Steady The Seas

"The wise man, carefully, moment by moment, one by one, eliminates the stains of his mind, as a silversmith separates the dross from the silver." - Buddha

"The milk of counsel flows from love and peace." - Rumi

"Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you." - Psalm (NIV)

Thank You, Lord, for Your many blessings
   and for Your love - freely given to all.

Please continue to redeem the hearts and minds of Your people.
Please grant us insight and the ears to hear Your inspiration
   and perfect will.

The world aches and suffers.
We are broken and the breakers.
Steady the seas of human history
   and bring forth a time of great peace.

       I love You,

Mist, Dust, Wind & Wine

”[…] he is secure and called wise who is free of hate and does no harm.” - Buddha

"These griefs which are within our breasts are all the mist and dust and wind of our existence." - Rumi

"You have shown your people desperate times; you have given us wine that makes us stagger." - Psalm (NIV)

The mist and dust and wind.
The things that cloud our vision.
The things that create tears.

Holy God,
I believe in a day when You will wipe every tear from every eye.
I believe in a day when peace and loving kindness
   will be the only two laws that govern us.
I believe in a day where we will celebrate this life You’ve created
   free from sorrow and fear.

Transform our misdirection and inaction and bring about that day 
   so that every eye can see
      and every ear can hear
       Your holy will upon the Earth.

Choosing Value

"People cherish the person committed to right action and rich in understanding. That person, knowing the truth, walks steadfastly on the path." - Buddha

"God gave a life, and every day of it has value no one knows except for Him." - Rumi

"Confuse the wicked, O Lord, confound their speech, for I see violence and strife in the city." - Psalm (NIV)

Forgive my many wrongs, Most High God.
Lead me steadfastly on the path to Your will.
Though wearying and difficult,
   I choose Your way as better than mine.
You hear my heart speak and You know my innermost being.
You search and redeem my life from within to without.
Make right ways ahead of me
   and please redeem that which is behind.
I am lost, confused and distressed.
In my helplessness, be my Helper.
       I love You,

An Olive Tree

"It is pleasant to be of unshakable faith. It is pleasant to achieve insight." - Buddha

"Each moment ‘Am I not your Lord?’ comes from Him, the substance and effect come into being." - Rumi

"But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God." - Psalm (NIV)

You are my Lord.
Let me flourish in the space where You rest.
Guide me to principled action.
Deliver me from the schemes of men.
Please open a pathway to Your grace and providence.
Please redeem the broken pieces of my past.
Continue to mold me and form me according to Your will.
You are my Lord.
Let me flourish in the space where You rest.
       I love You,

The Veiled Entrance

"The man who denies what he has done is headed for sorrow." - Buddha

"This world, revealed to me in what I’ve dreamed, has opened up my wings with its unveiling." - Rumi

"For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me." - Psalm

Leave the tattered past behind you.
You have mourned.
You have buried.
You have wept and fasted.

Glimpsing that other world,
   open your wings and pass
      through the veiled entrance
         to the sky.

Partake in the goodness of sunlight.
Drink deeply the dewy nectared clouds.
Build a refuge for yourself
   among the temples of the stars.

       I forgive you.

Rare And Distant Glimpses

"He who lives the higher life, full of understanding of the world but free of its good or evil, that one can be called a holy man." - Buddha

"To hear his voice, the bird of soul would soar [….]" - Rumi

"Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me." - Psalm

Father, I’m experiencing disquiet.
Open the doors of providence and grace in my life.
Let me release and be free from past failures
   (and future obsessions.)
Restore Your peace which passes understanding.
   And please forgive my wrongdoings.
This road offers rare and distant glimpses
   of Your Holy Hill.
Please grant me the perseverance and presence
   to fulfill the tasks You’ve set before me.
I know Your gifts are good.
Teach me goodness in the face of Your gifts.
       I love You,

Gold Panning

"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

"Intelligence is sunshine, greed is ice, the world is filth, intelligence is water." - Rumi

"Have mercy on me, O God; according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from sin." - Psalm

(written March 11th 2013)
It is March 11th again.
A sad celebration of endings.
My mistakes and others.
The culmination of leavings.

Merciful Father,
please wash away the dross
   of my past.
Circle and swirl Your understanding around
   the gold pan of my days
      until nothing but gold is left.
Please continue to transform my life
   to something beautiful and useful to You.
I rely on Your providence.

The Tamed Self, The Crashing Mountains

"The man who has tamed himself, and patiently bears harsh words, is also the best among men." - Buddha

"The perfect mind’s a yoke upon the self." - Rumi

"Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and mountains fall into the heart of the sea [….]" - Psalm

Solidify Your plans and purposes within me, Almighty Father.
Eliminate the obstacles to your grace.
Enfold my spirit with Your mercies, O God.
Redeem this mind and teach me to feed on right thoughts and actions.

       This weakness - make it a strength.
       These obstacles - make them stepping stones.
       These fears - transform them to wisdom.

Enlighten this pathway.
Embolden these footfalls.
I rely on your providence.

Autumn Rain

"Avoid attachment to both what is pleasant and what is unpleasant. Losing the pleasant causes grief. Dwelling on the unpleasant also causes grief." - Buddha

"The boon of rain in spring is wonderful, but autumn rain’s like fever to the garden." - Rumi

"My tears have been my food day and night [….]" - Psalm

A year has passed and unresolved memories persist.
Dear heart, do not blame the fire for your lack of warmth.
Forgive the past and move toward a brighter, warmer light.

Father of Life, grow wisdom within me 
   from the seed of disappointment.
Redeem the loss I’ve mourned and
   transform it to wisdom’s gain.
Continue to guide me to right livelihood.
Lead me to community.
Redeem my broken relationships, finances and career.
       I love You.

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.