Happy New Year 2010



May you wisely examine all that is set before you. Embrace the good stuff. Toss out that bad stuff.

May your understanding deepen for the things that matter and for those that don't - may they be easily discarded.

May your heart be warm, strong. and courageous.

May you live with gusto and zeal, and dispel indifference.

May you eat hearty - but only things that build your body... build strength... and health.

May you overflow with love toward your fellow man - especially the ones you dislike.

May you live a life of honor and leave a legacy of hope.

May you practice kindness and be tenderhearted.

May you find people in ditches, lift them out and put them on solid ground.

May you prosper in all ways - in wisdom and discernment, and in practical ways - so that you might give lavishly to those who need it, and even to those who do not.

May you seed into virtue. May your crop be outrageous.

May you be civil in all your ways; gracious and courteous to all.

May you see that when things suck, that you have the power to affect change... make things better.

May tenderness and grace occupy your mind and from it overflow (with increase) to a despairing world in need.

May you forgive early and often, including yourself.

May you be at peace with yourself, with Creator God, and with man.

May you be filled with so much goodness and kindheartedness that even you are amazed!

May you always remember that words are either life or death. May yours always produce life.

May joy flood your heart and displace sorrow and the painful wounds of the past.

May patience and peace rule your days.

May your hear clearly and act decisively.

May your knowledge be great, and your wisdom be sure.

May your friendships bring you comfort and a giggle or two. May you be a friend so that you will have many.

May the things you have not, matter not.

May the things you have, matter less.

May you share your blessings - big and small - with others, that you might bring honor to the goodness resident within you - that same goodness that longs for and hungers for a land beyond.

2009 says goodbye. Let it go. Stretch forth to the new year. 2010 will be a year to behold. We were born for a time such as this. Dream big. Anticipate beyond anything you ever expected to receive. Remember: you alone = little. Together, as living stones rightly fitted, we build... we build hope that leads to freedom that leads to victory. For freedom you have been set free.

© Liza K. Christian


I think that I shall never see...

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet earth's flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree."

- Joyce Kilmer, 1886-1918, Trees

IMAGE: © Silent Mornings - All Rights Reserved


Algae and Pond Scum

Sometimes algae growth indicates a lack of balance or oxygen deficiency. It's usually caused by dead things that create sludge leading to stagnation, icky odors and other unpleasant outcomes. Controlling bad algae can be labor intensive and include methods such as chemicals and filters (some of which inherently bring about other issues that may be as problematic as the algae itself).

Not all algae is bad, however; in fact, some algae from high altitude lakes is harvested for its health benefits.

Kinda like life.

Sometimes we identify a problem as a problem, when in fact, locked within it is a solution, a benefit.

Examining the "algae-like" matters in our lives is worth pondering.

© Silent Mornings - All Rights Reserved



Enthralled and ravished lest
Imprisoned by enemies.

Soul man: apprehended.

Not merely crippled - shattered - rendered useless.
Reduced to fragments, inoperative, discontinued.

Infused by whispers revealed in
Knots and yokes - unappealing things made into treasures.

Restraints: welcomed; embraced.

We bend; He mends.
He breaks, then remakes.

Ravished, consumed -
Imprisoned by the mortal ties;

Trust: conferred.

Flesh: Obliterated.
Captured; made worthy.

© Silent Mornings ~ All Rights Reserved


God is not safe.
He is demanding. He probes my heart, invades my stuff, consumes it. Dead stuff seems to be his specialty.
Generally speaking, he doesn't butt in, preferring to beckon. Nevertheless, he's insistent about certain things - y'know: virtue, purity, obedience, devotion - that kinda thing.
He's big on leading. Regrettably, I'm a bit passive about following. Not always; but too often.
I wobble; he's firm. I vacillate; he changeless. I'm weak; he's fierce. I get stirred up; he's at rest.
What gives me courage to know God - causes me to yield - compels me to trust?
Love. Grace.
His grace helps me trust. His love sets me free - free to be pursued, consumed, led, strengthened, encouraged, walk rightly...

and love in return.

