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Saturday, October 29, 2011

October Comfort Food, Part 2

Tis the Season o' Squash, so at the local organic stand this week I bought yet another butternut squash and then also an acorn squash... honestly not knowing what I would do with it. But I am committed to eating whatever is in season ~ I see this as part of thankfully receiving God's provision (in other words, I don't want to be like the ungrateful Israelites on the exodus, when God provided manna and they whined about it...)

I had only eaten acorn squash as a nice little side dish during the holidays. And it was pretty darn good. But I knew this little squash had more in her than that. And one little surfing jaunt on the internet proved me correct. The texture, taste, aroma and yes, I'll say it again, the lovely combination of savory and sweet, of this dish had me at hello. Enjoy!

Serves 4


2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted
2 large acorn squash, halved and seeded
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 cup garbanzo beans, drained
1/2 cup raisins
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1 (14 ounce) can chicken broth
1 cup uncooked couscous (my gluten-free needs prompted me to use quinoa)
Crumbled feta for garnish


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Arrange squash halves cut side down on a baking sheet. Bake 40 minutes, or until tender.

Dissolve the sugar in the melted butter. Brush squash with the butter mixture, and keep squash warm while preparing the stuffing.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the garlic, celery, and carrots, and cook 5 minutes. Mix in the garbanzo beans and raisins. Season with cumin, salt, and pepper, and continue to cook and stir until vegetables are tender.

Pour the chicken broth into the skillet, and mix in the couscous. Cover skillet, and turn off heat. Allow couscous to absorb liquid for 5 minutes. Stuff squash halves with the skillet mixture to serve. Top with crumbled feta. Chew slowly and savor (instead of inhaling it, as I did...)

Monday, October 24, 2011

October Comfort Food

Cool weather + autumn colors = lots o' squash for me.

The butternut squash makes me laugh... it looks like Mr. Potato Head, but with all of his weight moved down to his butt.

Though it is a prosaic-looking vegetable, its taste more than makes up for it. In one word, it is DELICIOUS. Best of all, in multiple ways. I've used butternut squash for soups, stews, pasta sauces, and even filling for enchiladas. Friends have used it for the obvious - baby food - and also for desserts. Its texture, taste and color are simply wonderful.

I had used half of a baked one this weekend for a pasta dish (shoot, I'm realizing I haven't posted that recipe yet...) and had the other half looking at me every day in the fridge. What to do, what to do... it was another cool and foggy day here in Santa Barbara town, so I felt like making some stew. All I had to do was google butternut and stew, and found a wealth of options. Fortunately, I chose well, because tonight's meal was splendid. Even better, it was so easy.

The key to keeping this meal prep easy is to bake the squash ahead of time = if you have never done that, go here. The directions on this page however, say to pour 1/4 c of water. I would say to pour enough water to have the squash sitting in 1 inch of water.

Serves 6-8

1 cup yellow split pigeon peas (toor dal) (OK, I call these yellow lentils. Not sure why they need to call them pigeon peas. That name sounds creepy.)
1 pound butternut squash, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 2 1/2 cups)
1 Roma tomato, diced
1/2 cup fresh, frozen, or dried shredded coconut
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
4 cups vegetable stock or water, or enough to cover

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon brown or black mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (I used a few drops of my favorite hot sauce)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon honey
1 lime, juiced
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves

Steam a pot of white or brown rice.

Rinse the pigeon peas (LENTILS!) in a couple changes of water.

In a large soup pot, combine the squash, drained pigeon peas, tomato, coconut, turmeric, cumin, and enough stock to cover. Bring to a boil, and then simmer, covered, 20 minutes. Remove the cover and simmer another 10 minutes.

To temper: In a small skillet, warm the canola oil until shimmering. Add the mustard seeds and when they stop popping, add the red pepper flakes, garlic, and salt. Swirl the skillet so the contents cook evenly, and cook another 10 seconds. Then pour the contents of the skillet into the soup, along with the salt. Spoon a ladleful of soup back into the skillet (it will sizzle, be careful!), and pour back into the soup pot.

I topped the stew with a little honey, lime juice, raisins, yogurt, peanuts and cilantro. Adjust the seasonings, to taste, and enjoy filling your belly with some tasty, warm, salty and sweet stew that might end up making you look a tiny bit more like a butternut squash!

Sunday, October 23, 2011


(I was asked to testify in church today about my own experience with the spiritual discipline of simplicity. Here is what I said...)

When I was asked to share this morning on simplicity, I hesitated. If you know me at all, you know that I didn't hesitate because I am shy! I hesitated because I think of simplicity the same way I think of humility...

