suppressed emotions have something to say to us, need our attention.

Maybe we won’t die if we listen to them and deal with them.

There is a good chance we will find healing.

© 2010 Julie Clark

The Great Exchange

 

You want this?

In your light I see

what I thought was good

To be full of holes

Like a worn out cloth

Hanging from the line.

You want this?

And what is this you offer in exchange?

A radiant purity that I cannot achieve.

A gift you say?

But I cannot release my filthy rags

Unless I move from my smug self-centeredness

To the center of that red-hot core

Called love.

How is this possible?

I will die at that core.

Yes, and live again,

Twice born.

Clothed in that radiant purity

You attained for me.

© 2007 Julie Clark

Fear

Fear has stocked me from childhood.

Like a restless tiger, it waits to pounce on its tired prey.

I’m done with it.

Realizing any fear leads back to the fear of death.

What’s so bad about dying?

It’s the only way out of here at present.

Out of here and into there.

Not that I want to rush things.

But in my time I to will follow my ancestors and every other man, woman and child before me.

I am facing that tiger and saying, my life is in stronger hands than yours.

I believe

I am beloved

And that Love that loves me is stronger than death.

© 2010 Julie Clark

Categories: Life, Love, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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