© Silent Mornings All Rights Reserved


Looking Over Your Shoulder

What do our actions say about us?

I recently attended the documentary film, "LORD, Save us From Your Followers."

Small theatre - perhaps some 50-60 people attended the showing I did.

The gist of the film is how the world, especially Americans, view Christians. The responses from the "unbelieving" well, let's just say: "not so pretty."

Looking at the impression our words and deeds make on the culture... on our neighbor... our spouses/children... the clerks/sales staff at the market... the guy in heavy traffic - the one your 17-year old just "flipped the bird" and who now sits 12 people down the pew from you in church... .

It's a conversation worth having, as writer/producer/director Dan Merchant might say.

Merchant doesn't give solutions, but he provokes you/me to think of some. The Q is: will we do it? Will we (who believe), change up our game plan? Even a smidge?

Here's what just one row looked like after the film concluded.

Obviously this isn't the worse thing anyone could do, but still...

Considering that a trash receptacle was less than 30' away, what impression do you think this left on the managers and the three or four teens that came in to clean up?

Do these same Christian's who randomly left their snacks strewn about - do they toss food on their floor around their dining room table?

Just askin'

Trailer: ~ It's worth a look!



Choose to steep your soul in love... be bound by love... yoked to love... compelled through love... find unhindered expression in love... respond out of love... live arrested by love - not merely the essence of love, but love itself: indescribable, incomprehensible, and irresistible.

Many live in sorrow and pain because they have not received love... been touched by extravagant, condition-less, inexhaustible love. But love always reaches out through others who have experienced love, who walk in love, albeit awkwardly at times.

The tender touch of love... the gentle whisper... this inner persuasion. teaches us patience, mercy, and grace.

Love reaches into the painful places of people's lives, woos them... redeems them... restores them.

Receive the mark of love. Choose to adorn yourself in love's lavish garments of peace.

© Silent Mornings - All Rights Reserved


We all begin somewhere in time.

But, perhaps we place to much emphasis on this matter called time.

Time draws from a well of memories - washing us with a landscape of colors, scents, textures, and whispers of the past. Many times, such recollections muscle their way into our lives - pretending to hold power over us to influence our present.

Will we let them?

Often we do.

Memories capture our attention. Likely, we spend too much time entertaining them - as if they were invited guests for which we dress ourselves in linen, put out fine China plates and crystal goblets.

Fixating on memories of the past - especially the sorrowful ones - is disproportionate to many other positive activities that could - would we let them - occupy our thoughts and move us into courage and peace.

Memories often tether us to our failures - our should have's, our if only's, and so forth. They sneak into the unsuspecting places of our minds and lock us into despair instead of releasing us into destiny. There is something fundamentally wrong with permitting this to continue.

We must look for the treasure in the least obvious places.

If we really understood the power of this day, this moment - time: past, present, or future - would neither alter nor diminish us. It would only enhance the memories that anchor us to legacy.

Let's take time from the place of ransom. Let's ignore its negative hold. Let's quit apologizing for what wasn't and pursue what will be.


In Pursuit to Receive

By wisdom the earth's foundations were laid. By understanding the heavens were set in place. By knowledge the deeps were divided. (1)

Day One:
The morning dawns. I find myself in pursuit of something I don't fully understand.

As I traverse through my day wisdom is bestowed along with the ability to apply any knowledge I may acquire. (2)

Day Two ~ Repeat Day One:
Continue to mine the rich depths of wisdom and knowledge - the unfathomable, inscrutable, unsearchable, untraceable, mysterious paths that open to those who seek them. (3)

WISDOM is given.
KNOWLEDGE is learned or acquired.
The ability to use knowledge is UNDERSTANDING.