You know what I mean. In those rare times when God works in and through you to such a point where you actually do some kind and godly thing and it feels so great, you might say to yourself, WOW, I was just really humble right then! and the whole darn thing gets nullified right then and there... THAT is how I think it works with simplicity. It's something you live out, not point out, in yourself.

However, as Richard Foster says in his classic book The Celebration of Discipline, The majority of Christians have never seriously wrestled with the problem of simplicity, conveniently ignoring Jesus' many words on the subject. So I will run the risk of nullifying my pursuit of simplicity today for the sake of greater discussion.

What do I mean by "simplicity" as a spiritual discipline? Foster says it is an inward reality that results in an outward lifestyle. In other words, as we seek first His kingdom (Matthew 6:33) rather than seeking first after career or status or wealth or power, that singular focus on Christ should then flow out in and through our daily lives.

How did I come to practice this discipline? I backed into it. In February 2009 I resigned from a 15-year position as a youth pastor here in town, from a church in which I'd been a member for 23 years altogether. This decision was the right one, but it was so difficult, nonetheless. I needed time to wait on God for what was to be next, and to recover from the jarring transition that it was, so I had saved some money to do so.

However, in my immaculate timing I made this decision one month before the historic financial collapse hit bottom! Amidst daily news of gloom and doom I tried not to panic, but also decided I needed to dramatically pare down my budget, not sure when I would be employed full-time again. Thus I declared 2009 to be The Year of Living Simply. I decided to buy nothing new (other than food). I refrained from spending money on entertainment - movies, books, music, eating out and travel. I let magazine subscriptions expire. I stopped buying gifts and just sent cards (sorry friends). This took a third out of my budget!

As I stuck to this approach, I learned three things rather quickly:
  1. It just wasn't that hard. That sounds crazy, but once I got over the hump of this seemingly hard decision, I discovered that I wasn't suffering. Richard Foster quotes the famous Arctic explorer Richard Byrd, who lived through months of deprivation in his travels to the North Pole: I am learning... that a man can live profoundly without masses of things. Indeed, I discovered the same. Once you wean yourself off the constant acquisition of stuff, you realize it's all rather fleeting in its satisfaction.
  2. I was much more grateful for what I received. Once you orient yourself around God's provision rather than thinking of it all as the fruit of your own labors, you see everything as a generous gift! The novelty of something new regained its meaning. When someone had me over for a meal, or took me out for coffee, or gave me a gift, I delighted in every part of it, since these things came less often.
  3. My default became "Why?" instead of "Why not?" When I faced the decision as to whether to buy something or not, now I operated from the assumption that I would not be getting it, and was forced (by my own decision) to think through what I "needed." Rather than get something just because I had the money or because everyone else already had one, I jumped off the treadmill and thought through my spending far more carefully.
Let's be clear -- I am not advocating some dreadful legalism that disdains enjoyment. God wants us to enjoy his provision and his creation. But I was now recognizing how much of my joy came from stuff rather than from God himself and from the people and things he provided already.

Needless to say, I had more free time since I wasn't busying myself as I had previously. I spent some of that new time reading up on monasticism and benedictine spirituality. Monks take vows of poverty and/or simplicity -- they hold belongings in common, because they believe that the more possessions you have, the more those things possess you! They meditate regularly on this passage from Matthew 6:
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
I am happy to say that after my Year of Living Simply that I am now quite gainfully employed. But that year instilled some good habits in me. So I am trying to pursue this spiritual discipline of simplicity in ongoing ways:
  • When I buy something new, I give something away. For example, when I buy a new pair of shoes, I give away a pair.
  • As I have mentioned here previously, I sold my car about a year ago. I now use my scooter, my bike, and public transportation (with occasional rides from friends). This slows me down and often forces me to think through how many things I try to do in a given day.
  • I eat seasonally. I love, love, LOVE red bell peppers and could eat them every day. And in 2011, I can eat them every day, thanks to hot houses in South America and semi-truck trailers hauling food all over tarnation. But I choose to eat red bell peppers when they are in season where I live. By eating seasonally I am reminded to enjoy God's provision in God's timing. Sometimes he gives us things to enjoy, and sometimes he asks us to wait. And it is often in the waiting, and anticipation, that I learn how to deeply enjoy the things he gives me.
I shared this earlier this year, but here is the way that I remember this spiritual discipline of simplicity. It's an adaptation of the 3 R's of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle...

I say Repent (of my materialism), Reduce, Reuse, Refuse (to try to keep up with everyone else, and just buy the things I truly need), Recycle.

