Even In Darkness Light Dawns

"And our soul by virtue of this reforming grace is made sufficient to the full to comprehend all Him by love [….]" - The Cloud Of Unknowing

"I’ve died to self and live in the Beloved." - Rumi

"Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man." - Psalm (NIV)

Please continue Your inner workings.
Resolve my soul to grace, compassion and righteousness.
Thank You for today’s flow
   the gifts of hardiness and driven-ness this week.
Thank You for granting perspective and insight.

You know my continued needs.
Please forgive my mistakes
   and reconcile my life and livelihood to one of
accountability,
stewardship,
grace,
kindness,
trustworthiness
and honor.

You are All.
You are true in all things.
Please continue to let me dwell in Your presence.
       Amen.

The Tamed Nightingale

"With oneself thoroughly tamed, one gains a shelter rare." - Buddha

"The nightingale will sing to God its praise, ‘For food  I trust in You who are attentive.’" - Rumi

"O my Strength, I sing praise to you; you, O God, are my fortress, my loving God." - Psalm (NIV)

The caged bird is not tamed, it is simply trapped.
The bird held lovingly in the palm is the tamed bird.

Hold me in the palm of Your hand, Merciful Father.
I will sing songs of Your grace.
Then, let me fly freely.
Let me be a delight in the space where You dwell.

Here are trees of life and knowledge.
Here is the fountain of spirit.
Here saintly wisdom dwells.

Teach me to love as You love.
Teach me to sing Your melodies.
Teach me to play Your songs.

"Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me."
       I love You.
       Amen.

Sacrifice

"Prepare a refuge for yourself. Work hard, use good judgment. Free of flaws and passions, you need never return to the cycles of birth and death." - Buddha

"Magnet of thought and voice, He is the joy of inspiration, revelation, secret." - Rumi

"Gather to me my consecrated ones, who made a covenant with me by sacrifice." - Psalm


Your call uplifts souls and brings Your children back to right ways.
Replace my voice with your call.
Your plans are definite and no man can thwart them.
Replace my plans with Your plans.
Your handiwork is beyond all measure, eternal yet ever changing.
Replace the work of my hands with Yours.
Thank You for Your grace, mercy & peace.
       Amen.

Breathe On Me, Breath Of God

This is one of my favorite hymns. It took several tries to write an arrangement that danced well with the piece and maintained my sound. There is a lot of wind, breath, fire and trinity in this music.

I really wrestled with this piece and I think the struggle brought out something beautiful.

Lyrics (Edwin Hatch, 1878):
Breathe on me, Breath of God,
Fill me with life anew,
That I may love what thou dost love,
And do what thou wouldst do.

Breathe on me, Breath of God,
Until my heart is pure,
Until with thee I will thy will, 
To do and to endure.

Breathe on me, Breath of God,
Till I am wholly thine,
Till all this earthly part of me
Glows with thy fire divine.

Breathe on me, Breath of God,
So shall I never die,
But live with thee the perfect life
Of thine eternity.

Brokenness and Holiness

My candle holders had accumulated much wax over time; so, I decided to clean them off. In the process I dropped one on the floor and the base shattered.

Sometimes, in the process of cleaning things up, things can fall apart.

I carefully searched for the pieces and swept up the mess. There was still wax on the pieces so I heated them and let it melt away. While trying to glue them back together, I realized the melted wax had formed a thin veneer, making it impossible for the glue to bond.

Our past sticks to us in unforeseeable ways, sometimes making it hard to fix what was broken.


I took out some sandpaper and roughed up the broken edges. I used rubbing alcohol to wash the particulate wax away. The edges became rough to the touch.

Sometimes part of the process is becoming a little rough around the edges. It’s the only way things will stick.


I carefully applied glue to both the main and the first broken piece. I held them together by hand. I patiently waited for the glue to bond. I gave it three times as long as the directions indicated.

Give broken parts space and time to heal and bond. Be gentle and patient.