1. By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures. Proverbs 3:19-20a

2. God made the earth by His power; He established the world by His wisdom and by His understanding and skill stretched out the heavens. Jeremiah 10: 12

3. Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unfathomable) are His decisions! And how untraceable are His ways. Romans 11:33

The Potter and The Clay

If you watch a potter working the clay on his wheel, you notice that there is no tension - the clay submits graciously to the potter's hands - the potter's direction.

A passage found in Jeremiah 18:6 arrests our thoughts as we examine how "clay in the potters hand is to be fashioned at the potter's pleasure and rendered according to his purposes.

In reading these words, we notice a spiritual corollary. God the Father is expressed as the "Potter" and we, His children, symbolize the clay. More often than not, we discover that being clay - supple and moldable - represents a challenge or two. I was thinking about how resistant I am to being clay. Perhaps it is because I want to be a finished piece of art, admired for my beauty and/or functionality. Perhaps even more disturbing (if I am honest with myself) is knowing that the Potter knows best, yet I want to be in control.

He is the Potter, I am the clay.
I want Him to mold me, but I am selfish, prideful, and arrogant.
I want to be consecrated, but without devotion.
I want to be anointed without being appointed.
I want His perfect will as long as it doesn't cost me anything.
I want His power without my surrender.
I want to be hallow without being hollowed.
I want to be filled without emptying out.
I want Him to give without taking away.
I want everything He has as long as I don't have to give up anything.
I want His grace, but I don't want His cross.

© Silent Mornings


The Nines

Today is unique. It's the ninth day of the ninth month of the ninth year of the 21st century: 09-09-09. In other words, it's the nines!

Numbers have significance. Although I'm sure there are many more I didn't unlock I discovered a few things about the numeric nine. Here's what I learned: Nine is the sum of digits whose form is multiplied and is also a multiple i.e., 3x3=9.

Nine means FRUIT BEARING. An example is spoken of in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 that's quite appropriate - the manifestation of the Holy Spirit's nine gifts. "They are first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues."

Next, the attributes of the Holy Spirit are demonstrated in Galatians 5:22 - also spoken of as fruit: "...the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control."

In chemistry, the number for water is nine. Along with fire and wind, water is another characteristic of the Holy Spirit.

A significant procedure not uncommon to Jews, Christian's, and other families of faith is CIRCUMCISION. Abraham is known as the Father of Faith and part of his story is found in Genesis 12 and Romans 3:27-4:25. Abraham was circumcised at 99 years of age, signifying a seal of RIGHTEOUSNESS.

Nine also means COMPLETENESS with well known evidence easily demonstrated at the conclusion of nine months of pregnancy.

Nine also references FINALITY, one example being that nine is last of the single digits. There are other excellent examples found in history and prophesy.

JUDGMENT is another meaning revealed in the numeric nine. One powerful example is revealed in Jesus' death in the 9th hour on the cross of Calvary. This is discussed in Mark 15:25. All of God's wrath - His judgment against sin was poured out on Jesus. You can read Romans 1:18-32 for more information.

Perhaps you have other examples of meanings found in the number nine. Feel free to share them in the comment field. I'd enjoy reading about your discoveries. If you want to cite a book or web link that would be great.

Image: © Silent Mornings


Oh, My... Another Prayer Request?

At my computer, I opened three eMails. "Oh my goodness, I gasped, 'another' prayer request? ...and regarding people I don't even know."

Each week, several eMail requests land in my "in" box. They're from people I know, people I don't know, and from people I don't know - asking prayer for people they don't know. On and on it goes.

I often wonder what compels someone to send me these requests. Don't misunderstand. I love to pray... especially for reconciliation and healing (body/soul/spirit). God has called me to this; but does that mean that I pray for everyone who writes me? Am I unspiritual if I don't?

Sometimes, the expressed need will fully grip my heart. Immediately, I hit the deck. Other times, (sorrowful admission here), I think or speak out a polite (read: weak/insignificant) little prayer that goes something like this: "meet their need, Papa" or "I agree with this request - honor their faith, Lord" and then, I move on. Other times, I just click the delete button. Rare is it when I hear back if the prayers were answered. Do they still have cancer or were they healed? Did so and so die, or does s/he live to proclaim the goodness of the Lord? Is there a follow-up need?

