Every Valley

"A woman behaving badly loses her femininity. A giver sharing grudgingly loses his generosity. Deeds done from bad motives remain everlastingly tainted." - Buddha

"With His hand the impossible is done; in fear of Him the obstinate are quiet." - Rumi

"They were hungry and thirsty and their lives ebbed away." - Psalm (NIV)

Unfulfilled needs.
Unknown ways forward.

God’s providence endures.
God’s faithfulness is steady.

Shape what seems impossible into a reality.
Weave Your will as golden thread
   through the tapestry of our lives.
      (I am at a loss. I don’t know a way forward.)
I will praise You even in this time of difficulty and uncertainty.

Thank You for another day resting in Your providence and grace.
Thank You for the good things You’ve mixed into this life.
I have food, rest, music, love, family, shelter, art, creation and friendship.
       You have blessed me.
       Thank You.

The Froth of Froth of Froth

"He has vanquished the hindrances - lust, anger, sloth, and torpor, skepticism and distraction of mind - and he emerges the noble one, unscathed." - Buddha

"Before that pearl this shell is no more than the froth of froth of froth." - Rumi

"I will praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, O my God; I will sing praise to you with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel." - Psalm (NIV)

Father, thank You for Your faithfulness and kindness to me.
Please continue to provide for my daily life
   and bring the resources,
      ambition and fortitude
         to fulfill Your will.
These days are difficult.
Hope and praise are hard to sustain.
I have nothing if not from You.
It often feels as though nothing I do succeeds.

Please redeem this life and use it for Your glory.

Spontaneous Droplets

"To be considered truly an elder a man must practice truthfulness, righteousness, harmlessness, restraint, and self control, be free of stain and rich in wisdom." - Buddha

"It rained in droplets and he was amazed - spontaneous droplets from the sea of grace." - Rumi

"For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver." - Psalm (NIV)

Thank You, Lord, for the blessing of Your spontaneous grace.
Thank You for lifting us out of despair.
Thank You for continuing to provide our needs.

   Please continue to provide.
   Please lead us on the path of Your will.
   Please continue to form this space in which we dwell.

Life is challenging.
Filled with uncertainty.
Many people are cruel.

       Continue to fill us with grace and forgiveness.
       I love You,

Look Into Permanence

"However, whoever gives up this habit of finding fault with others’ offerings will know peace, day and night." - Buddha

"This world is void - look into permanence. Its form is empty - look into your spirit!" - Rumi

"For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies." - Psalm (NIV)

Focusing on spirit in the midst of visceral needs.
I know You are faithful and I will not be afraid.
   Lead me to the right path.
   Guide me to right actions.
I can honestly say I have no idea what I should do.
   (and I’m o.k. with that.)

Father, I love You.
Please continue to provide for my needs.
Please extend Your grace and peace to my loved ones.
I don’t have much to offer, but what I have is Yours.

Emptied Storehouse

"Do not be concerned with what other have or have not done. Observe your own actions and inactions." - Buddha

"The barn of him who sows is emptied out, but there is goodness growing in his field." - Rumi

I should pour out my offerings of praise and thanksgiving.
I should give generously of Your provident blessings.
I should use these indwelling gifts to declare Your name.

It is easy to compare my empty storehouse
   with those who gather and clasp tightly.
It is easy to be short-sighted.

God Most High,
please fulfill the vision You have created for my life.
Grow these scattered gifts into a testament to Your glory.
       I love You,

Worldly Toil

"Clinging to what is dear brings sorrow. Clinging to what is dear brings fear. To one who is free from endearment there is no sorrow or fear." - Buddha

”[…] all whom God has called will be untroubled by this worldly toil.” - Rumi

"Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall." - Psalm (NIV)

Your ways move like a howling wind
   over the landscape of my life.
At times lending lightness to my feet,
   at others staggering my steps backwards.
You are shelter,
You are wind.
In every space and experience I encounter Your presence.
Continue to teach me a humble attitude
   in receiving Your gifts
      in accepting the many-tendriled avenues of Your grace.
       I love You,