Tell me what you think... thanks for listening!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Writing Projects

I'm here to report, as a former English major, that I am glad I have never entertained notions of actually making a living as a writer. After 3 years of concerted effort to get my work published, I can say that I have had many articles (at least 30?) accepted and published. I've listed some of the links on my blog.

But I hesitate though to add up how much money I have made doing this. I would venture it hovers around $1,000... in total! Yet I cannot deny that I enjoy it immensely. It is great to work with editors, figure out how to work within deadlines and word limits, and be creative with what topics are given to me. Writing is a craft I want to continue to work at and improve upon. And again, while my other work pays the bills, it is gratifying to see thoughts and experiences turn into words. I will never get tired of that.

I have an eclectic assortment of stuff right now -- some has just been released, some is still pending. Here is what is in the hopper at present:
  • Tweets, Texts, Technology... and Theology: my first cover story! This was published in Light & Life magazine, a national and international magazine produced by the Free Methodist Church. (I'll try to find a link to the Spanish-language version of my article and post it here as well). This goes out to the thousands of churches around the country, and is also shared around the world.
  • Augustine's Confessions - Still Going Deeper: I was contacted by Immerse Journal to write a response article for one of their articles. I have been impressed with the deeper content they provide here.
  • It Happens - Dealing with Everyday Stuff in Youth Ministry: I was contacted by the general editor, Will Penner, and asked to contribute a chapter to this book. I told a great story about having to decide whether or not to take a student to the hospital after being injured during a night game at camp, and what I learned about safety and youth ministry (which should not be mutually exclusive terms!)
  • Conversations Journal: I have just been asked to be a contributing blogger to this incredible online publication committed to spiritual formation. This is an outstanding resource for a wide variety of work on discipleship. Bookmark this website -- you will not be disappointed by the breadth and depth of content there.
  • YMToday: this is a really useful youth ministry resource produced by Memphis Seminary. They have archived a bunch of my work. We are in discussions about me writing a monthly column for them on spiritual formation for youthworkers.
  • Youthworker Journal: I appreciate the quality of their publication, and I am indebted to them for being the first ones to accept my work. I have another article coming out with them soon on turning "doctrine into devotion through small group ministry." Here are most of the articles I have written for them.
While the bulk of these articles are not lofty creations, they emerge out of the many adventures and struggles I have had over the years. I am grateful that I am still standing, and that I am still learning.

I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions. ~James Michener

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Mammoth Diaries, Buh-Bye

Not much left to say... this trip was a delight all the way around. Snow on the first day left the whole area picturesque and made for a crisp welcome into fall. Warm weather after that allowed for lots of time outdoors in long walks where we could admire the leaves turning and look at the sunlight shaft through the trees at the end of each day.

I had plenty of time to read, reflect, pray, eat well and just turn OFF. I feel great, and so refreshed for the many projects and adventures that await me these next several months. Best of all, I am so happy to go back home, because life there is wonderful. I am inordinately blessed, and ridiculously thankful.

We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
(1Thessalonians 1:2-3)

God, you never fail to dazzle us with your grace and mercy. We pray for the boldness to await the fulfillment of life that you promise, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
(Common Prayer)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Mammoth Diaries, Day Three

* Sleep in -- check.
* Big latte to start the day -- check.
* Two hours of unhurried reading after a big hot breakfast -- check.
* 4.5 mile walk on trails around Lake Mary -- check.

Pretty darn glorious day up here. I am giving myself an A+ when it comes to vacationing...

An unexpected surprise on this trip has been a book I threw in my bag at the last minute. During a visit to a used bookstore in June I found a tattered orange copy of The Monastic Journey by Thomas Merton, written in 1978. I have read Merton occasionally in these last three years as I read books on Benedictine spirituality and authors like Nouwen, Palmer, Willard, Foster... Merton's writings would come up at times in my reading, and I got curious.

Thomas Merton was the son of artists, born in 1915, with a fascinating, curious past, who became a monk. I read his autobiography, The Seven Storey Mountain, during my trip to Italy this past spring because I had heard it told of his conversion experience. I was not disappointed. First of all, he is a very literary, imaginative writer, and tells a good story. I couldn't put it down, and was surprised to be intrigued as well by his calling to monasticism.

That isn't to say I agreed with everything he wrote... but that would be boring to only read people you agree with, right?