I find this a little odd. Is it just me, or isn't the ANSWER to the prayer as or more important than the prayer request itself? (I know, I know... it's a lot to track. Phew... sure am glad God doesn't get confused.)

Today, a dear friend sent me a note saying that a forwarded prayer request she'd sent me last week actually started "circulating the world" back in 2002. She didn't even know if the need was a accurate back then.

Now, that is strange.

I scratched my head and wondered how many people stop to pray when these requests come their way. I mean, sincerely pray. Or, do they just forward. Are all of us just sitting at our computers forwarding, forwarding, forwarding.

Now that would be sorta ridiculous, wouldn't it?

Perhaps it's just my jaundiced way of thinking. Perhaps most people sincerely ask God how to pray for the need (according to His Word and will).

I must admit, however, that in my own pathetic whiny way, I've dismissed many of these requests thinking, "I don't know these people... I don't have time for this... they probably have a ton of other people praying... etc.."

Even knowing the power of agreement and our call to bear one another's burdens, my thoughts about these requests are sometimes about being bothered vs. being blessed that someone would include me in their circle, believing God would act favorably on their behalf if I added my prayer to the pot (meaning no disrespect here, of course).

While having this less than spiritual thought, it dawned on me: when I ask God to meet a need in my life (and unless my decisions haven't put me in a posture where he won't hear my prayer), GOD is always ready. His ears and eyes are attuned his children as our ears (are intended to be) attuned to his.

He doesn't have a backlog - an eMail box full of a b'zillion unread messages... . He doesn't sigh or put his hands on his hips in frustration thinking, "Her again? Can't she work some of this out on her own? Seriously, I can't be bothered by these silly issues."

On the contrary, he is my ever ready help in times of need. He invites me to come before Him - to lay my burdens at His feet - to believe He will fulfill that which concerns me according to His promises which are yes and amen!

Make my heart more tender, Papa. Like yours.

© Silent Mornings


Hope is active, like faith. It is substantive: a force steeped in expectancy.

You don't sit in your rocker hoping for hope. You dig your knuckles into it. You soar to find it. With determination, you persevere in securing it. The longer you persist the stronger and more courageous you become.

Hope is the place upon which the visible realm hinges. Hope is an expectation. The more you have the more you get. The increased manifestation deepens your confidence.

Hope is not obscure, it is concrete. Hope is simple. It lays bare - waiting your discovery.

Hope encounters things you can touch and feel. Hope is void of mistrust. Hope exempts us from despair and anchors us.

Hope is not built on daydreams and empty promises. Hope is built on the reassuring atmosphere of love.

© Silent Mornings


A Place Called Wonder

Children have a remarkably insatiable appetite for asking questions. Somewhere on the journey from childhood to adulthood, many children forget to ask questions and settle only for answers. Curiosity does not require brilliance or a high IQ - merely a nimble mind with a desire to inquire... to reflect... to imagine that certain secrets and mysteries remain locked and that they are worthy of exploration. At first, we may look from a distance, but it is important that we look... that we never stop looking.

© Silent Mornings


Keys on Boards ~ Locks Unopened

An hour before curtain, I watched the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's "Green Show" so named because it takes place "on the green" in front of the world-reknowned OSF Ampitheater. Beside the delightful artists who present, it's a fun place to hang out - catch up with locals, meet tourists, watch young children frolic with wild abandon, and old men struggle to get up after an hour on the lawn while their old women laugh at their old men and they themselves, teeter and totter to regain balance. The entire rim of the platform and the greens is lined with enthusiastic, hand-clapping people.

My town is idyllic - something you read about in novels. The buildings charming, including the many Victorian bed and breakfast's, the restaurants plentiful. and their fare superb. Tiny little shoppes dot the downtown and the Plaza. No one who has visited our famous Lithia Park comes away disappointed. At every turn, something is worthy of an "ooh or an ahh" - a bench to plop down upon, landscapes and architecture to admire, a fragrance to enjoy.