One piece after the next the base came together and stayed. I applied masking tape to the bottom of the holder to give it extra support while the glue finished setting up.

There are visible cracks, but it is whole again.


Which candle holder is better? 
The one which remained whole or the one with scars?

They are equal in my eyes. Each candle holder can hold a light.
The one that remained whole should not be jealous of the other’s scars.
The scarred one should not be jealous of the other’s holiness.
They are measured by their use.

Neither Holiness nor Brokenness is a virtue. Virtue rests in the light which is carried and shared.

Firm Steps

"Lift yourself up. Be attentive. Act virtuously. One who does good deeds lives happily, both in this life and the life to come." - Buddha

"The soul is perfect and its calling is perfect." - Rumi

"If the Lord delights in a man’s way he makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand." - Psalm


Credibility and the way of the righteous.
I am not so pretentious
   as to consider myself holy.
We are all a mix of right-ness and brokenness.
Neither is a virtue.

Honest Soul, direct my life in a way pleasing to the Lord.

Virtue takes long diligent practice.
Become a virtuoso of virtue.

Re-animate my sleeping servant-hood, Merciful Father.
       Amen.

On Rust

"Just as rust produced by iron corrodes the iron, so is the violator of moral law destroyed by his own wrong action." - Buddha

"Make yourself dead in poverty and longing so that the breath of Jesus shall revive you and make you good and blessed[….]" - Rumi

"Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame." - Psalm

Iron and air make rust.
Wrong action is easy as breathing.
The iron can be renewed with care and covering.
Eliminate the malice that surrounds you.
Cover yourself in right thoughts and right actions.
Wrap grace and mercy about you as a thick shroud.
Speak peace to those who will listen.
Be honest about your mistakes.
Have forgiveness in your heart for others.
And meet the world around you with openness and loving kindness.

O Poverty Triumphant! 
   (the empty vessel is of greatest use.)

Time and again You revive me from poverty and death.
Which winding path will You lead me down?
Though restored, my heart feels unprepared.

"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me."
       Amen.

The Modest And The Mighty

"Life is not easy to live for a modest man with high values, free from attachments, humble, of right livelihood and clear vision." - Buddha

"The whole effect of this will stay within you, the influence of praise on your condition. And that effect will stay with you for days; it causes pride and falsehood in the soul." - Rumi

"Ascribe to the Lord, o mighty ones, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength." - Psalm


It is a correct part of my nature:
my difficulty accepting praise.
   All good things come from You.
It is obvious to me that I have no idea what I’m doing in life.
   A good place to start from, this honesty.

Lord, You plant and harvest.
The plans You make come to fruition.
The things You start find both beginning and end in You.

Please bring to fruition that which You planted within me years ago.
Please bring the fulfillment of Your will within my life.
Please make me into an instrument of Your grace and a proclaimer of Your ways.

For Yours is glory and strength.

       Amen.

I finished this recording about a month ago. I think I’m ready to share it now.

Lyrics:

The mountains sing holy
The trees all whisper holy
The rocks cry out holy
You are holy

The islands sing mercy
The rains cascade mercy
The winds can rage mercy
You are mercy

The sun declares grace
The moon and stars echo grace
The heavenly host answers grace
You are grace

How can we not echo holy?
How can we not echo mercy?
How can we not echo grace?

Make us holy
Make us merciful
Make us gracious
Like You

The Dragon Nafs

"Deeds done with bad motives remain everlastingly tainted." - Buddha

"This nafs is hell, and hell is like a dragon that seas cannot extinguish or decrease. It drinks the seven oceans dry, and still that creature-burning fire will not die down." - Rumi

"But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on this law he meditates day and night." -Psalm

Father,
When I step away from You my world becomes dark and filled with grief.

Teach me constancy.
Teach me to abide in Your light.
Guide my soul to goodness.

Desire is a strangling serpent.
Contentment and Charity is its cure.

I want to delight in Your ways.
I want to live a holy life.

Thank You for Your kindness, forgiveness and unfailing love.
       Amen.