Currently I am only about sixty pages into this new (new to me, that is) book, because I find myself lingering over the things he writes. I do not feel called to live apart from the world, cloistered and comtemplative; I want to be out in the world, preaching and teaching, learning and struggling with what it means to be part of the church's mission. But the only way I know how to persevere in that often gritty job over time is to keep going deeper and deeper into intimacy with God. Merton describes that pilgrimage in compelling ways. For example:
The monastic life is a search for God and not a mission to accomplish this or that work for souls.
I find myself on that same search. Intimacy with the Lord is not a task to check off of a list. It is relationship and as Merton describes it, a life in the Spirit... in which we are moved not by our own desires, tastes, aptitudes, feelings and nature, but by the will and love of God.

There are many other sentences I could quote, but this one especially humbled me:
To have a truly spiritual life is then to think and love and act not just as Christ would act in a given situation, but as He precisely does act, by His grace, in us, at the moment.
After being immediately reminded of the "What Would Jesus Do?" bracelets and chuckling, I realized, wait a minute, he's right, I do not want to act like Jesus... I want to be Jesus wherever I go -- not in a self-aggrandizing way, naturally -- but be his hands, his feet, his words, his love, to others. With the grace of His Spirit in me, this should be possible. Merton underscores this point by quoting from 1 Corinthians 2:
We have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us. (verse 12)
Do I live in such confidence? Do I readily share such "wonderful things"?

Finally, this short paragraph hit me hardest -- I'm adding a little of my own running commentary in parentheses or emphasis in bolding:
The monk (and I would say, the follower of Christ) does not in fact, exist to preserve anything, be it even contemplation or religion itself. His (or her) function is not to keep alive in the world the memory of God. God depends on no one to live and act in the world, not even on His monks! On the contrary, the function of the monk in our time is to keep himself alive by contact with God.
It is never I who am helping out God when I serve; it is, and always will be, God's great mercy in allowing us to serve Him, because I know Him more intimately as a result.

I will keep reading and thinking and praying about such things up here, where it is quiet and still blanketed in a light layer of snow. I am grateful for such refreshing times.

(Today's featured photo was taken by my iPhone at Convict Lake. We stopped here to remember our sweet friend Claire, whose ashes were strewn here about a year ago. It was the perfect spot.)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Mammoth Diaries, Day Two

Hands down, my favorite thing about vacation is having unlimited time. It's wonderful to just let the day happen. I get to sleep whenever I want to, read for hours, listen to podcasts, enjoy creation, and cook. It may not sound fun to you, but this is glorious stuff for me.

Today's photo comes from June Lake, where my friend and I relaxed all day at the Double Eagle Resort. It just does not get better than this, and all for only $20 for the entire day. Huzzah!

At one point (gosh, was it before the fish taco lunch or after the hot tub...?) I listened to an interesting podcast that included Tom Friedman, New York Times columnist and author. Maybe you know that he wrote a book titled The World is Flat in 2004 (about globalization in the new millennium). He has just come out with a new book, and while he was writing it, he looked back to his 2004 edition of The World is Flat and compared the realities of what he wrote with life only seven years later today. He said:

I looked under "F" in the index in the first edition, and Facebook wasn't in there... Twitter was a sound, the cloud was in the sky, 4G was a parking place, Linked-in was a prison, applications were what you sent to college, and for most people, skype was a typo...

Clearly, technology is changing our lives at a mind-boggling pace. Friedman's drumbeat was that the entire world is connected now, more than ever, and he wasted no time in describing the profound implications in every way, shape and form for our lives and for the whole planet. He predicted some pretty dire things for our country if politicians don't stop wrangling over their differences... but that is for someone else to blog about.

What I thought about was the fact that while pundits are making a whole lotta hay about this new reality (the whole world can talk to each other so easily, leveling the playing field economically), that the kingdom of God has already been this "flat" for 2000 years! Whether believers are in Moombai or Miami, the Holy Spirit unites them across geography, cultures and time zones. This is wonderful and amazing, to say the least.

In light of that higher reality, Friedman's words were an interesting counterpoint to what I had read this morning, again from the prophet Jeremiah:

This is what the Lord says:

“Don’t let the wise boast in their wisdom,

or the powerful boast in their power,

or the rich boast in their riches.

But those who wish to boast

should boast in this alone:

that they truly know me and understand that I am the Lord

who demonstrates unfailing love

and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth,

and that I delight in these things.

I, the Lord, have spoken! (Jeremiah 9:23-24)

In no way do I want to dismiss the discussion regarding the changes going on in our world today. I actually care very much about how the economies of India, China, and others are changing. It is fascinating stuff. But at the same time, I try to constantly remind myself that I do not want to place my faith in my pension or my government as much as I want to rest in the Lord who demonstrates unfailing love and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth. It is profoundly comforting to know, furthermore, that God delights in these things.