As I walked back to my car, shooting eye candy like a tourist, I was drawn to a tattered and worn building. Paint peeled off the siding, cobwebs had formed around the windows and the sides of the building. A stairway to nowhere stood oddly by one side while a chipped concrete wall snuggled against the other.

I like shooting textures and color and this building - in deep need of repair - had both. I walked over to take a peek at what the camera might like. As I neared the building I noticed behind the two windows, racks of keys, locks, bolts, and knobs. A dusty whiskey box rested in the corner. Except for the setting sun bouncing off the glass, the room was dark inside. As I peered closer, a bulb hung by a string. Next to the soft yellow light a man shuffled.

"This is an actual business?" I thought to myself.

There was no sinage on the building. Perhaps they were wholesalers. Maybe this is even someone's home - it is, after all, a residential-business area.

I didn't want to seem too interested and have the shopkeeper peer back through the dirty window and give me a scare, so I lined up my shot and walked up the hill. Still, I wondered what memories this old, unkept building held. And keys... there were tons of keys.
Aren't keys supposed to unlock things? Why hadn't the shops owner unlocked his key to success... why hadn't he taken responsibility for maintaining his property? Of the two questions, maybe he had found success. His definition might be different than mine. Not everything that looks good on the outside is necessarily good on the inside, and not everything that looks awful on the outside is devoid of treasures on the inside.

When I got home, I uploaded my shots. Shooting with a little point and shoot camera's limitations (even with the "behind glass" setting), meant that I'd have to spend a few minutes adjusting some things in Photoshop. That's okay. It's always fun to manipulate your findings - make them more interesting... better... more artsy.

As I was playing around with the exposure, I thought again about what memories were stored up in that building and remembered one of my favorite authors, Corrie ten Boom. A victim of the Holocaust, Miss ten Boom once said, "memories are the key not to the past, but to the future."

"What." I pondered, "had this building seeded into it's future? What legacy would define it? Who was the little man inside? Did he have friends? Was his business prospering? Was he healthy. Did he have needs? Were they being met? Did he drink whiskey?"

The questions would not stop rolling through my mind.

I decided that his keys weren't so much about what they locked, but what they unlocked. My key was in knowing how to ask the right questions.

© Silent Mornings


And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven: and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. ~ Matthew 16:19
Authority ~ έξουσία ~ John 14:12-14
Power ~ δύναμις ~ Acts 1:8
Dominion ~ κυριότης ~ Genesis 1:26-28

© Silent Mornings



Seconds are the slender threads of sacred moments.

Moments weave into hours, forming the warp and waft of our days.

Over time, days collect into weeks, months, and eventually years. They become our past.

We overload our schedules and forget to pace. We bolt from one activity to the next and fail to savor the epochal strands of time. We live as if we are spectators instead of participants and contributors. We consume, consume, consume - distracted and busied in a world without constraint. We are pulled toward this cause, that group, this need, that event.

Computers, radios, and televisions draw us relentlessly to consume insatiably, their information. They implore us to places where we are dominated and directed by external voices (some familiar, others alien). Rather than defining and directing the course of our own lives we submit, by default, to the urgings of others. How do we protect and guard, esteem and honor - the seconds that form minutes and the hours that braid our days into rich treasures. The cords of connection are opportunities to reward a good deed, deposit encouragement, develop intimacy, bask in stillness, listen to the chirp of birds - the laughter of children, foster a smile, release hope, support a need, unravel a wound, surrender a hurt, and unleash the power of forgiveness in kindness and grace.

Some days, this hurry-up world demands we disregard even the utter simplicity and significance of breath - the value of a pause, the innocence of silence.

