Full Moon Grace

Today Paul is hosting at the dVerse Pub. He is asking us to write about grace.  Happy New Year to you all. May we all be blessed with grace.  This is also for Sanaa at Real Toads.

Full Moon Grace
the night is bitter cold:
minus one degree farenheit.
I watch the first full moon of 2018 rise –
a wolf moon –
sitting on my back steps
I blend into the shadows.
out of the deeper shadows comes a ginger cat
followed hesitantly by a black and white cat.
hey tentatively look around and
approach the pan holding food.
I do not know where these cats came from.
It doesn’t matter.
They need food. I supply it.
The neighbor behind me earlier
this month shot two cats I had been feeding.
they were sons of Nobody’s Cat.
He also shot a neighbor’s dog
and another neighbor’s cat.
Rage as cold as this night swept through me.
I called the police.
They investigated.
This human will go on trial tomorrow.
Justice will be had.

I wish for grace to fall upon us all
as the moonlight washes the night in silver,
I wish for grace in the new year
to all creatures, all animals, all humans.
I wish for justice.
I pray for grace.
The cats fade away, full of food
to wherever they have found a place to keep warm.
Grace be unto you,
I whisper.



an anthology of poetry. I am included!  This can be purchased from Amazon both in the US and the UK.


Inner Peace Award

Bronze Star Medal; Decoration of the U.S. Military

Bronze Star Medal; Decoration of the U.S. Military (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

AjayTao and Clowie nominated me for this award and it is with great joy that I accept this award on behalf of my beloved Papa.  My papa was 16 when he lied about his age and joined and became part of the Third Army during WWII.  He was a sniper and earned high honors for marksmanship and a bronze star for valor.It is not however, his actions of battle, but rather his action of compassion that merits this award.  It was bitter cold in France.  Many of the soldiers had inadequate food, clothing, boots……because Papa, “Country” as his buddies called him, was one of those gentle, kind, funny, deceptively slow moving youngsters, he became a great favorite with all.

One day, he was in the mess tent grabbing a quick bite.  In front of him was a thin, shivering young man in a wet uniform, limping his way through the line.  Papa looked down and saw he was wearing wet, ragged socks.  During war and especially in winter, your feet are all important to guard and care for.  Papa asked the young man where his boots were and was shocked when he was told, “I haven’t had boots for several weeks, just socks.”  Then and there, Papa left the tent and went to the quartermaster and begged boots, dry socks, dry pieces of uniform.  He returned to the tent and gave to the young man who began to cry at the gift.  He asked Papa’s name and thanked him.

A few days later, Papa was going through a field of wounded soldiers for “clean up duty”.  He looked down into the dead face of the young man.  At the body recovery tent, Papa was called in and given a small bundle.  It consisted of a handkerchief, a bar of soap in army issue soap box, a stub of a pencil, and a New Testament stained with blood.  Inside, the young man had written that his belongings were to be given to my father.  “I have no family and he was more than a brother to me.”  I still have these items today, just as Papa handed them down to me.

Years later, Papa finally told some of the war stories.  He only told this one once and he wept the whole time.  He shook with sobs as he said, “At least his feet were warm.”

My Papa survived hell but with a tear in his soul that never fully healed.  In spite of this, he was a loving man.  Serene, gentle, funny….at peace with the world his God had created.  Birds were not afraid of him, all animals fell under his spell, babies reached out their trusting arms to him.  He spent his life loving and taking care of those who could not care for themselves.  His sapphire blue eyes reflected heaven and in spite of everything, you could look in his eyes and see peace and gratitude.

So this award is really for my Papa.  It was given to me by Ajay and Clowie – two other gentle sousl. T thank them for this award. I thank God’s grace for giving me the peace of knowing His love is constant, just like my earthly Papa.

May you all find peace within.

Grace and Joy – C.H.Spurgeon

C.H.Spurgeon was a minister in England during the reign of Queen Victoria.  His sermons were often full of wit as well as truth and sound Bible theology.  Lately, I’ve been feeling like all I hear anymore is bad news – destruction, sinful behavior, evil…..

I found some quotes from Dr. Spurgeon which still ring true today.  I hope they give you a lift and bless you as they did me.

I think beloved, it will not be hard for you to learn. The angels of heaven rejoice over Sinners that repent: saints of God, will not you and I do the same? I do not think the church rejoices enough. We all grumble enough and groan enough: but very few of us rejoice enough. When we take a large number into the church it is spoken of as a great mercy; but is the greatness of that mercy appreciated?
Source: The Sympathy of the Two Worlds, Sermon, Luke 15:10.

When the heart is full of joy, it always allows its joy to escape
. It is like the fountain in the marketplace; whenever it is full it runs away in streams, and so soon as it ceases to overflow, you may be quite sure that it has ceased to be full. The only full heart is the overflowing heart.
Source: The Sympathy of the Two Worlds, Sermon, Luke 15:10. 


Extract of a Sermon 

“The Lord hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad.” Bible Study Reference: Psalm 126:3

Some Christians are sadly prone to look on the dark side of everything, and to dwell more upon what they have gone through than upon what God has done for them. Ask for their impression of the Christian life, and they will describe their continual conflicts, their deep afflictions, their sad adversities, and the sinfulness of their hearts, yet with scarcely any allusion to the mercy and help which God has vouchsafed them. 

But a Christian whose soul is in a healthy state, will come forward joyously, and say, “I will speak, not about myself, but to the honour of my God. He hath brought me up out of an horrible pit, and out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings: and He hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God. The Lord hath done great things for me, whereof I am glad.”