Imagine what could happen if the church around the world -- don't forget, it is more interconnected than the internet, people! -- truly embraced these words from Colossians 3:1-4,

Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.

I want to imagine that vision because of the implications. As I kept reading in verses 5-17, I was reminded that the results would have far greater impact than Facebook, Twitter, and all the rest combined. Think about it -- what if billions sought to "put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you" (vs. 5), and instead "put on our new nature" (vs. 10)? What if all Christians (roughly 1/3 of the world's population) were to "make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends"? (vs. 13) Transformation.

How I pray that God's people around the world would "clothe themselves in love." (vs 14) We can certainly be in awe of the profound changes ripping through today's world. But I hope we are not so impressed by iPhones and the cloud and all that rest that we forget our greatest challenge: "Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives." (vs. 17)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Mammoth Diaries, Day 1

I am nestled in a warm cabin for five glorious days of rest and pure relaxation. Unexpectedly, we were greeted by early snow -- the first of the season. After a week of 70's and 80's at home, this is a pleasant shock!

The snowfall muffles everything with its pillowy calm. I spent the morning drinking coffee and reading various things. In my devotions, I landed in the Book of Jeremiah.

Jeremiah 6:16
This is what the Lord says:
“Stop at the crossroads and look around.
Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it.
Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls.
But you reply, ‘No, that’s not the road we want!’

That last line is a killer. I don't want to be like Israel in Jeremiah's time. It's the opening lines of this message beckon me. Lord, I do ask for the "old, godly way," and certainly want to walk in it.

So what is the "old, godly way"?

Jeremiah 7:1-7
The Lord gave another message to Jeremiah. He said, “Go to the entrance of the Lord’s Temple, and give this message to the people: ‘O Judah, listen to this message from the Lord! Listen to it, all of you who worship here! This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says:

“‘Even now, if you quit your evil ways, I will let you stay in your own land. But don’t be fooled by those who promise you safety simply because the Lord’s Temple is here. They chant, “The Lord’s Temple is here! The Lord’s Temple is here!”

But I will be merciful only if you stop your evil thoughts and deeds and start treating each other with justice; only if you stop exploiting foreigners, orphans, and widows; only if you stop your murdering; and only if you stop harming yourselves by worshiping idols. Then I will let you stay in this land that I gave to your ancestors to keep forever.

Stunning words. This is all the more poignant for me because just yesterday I had a discussion with 70 high school students on this very topic. I am currently teaching on the Gospel of Mark in my class, and yesterday we were in Mark 7, where Jesus confronts the legalism of the Pharisees with surprising anger. He shames them boldly and then turns to the crowds, inviting them to hear:
“All of you listen,” he said, “and try to understand. It’s not what goes into your body that defiles you; you are defiled by what comes from your heart.” (Mark 7:14-15)
One of the students said she doesn't like it when she is at church, or in school, and there are things being taught about God, but her mind and heart are somewhere else entirely. I pulled out an old tired (but still true) youth pastor-ism in response:
"Going to church (or a Christian school) makes you a Christian as much as going to McDonald's makes you a hamburger."
Certainly not an original thought, especially now when I read Jeremiah's prophecy from thousands of years ago, where he confronted the Israelites for the same thing! They found shallow comfort in going to the temple, hoping their presence there would cover a multitude of sins. In the same way, we must recognize that the ways we love (or don't love) our neighbor say much more about the states of our souls.

God told Jeremiah to tell God's people that we must admit that we cannot say we love God if the fruit of that love is not overflowing into our relationships and our communities. God was (and is!) angry with His people for not serving the poor, and for worshiping false gods. Perhaps we do not offer burnt offerings to other gods in 2011, but we certainly sit at the altars of things that we think will meet our needs... (can anyone say, iPhone 5?)

I kept reading this morning in Jeremiah, though I was feeling more convicted by the minute.

Jeremiah 8:6-7
I listen to their conversations and don’t hear a word of truth.
Is anyone sorry for doing wrong?
Does anyone say, “What a terrible thing I have done”?
No! All are running down the path of sin
as swiftly as a horse galloping into battle!
Even the stork that flies across the sky
knows the time of her migration,
as do the turtledove, the swallow, and the crane.
They all return at the proper time each year.
But not my people!
They do not know the Lord’s laws.
Lord, like storks, turtledoves, swallows and cranes, may we "migrate" back to you, our true home. May our hearts and minds be warm for your presence and your calling on our lives. And may that time in your presence, where we pay attention to your still, small voice, prompt us to go out and be your love in the world.