This span we call time - the cluster of scattered seasons fused by fragmented conflicts and disagreable pain mixed with joyful encounters and tender tempos - precipitously summon and frame our vision. The strands may be tied by a gossamer ribbon unfurled in the wind, or a thick rope tied to heavy anchors.

Some of the things we do everyday... some thoughts we may have uttered a hundred times... a task we could do with our eyes closed, echo the uneventful and mundane. Yet, every second, every minute, every hour, entwines within potential: pivotal arcs - not trivial consequences.

Almost without notice, a rhythmic stitch repeatedly constructs the moments that weave your legacy... and mine. Dare we neglect the threads or this vital tapestry? Is it not our duty to redeem the time?

© Silent Mornings



The word “leverage” stirs up negative feelings for me. It reminds me of when people have used their power against me and sometimes that reminds me of money and loss. But the word itself isn’t moral or immoral, good or bad.

We all experience moments when life ends up in a slump and it’s more than the normal ebb and flow. Perhaps personal relationships have been challenged; profitability in your business has spiraled downward; matters that affect you deeply have gone awry; unjustly hardships have been imposed upon you, and so on. You may continue to engage on all these fronts, but even so, everything seems to decline, awkwardly and quickly. You sigh. Is an “end in sight” you wonder?

Our human nature, being what it is, may cause you to shrug, pout, and give up. But is despair a viable option?

I live at the top of a hill and have found it difficult to ride my bike up the steep incline. It’s not just me, but about everybody – no matter their age or physical fitness. I used to criss-cross the road but a few wild drivers in the neighborhood dampened my enthusiasm for that option. Walking your bike up the hill seems a bit “retarded,” but that’s what I end up doing. Then, I heard about hybrid “power-assisted bikes” – you still pedal, but when the going gets a little tough, you kick in that boost from the bike’s onboard energy pack! Wheeee, and you’re no longer battling that steep grade but feeling like you've donned spandex with a “Tour de France” attitude taking over!

What if, we applied this same “power assist” to our frustrations. Instead of complaining, moaning, and groaning, what if we leverage life’s many rise and fall junctures?

Rising seems good when the bank account gets fatter, but not so good when the hill is steep. Falling is great fun when you’re on a water slide, but not such a happy experience when the stock market plunges. It’s really about perspective and, yes… “leveraging.”

What if, then… we used this power or ability to act and influence people, events, decisions and maximize them for good. Instead of looking at the dismal, challenging, difficult situations of life, we implement that age-old philosophy of “turning a lemon into lemonade!”

What if instead of a complaint, we complemented… instead of griping, we grappled… instead of being enervated, we’re excited. What if our “power assist” is really a “posit-assist.” The word “posit” means to place, put, set; expect, dream, consider. What if we lay down a premise that is counter to the negatives we experience?

What if we dare instead of doubt? We go instead of give up. We exceed instead of escape? What if the problems, messes, and disappointments became opportunities – ways to imagine, to obtain favor, and to do good?

What if we basked in the delight of God, Himself, and let Him take care of the schemers and the wicked devices of man? Proverbs 12:2

© Silent Mornings



She lay there, frail – anemic-looking, actually - her fingers twisted around an old tissue – one she used every now and then to wipe her nose. Her skin was sallow, her face sunken - the soft fleshy areas eclipsed by the bony structures. Her eyes, a pale blue, seemed vacant - yet they cried out. They appeared to say: “I see you… I know you are there. Do you know I am here?”

Despite this ”knowing,” we remained in silence.

She could speak, but chose to remain voiceless.

I wondered, as I sat there beside her, what her back-story was. The nurses and doctors came in, left, came back in. They attended to the machines, the drips, the tubes, but never to her… almost as though it was forbidden to engage with her… to care for “her” and not just her “condition” and medical needs.

I knew her name: Mariel. The hospital chaplain had given it to me when I was asked to pray for her.

(Mariel, where are you? How can I pray for you? What do I pray for you?)

“Lord, help me.” (Let her know that you care… that for some odd reason, you have sent me, a complete stranger, to sit with her in these last tenuous hours she is to occupy the canvas we call earth.)