Destiny’s Melody

"Having tasted the sweetness of solitude and tranquility, one becomes free of sorrow and sin, while fully savoring the nectar of the joy of spiritual excellence." - Buddha

"But yet He says, ‘Speak out, there’s nothing wrong - it’s what the hidden destiny decrees." - Rumi

"Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you [….]" - Psalm

The unknown particles of daily existence.
The unexpected joys and sorrows.
The kind word, 
   the scathing critique - 
      fate and destiny sing their songs
      and form the rhythms beneath the patterns in our lives.
Sweet solitude and spiritual excellence.
The words You lead us to say.
Sometimes harming the speaker,
   sometimes creating new destinies to reach toward.

Your unending kindness transmits to us.
  A beacon in the dark, a strong radio signal.
It raises us up in the midst of our torpid thoughts.

Continue to reveal Your surprising grace and providence to me -
   in these long awaited moments
      when destiny’s melody drowns out the songs of our fate.

Where Are The Roses?

"The heart of the fully conscious man is fearless - he has freed his mind of lust and anger, he has transcended both good and evil." - Buddha

"O you who’ve gone from here to there in searching, how long will you repeat, ‘Where are the roses?’" - Rumi

"Consider the blameless, observe the upright; there is a future for the man of peace." - Psalm

The one year mark approaches. Since I lit the torch that burnt my career down.
The Lord is kind enough to obfuscate the way forward. Generously allowing me to flounder along - and recover.
My destructive patterns are powerful.
I have had a year to recognize and name them.
To weep.
To regret.
To mourn.
Though it appears the same, I am learning my lessons.
I am building true values. 
I am finding right ways.

Author of Fate and Destiny, weave wisdom into these coming days.
Take me down a path of recovery and peace.
As foolish as I am - as inconsistent and fickle.
I know You have a use for these experiences.
I believe You are still at work within my days.

I have debts I need to pay.
Please provide the resources for me to pay them.

I have plans I need to fulfill.
Please grant me clear vision and thoughts to fulfill Your plans.

I have roles I need to enact.
Please continue to work through me as a loving father and dedicated follower of Your ways.

I have challenging decisions to face.
Please embolden my heart and mind to choose the way You have written for me.

Over and over I cause sorrow and loss in my life.
Please redeem this life to create kindness and peace.

       I love You,

The Scarlet Rose

"Shun anger, let go of pride, break out of every shackle." -Buddha

"He brings the scarlet rose out of the fire. He brings advantage out of what is lost." -Rumi

"What is man that you are mindful of him?" -Psalm

Thank You for the blessing of work.
The gift of hope amongst decay.
New life budding from ash and mud.

Thank You for the heat of summer sun
and easy evenings spent with loved ones.

Thank You for the golden ark of grace
evidenced by surprising providence.
   I can’t feel but humbled by Your hand in my life.
   I can’t feel but blessed.
     Help me to bless others.
     Work through me to bring good works to the earth.

Thank You for Your love and kindness.

Shadows Veil Their Eyes

"This craving, this clinging, overpowers the man caught in it, and his sorrows multiply like prairie grass fed by rain." - Buddha

"When wax and wood get closer to the fire, their own essential darkness turns to light." - Rumi

"Let the light of your face shine up us, oh Lord." - Psalm

Sheltering myself in shadow
and shuttering my eyes to light.
The days stretch directionless

   Despite myself You care for me
      and mark my way.
   Despite my no-seeing
     You tug my arm
     and set the path in motion.
   Despite myself
     You provide and bless and love.
Unfailing. Unshakable. Unchanging.
Your love for us and Your commitment to Your people.

At every level I don’t deserve
to be seen by You
cared for by You
nurtured by You.

Your character is consistently grace.
Your methods are mercy. 
Your Way is kindness.

How can I sit silent and not acknowledge You?
How can I sit silent
  and not dwell within an attitude of praise?

My lips are unworthy but You still hear my heart’s prayer
and accept my meager praises.
       I love You.
       Thank You for loving me.