What is silence?

From Soil of the Divine

What is silence?

I do not know
for my mind is
ever-whirring
thoughts stirring
churning
out of control.

God, what is silence?

You alone can show me.

You are my Rock of peace.

When I rest upon You,
restlessness gives way to stillness;
my tottering soul stands firm.

Be still, my soul,
be still.

Yellow

From Soil of the Divine.

With sun cresting
orbed yellow
yet casting
polychromatic palate,
I greet the morning,
“I will awake the dawn.”

Day by day
I am resurrected
brought again to life,
fresh mercies with each new day.

May my heart be steadfast
hour by hour
breath by breath
song by song.

I will awake the dawn! -Psalm 108:2

jólabókaflóð

If you have never heard of jólabókaflóð, the tradition began in Iceland during World War II when paper was one of the few things that was inexpensive. During the final weeks of the year, book publishers would put out a flood of new titles at the closing of the year, thus “yule book flood.” In 2015, one of the founders of “World Book Day” was enamored by the idea of jólabókaflóð and, thanks to social media, the idea has been gaining traction ever since.

As a committed (and potentially pathologic) bibliophile, when I first heard of the tradition of jólabókaflóð, my immediate response was “Ooh, a reason to give away books!” I have always loved to give books to family and friends, but this year, I wanted to extend the flood to you, dear reader.

Today and tomorrow, I have made the Kindle version of my book, Soil of the Divine, available for free on Amazon. You can find it by clicking here. Although it is not the paper version, which in my opinion is always preferred, I do hope that you are blessed by it and that, above all, you have a most blessed Christmas.

(N.B. if you click “Read for Free”, you will be pushed in to “Kindle Unlimited.” Instead click “buy now,” unless you really want to use KU.)

Condensed Infinity

Reflection on Psalm 113 from Soil of the Divine

Who can fathom the Lord’s transcendence?

Could billions of galaxies
or even the whole universe
even begin to contain Him?

Could the combined wisdom of time
even begin to categorize Him?

It is impossible
to even begin
to grasp the Infinite.

Yet He looks down,
far down.
Transcendence transcending
infinite space to attend
to the finite and fragile
by becoming the most fragile
tiny babe born
to teen mother
in a stable of wood.

The intermingling
of transcendence
and immanence
is unfathomable.
Yet in that vulnerable infant–
seven pounds
and fully dependent–

God condensed infinity.

Chalice

From my book, Soil of the Divine

In God’s hand
is a chalice
full with wine
dark red
nearly black
and foaming
flavored with His wrath
vengeance
judgment
poured for the wicked.

In the garden, late
dark skies, nearly black,
Jesus wept
and pleaded
with his Father,
“Let this cup pass,
there must be another way
to appease Your wrath
vengeance
judgment,
but if not
let me drink
to the dregs.”

And he drank it all.

He has mixed for us
a new wine
sparkling white
and sweet.
Grace
mercy
and peace
its bouquet.

Christ saved
his best wine,
the cup of forgiveness,
for his bride.

For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup
With foaming wine, well mixed,
And He pours out from it,
and all the wicked of the earth
Shall drain it down to the dregs.
-Psalm 75:8

Judah’s Lion

The Lion of Judah,
walks the earth;
He began in a stable,
the humblest birth.

Now splendor and majesty,
He wears as His mane;
Our glorious King,
His death is our gain.

Strength and beauty,
reflect all His ways;
“of course He is good,
but He is not safe.”

We tremble in worship,
awed at His splendor;
forgetting ourselves,
in reverent surrender.

The seas roar aloud,
the fields do cheer;
all creation rejoices,
when Aslan is near.

Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
Psalm 96:6

Mercy’s Stream

From my recent book, Soil of the Divine:

I lay my sin-stained soul
before the Lord,
battered and bruised
by my own foolishness
and rebellion.

My sacrifice is not
a lamb without blemish,
but myself
whose stains
are ground in deeply,
yet I keep playing in the mud.

I bring my filth
to the foot of the cross
and my trembling lips whisper
“…mercy.”

My Christ picks me up
and carries me to the river of grace
whose effervescent waters
mingle with my Savior’s blood,
restoring purity
and wholeness.

Tomorrow, I will need
to bathe again
in mercy’s stream.

Purge me with hyssop
and I shall be clean;
wash me,
and I shall be
whiter than snow. -Psalm 51:7

Held Tight

From my book, Soil of the Divine:

When trouble to my doorstep comes,
when evil finds a way;
I cry out to the Lord above,
“why are You far away?”

The wicked ones, with evil come,
oppressing the poor and fair;
destruction in their arms and tongues,
saying “God’s not anywhere.”

But You, O Lord, lift up Your hand,
destroy the wicked man;
bring justice to the hurting ones,
as only the Sovereign can.

Your steadfast love and caring arms,
draw in the helpless child;
forgive our sins and hold us tight,
through each and every trial.

O LORD, You hear the desire of the afflicted;
You will strengthen their heart;
You will incline Your ear to do justice
to the fatherless and the oppressed,
so that the man who is of the earth
may strike terror no more.
-Psalm 10:17-1

Soil of the Divine

In late 2016, I began working on a book of poetry based upon the Psalms. Each weekday morning, I would read one of the Psalms, meditate upon it, and see what stirred in my heart, with the goal of writing a poem inspired by each Psalm. Some mornings, words flowed easily; on others, I felt blocked, but each day, I wrote. After finishing the draft, I spent a few months editing and tweaking the poems. Some friends graciously agreed to offer editorial assistance as I neared the end (thank you Briana and Cindy!). I formatted the interior, designed the cover, and ultimately sent it on to publication.

Earlier in the week, I received my first case of books. They arrived while I was meeting with 7/8 of my life group. I gathered my children to the basement and subjected them to the grand unveiling. I am grateful they humored me. I sent copies along to a few people, but remained rather tight-lipped. I wanted my mom and my aunt Sandy to see it before I went public with it. They both have their copies, so I am glad to be able to tell you all about it.

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I do hope you will consider reading Soil of the Divine. Even if poetry “isn’t your thing,” my hope is that you might be edified by it. It’s available on both Kindle and in paperback (if you know me, you are aware of my preference). You can purchase it directly through the CreateSpace e-store or Amazon.

If you are looking for Christmas gifts for everyone you know, I would also be happy to recommend it. 😊

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