She glanced slightly in my direction.

“The Lord is near.”

Her look was quizzical, mixed with hunger.

“Do you know Jesus?”

Her chest rose and a slight sigh passed through her lips.

“Lord, does she know you? What does she need in this exact moment of time?”

“Me… she needs Me.”

“Mariel, Jesus loves you – will you receive His great gift of love for you? Ask Him to forgive you… restore you… redeem you… reconcile you?”

It seemed like too many words… too many thoughts for one as ill as she, to comprehend.

This enervated woman, in her late eighties, who had not spoken for 3 months now looked at me with piercing eyes, and said. “yes… yes.”

We prayed a short prayer confirming her assent to God’s great provision. She sighed again – deeply this time - releasing what seemed a lifetime of sorrow and grief. With her eyes now closed she gave the tiniest squeeze to my hand, and then… Mariel slipped into eternity.

A weak woman who had occupied a hospital bed a split nano-second ago, was transported sound and unbroken into the arms of Love, Himself: the One who is indescribable, incomprehensible, and irresistible. The One whose love is limitless, whose goodness is endless, whose mercy is measureless, whose grace is unending.

The monitor went flat. The medical people swarmed the room. No resuscitation. They asked me to leave.

I pulled out my cell phone and called the chaplain. I inquired if he knew any family to call. He didn’t; and said that none of the hospital staff knew of family, either. Grief engulfed me. I slipped to the hard, cold floor of the hospital corridor and wept.

A few days later, after some diligent research, I discovered Mariel’s son. At first, despite the fact that he now knew that his mother was dead… no longer here... he firmly declined to speak with me.

I waited… did not hang up.

“You just don’t know… (his voice crackling, agitated), what we went through.”

“You’re right; I don’t,” I replied.

Silence. Several interminably long seconds passed.

I could hear noise in the background. He was “shushing” someone, asking that they leave the room he was in.

I waited.

A few moments passed, after which I guess he took note of my sincerity, relented, and spoke again. His voice unsteady, he began to unfurl an erratic and tragic story of family distress and despair.

Mariel had made some egregious decisions over her lifetime. The impact of them created a sorrowful outcome for many - for a daughter (dead from neglect while still an infant), another daughter who committed suicide when a teenager, and a son (the one with whom I now spoke) - a man whose inner turmoil had filled the notebooks of many psychiatrists and whose lament had never been shared with a non-professional.

And here I came - unexpected, interrupting, pressing in to a volatile situation. (Little did I know… but God did.)

The conversation went for three hours. Few words. Many tears. Much prayer.

Sam met this same Jesus Mariel came to know before the vapor of her life was no more.

He has called me a few times since our initial conversation. There are things he will need to work through, but his journey is toward peace, toward redemption.

Mariel now lives where there is no more pain, no more sorrow, no more tears. What a privilege to squeeze her hand before she left.

© Silent Mornings



Suspended in the stillness of the hidden moments, His goodness is like shafts of light where haunting weights plummet into the abyss as pockets of calm reverence draw you upward to His presence. Plunge deep into the Rivers of God where His sustaining grace paints pictures of resilient, irrepressible, freedom - where you emerge - penetrated by love, swaddled in His goodness.

© Silent Mornings


A Tale of Two Cities: A Calendar Speaks

Like Echoes:

At first, a whisper - then a thunderous sound;
It seems to me, I'm breaking new ground.

Absorbed in my doings, new ventures unfold.
Destiny awaits, fresh chapters will be told.

Like Fireflies:

Illuminating a heart, that once, was weary;
Harboring days - some quite dreary

Weights that were searing,
Seem now, to be steering.

What fabric was woven into those connections?
What structures formed, merging reflections?

Like Dandelions:

While seeds may have blown, revived ones will be sown.

Steady, anchored, my face tipped toward the sun
The wind in my path, new pastures: how fun!