HOPE – エレミヤ書 29:11

エレミヤ書  29:11

主は言われる、わたしがあなたがたに対していだい ている計画はわたしが知っている. それは災を与え




Jeremiah 29:11  For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Today, we need hope more than ever.  Thousands of years ago, God spoke to the people of Israel, exiles (captives) in Babylon.  They were taken away from their homes, their property, children – everything taken from them and their lives turned upside down and totally changed.  Their city and temple was destroyed.

A few years later, God would use Nehemiah to bring these exiles back to their home and rebuild their temple.  And years even later, God sent His Son, Jesus, to be born as a child (please read my post Why Christmas) and to live among us, die for us, rise from the dead to save us from eternal death and give us life everlasting.

God looked all the way down the millennia to then to now.  He still speaks to us.  He still has hope for us.  His Son still loves us. 

In spite of everything ugly, frightening, horrible, catastrophic, WE STILL HAVE HOPE!

John 3:16 – 17  God loves us so much, He sent His only Son to live with us, die for us, and rise from the dead to save us from eternal life.  He was sent not to condemn us, but to save us and give us hope. (my paraphrase)

It is Christmas.  Regardless of what you celebrate, how you worship, I share this with you.  Believe it or not, that is your choice.

But I want you all to know this and to know there is hope.  Be blessed.  God Bless You!  Merry Christmas!



Radical Hospitality of Jesus

Luke 10:38-42 (NLT) 38 As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. 39 Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. 40 But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”41 But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! 42 There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” 

The Radical Hospitality of Jesus 

Here we go again with Martha and Mary – Martha being too busy to take time to be with Jesus and Mary, taking the time  to sit and listen to Jesus.  This is the top layer of the story:  Putting a priority on the busyness of things of this earth rather than putting the priority of things of the spirit in first place.  We all get that.  Moreover, it is truly important to take time to listen to Jesus and learn how He lived His life and His priorities.  His priorities were taking time to be alone with His Father and communicate with Him:   talking as well as listening. 

There is another layer to this story.  The Radical Hospitality (GRACE) of Jesus.  I have so many friends who grew up to view their church (Baptist, Catholic, Church of Christ, Nazarene, UMC, whatever) as a place where hypocrites gather to act one way and then act another out of the church. How “religion” was crammed down their throats until they were able to run as far away as they could get.  How these hypocrites judge others or how they only go to church to gather gossip or show off their clothes or to make business contacts.  My words on this:  STOP LOOKING AT THEM!!!!!  Look at Jesus instead. 

In the time of Jesus, women worked in the home.  They did it all: the cooking, childrearing, laundry, cleaning. They were lucky they had time to go to the bathroom much less take the time to learn anything.  Men, on the other hand, while they had their tasks, were “allowed” to sit at the feet of a rabbi and learn. They could sit on their duffs while the women worked and served them. It was fine for men to take the time out of their tasks so they all sit together in a group of entitlement and learn. 

Mary however, stepped out of her role as a woman.  She dared to sit at the feet of the rabbi (Jesus) and listen and learn.  She did not sit as a child would sit, but she sat as an equal to the men around her.  Martha was scandalized at her sister acting that way.  It was uncomfortable.  Martha had enough help to get the meal made and the men served. She was upset at Mary’s behavior and how Mary was daring to set herself as equal to the men around her.

 Jesus did not make Mary get up and go into the kitchen. Instead, he welcomed her to sit and be equal among the group. Martha could have done the same thing if she had chosen – if she had dared to step out of her upbringing.

 Jesus extends to us this hospitality, this grace – to come and be equal and to be loved by Him. He doesn’t say that because you’ve been angry about the church thing that you are not welcome.  He doesn’t put you into your old upbringing, the old role you had. He invites – He wants you to join Him and to be loved by Him – equally – with all others who step out of their roles and sit at His feet to give themselves to His love and grace. 

You can choose to be Martha and use the past to stay in the kitchen or, you can choose to be Mary and to be part of the Radical Hospitality of Jesus. 

Matthew 11:28-30  (MSG) 28-30“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Too Busy

 I could not sleep. Too many thoughts of what I needed to do at home and work ran through my brain like the Boston Marathon – thrice. I gave up and went outside to sit on my back steps. The night was like warm bathwater fragrant with lilies and newly mown grass. The only sound was that of cicadas chanting their mating rasp – strophe and antistrophe.  Soothed, I relaxed and leaned against the sliding glass door. I gazed at the creamy full moon through black lace tree brances.  I had not had time earlier because I was too busy being busy.  Oh my Lord Jesus, forgive my sins of commission and ommission. Forgive my not taking time for you when you gave all your time for me. 

No wonder I felt so tired and overwhelmed! I had not followed my Shepherd to those still waters and restored my soul. Jesus leads us to those times of silence and alone, but we have to be willing to follow him. We have to give up Pawn Stars, 6:00 news, immediately unloading the dishwasher, washing the car, logging in to our workplace email while at home….What if Jesus had been to busy to die for us? What if when instead of going apart and praying, He decided to take a nap? 

Come to Me. Get away with Me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with Me and work with Me–Watch how I do it.  Learn the unforced rythms of grace.” Matt. 11:28, 29 (Msg). Sit on your back steps, close your bedroom door, cut off the phone….midnight, dawn, noon….Spend some time in the Savior’s presence and in His word and let Him teach you purpose and peace.

Lord, show me how to set my priorities so they will always be in line with Your will. Please, don’t let a life of busyness steal my health, sanity, my relationships with others and with You. Let me learn the “unforced rythms of grace.” Amen

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