Further ground to plow, things God will allow.
Skyscrapers no more -- the desert, my floor.

Like Moving:

The journey ongoing, I'm ready for more;
In fact... I'm so close, that I'm about out the door.

Ride on, I say. Ride on.

© Silent Mornings



Through the digital age, electronic communications can dispatch a message - unbounded and unrestrained - with incredible expediency and immediacy. On your device, you can compose a note in Waukegan, Illinois, and within literal seconds, it can be opened in Sydney, Australia. Sure, it's efficient, but it can never replace the wonderful discoveries found in the old-fashioned mailbox. Whether you pull down a door or unlock a lid, finding a treasured letter from a friend, holds within it, a rich storehouse of good tidings.

While our mailboxes are often crammed with those never-ending, ever-consistent bills, stuffed between a plethora of "junk" mail - should our fingers rest upon one - even one, soft, hand-addressed linen envelope, holding within its folds, a personal message; we thrill.

Today may be the only day you have to influence destiny: yours - another's. What is the legacy you want to leave behind for a parent, a sibling, a mentor, a friend?

If you were to spend even a few moments pondering the idea, what part of destiny might you impart today? Sure, you could tap it out in an eMail; but pause, won't you, maybe five minutes, tops. Pull out a pen, an envelope, a stamp... and touch personally, intimately, and kindly –– through an encouraging word, an uplifting remark, an inspiring quote –– the heart of someone you appreciate, cherish, or adore. With practice, you might enjoy ten, fifteen, thirty minutes, or more, where you can deposit destiny into someone's life. Maybe they'll do the same for you. It might even make the world a nicer place

© Silent Mornings


Paddling Toward

Low Tide - Half-Moon Bay on the Pacific Ocean.

The sun makes its descent as waves stretch beyond the horizon.
Seagulls circle in the distance.
Fit with proper oars, a canoe lightly punctuates the silence.
Stroke, stroke...
Executed perfectly to maintain a straight course.

The soft breeze - willowy in this spacious, unconstrained atmosphere
Lends to the solitude.
I stand quietly on the shore.
Mesmerized by the play of light washing over the crimson canvas,
I am speechless.

Color merges with her luminescent muse:
The sky.
Reciprocating each hue, reflected in the ocean's current,
Every streak blends in untarnished harmony.
The frequency of Heaven orchestrates this repose.
Restoring, resonating...
A lightly syncopated rhythm heralds both present and past.
I keep waiting for Handle's Messiah to present its rhapsodic strains.

This lush tapestry unfolding before me is too magnificent for words.
Soon, twilight will cease, and the ocean -
Tranquil, yet attended -
Will be indistinguishable from the sky.
The waves will still ripple, the tide will flow -
Ebbing forward and back, forming feathery foam on the sandy shoreline.
My toes will squeal with delight.
The water, as long as I remain there,
Will glide up my ankles then slide downward.
All the while,
The ocean will unceasingly surge and retreat.

As quietly as the sun evanesces beyond a hushed horizon,
Unannounced; the moon will spill its gauzy beams of light.

I linger awhile longer as saltwater - a scent like none other - impregnates the tranquil night air.
Eventually, I break from my solitude, pack up my camera, and head to the van.
Replete with images - both in my mind, and now on film,
These memories will never vanish.
Over time, they may dim, but
Their remnant is found here - in this image...
One placed here - for your pleasure -
Where you too, might choose to
Form your own reflections.

Tarry awhile, won't you...
Wrap it around your own journey.
Allow a new wave to break forth.

© SilentMornings


The Window of Destiny


You were loved before you were you.

You are the reverberations fulfilling His dream from eternity past... the frequency of Heaven penetrating Earth, embodied in His likeness and image. You were fore-known and predestined to embrace the reality of your comme il faut - your becoming.

The landscape of your destiny and the incredible greatness of your horizon - all determined in His passionate embrace, are unlimited ~ sealed by the dictates of the Hope of Glory.

Click here for more information Jeremiah
and here Psalm 139