Wednesday, April 30, 2008

see what i've done here?

Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of this blog, much to the chagrin of my myspace blog which has seen very little posting since I started this baby up. Interestingly, my very first post was a response to a booklet I had just read called "What Christian's Should Know About Reconciliation." Ironic because it fits right in with the mission training course I was on last week. Which is what this picture is from.

I actually got on here to post the last of my April poems. If you haven't noticed (because I didn't say anything about it) I've posted a poem every week for the month of April. I always do poetic things in April because at home in America, April is National Poetry Month. And that makes me really happy. I'm not sure what poem I will choose today yet, every other week I've known, but today's poem will be chosen at random from "More Comic & Curious Verse" which is a part of The Penguin Poets and has a fabuloso, modern, 1950s cover. And the winner is.... (well I should say the winners are [from Translations from the Ish])


Late in life,
Wishing to provide himself with a lurid past,
He had his chest tattooed with


‘She was’, said the young man, sniffing,
‘The most beautiful girl
I ever saw.
For two minutes
I stood beside her
In a Tube lift.
I shall never see her again.
She gave me this cold.’

He sneezed with gloomy satisfaction,
And I noticed
That he had chosen to sit in a draught.


I wish the people
Who think this comedian funny
(And numbers of them
Look the sort who might)
Would muster the energy to laugh,
And so allow me
To feel superior in comfort.


Saturday, April 19, 2008

for lacy

Because I'm not feeling especially clever or creative right now... missing you too much for that(thanks for shattering me with your words) ... here is one of our favorite poems to tell you how I feel about you until I can compose myself enough to try and express it myself:

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)

i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

-e.e. cummings

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I can hear your voice
As the sea roars
and splashes all around me

I can feel your soft
As the sun warms my back
and the wind teases my hair

The cool, clear water
Between the rocks
Mirrors my smile
as you smile through the clouds

My soul is at rest in the
The sea-spray
sprinkles me with joy

I love it here
I can hear you

a prophetic act

First I would like to make this disclaimer: I'm probably going to have a lot to say about Ireland for a while, bear with me cause I can't help it.

One of the murals I saw on the peace line had this scripture on it:

"For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And he came and preached peace to all of us. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father." -Ephesians 2:14-18

I have taken a map of the city that was a pull out from a "what's happening" sort of magazine and written this in bold letters. As I looked it up I made this addition:

"In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit." - verse 22

I just wanted to declare this in as many ways as possible. God's heart for the city.

Oh, and a little post script, If you click on the link to 24-7 Ireland there's an article by one of the guys I met, it's the one about St. Luke's on the Shankill, Belfast. I guess that's all for now...

and i won't be warm, till i'm lying in your arms

I always cry when I have to leave Ireland. Last time it was in the airport in Shannon, listening to The Immigrant's Farewell on my ipod. This time I spent the whole flight back to London trying to read and fighting tears. And then the whole train ride from London to Guildford fighting back tears and having this chorus playing in my head;

No amount of coffee, no amount of cryin'
No amount of whiskey, no amount of wine,
No, no, no, no, no
Nothing else will do, I've gotta have you
I've gotta have you.

Ironically enough it's from a song by The Weepies. So, anyway, I had a wonderful time. I met so many wonderful people and had lots and lots of wonderful conversations. I felt like I fit, as though I belonged, I could slip in and nobody would notice that I hadn't been there all along. What a nice feeling!

This is a "Peace Line" in West Belfast, it separated the Catholic Falls neighborhood from the Protestant Shankill. It stretches for miles out of the city centre at various heights and made of various materials, always topped with nasty looking barbed wire. I spent a good amount of my time in these neighborhoods, praying, walking, and taking it all in.

This is a statue on the grounds of Stormont, Northern Ireland's House of Parliament. It is called Reconciliation. Rather ironic because the other statue on the grounds is of William Carson, a very divisive and sectarian Protestant leader from the 1920s. Thursday was the 10th anniversary of The Good Friday Agreement and I spent the afternoon wondering the grounds of Stormont, praying, dodging rain showers and hail storms, and taking photos.

Here are Heidi (the lovely Canadian YWAMer I stayed with), John (the friend of a friend who went over and above organizing a place for me to stay, meals, and a "wee" trip to the North Coast), and Rebecca (another friend of a friend with whom I shared some great conversations and a few games of backgammon) on a bridge just outside of the most beautiful hostel in the world.

We went out of the city Friday night and Saturday to Castlerock, Coleraine, and Port Stewart. The sun was shining and the sea was beautiful. We climbed on rocks, soaked in the sun, sat in cafes, had too much dinner, and a couple of lovely train rides. It was beautiful.

As I rode the bus back to the airport Monday morning I realized that a lot of things on my "Do and See List" were left undone and unseen. Most of my time was spent meeting people and hanging out. This is most definitely not a bad thing. This is, in fact, a very good thing. A big thank you to all my lovely new friends for making my week in Belfast so memorable and so hard to leave behind.

Monday, April 7, 2008

seamus heaney seemed appropriate

since I'm heading to Belfast today...

At Ardboe Point

Right along the lough shore
A smoke of flies
Drifts thick in the sunset.

They come shattering daintily
Against the windscreen,
The grill and bonnet whisper

At their million collisions:
It is to drive through
A hail of fine chaff.

Yet we leave no clear wake
For they open and close on us
As the air opens and closes.

Tonight when we put out our light
To kiss between the sheets
Their just audible siren will go

Outside the window,
Their invisible veil
Weakening the moonlight still further,

And the walls will carry a rash
Of them, a green pollen.
They’ll have infiltrated our clothes by morning.

If you put one under a lens
You’d be looking at a pumping body
With such outsize beaters for wings

That this visitation would seem
More drastic than Pharaoh’s
I’m told their mosquitoes

But I’d need forests and swamps
To believe it
For these are our innocent, shuttling

Choirs, dying through
Their own live empyrean, troublesome only
As the last veil on a dancer.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

righteous leaders

America, my home (because it will always be home no matter where I live), is preparing for a hugely important presidential election in November.

Today, the Irish Taoiseach (prime minister), Bertie Ahern, announced his resignation, effective May 6th. A few weeks ago Northern Ireland's First Minister, Ian Paisley, announced his resignation, also effective in May.

In January the Lord spoke to me in different ways several times about praying for righteous leaders. This was from one of our leaders at a Boiler Room meeting, "Obscure, praying people are key to seeing God's will be done in the nations." This was from a conversation with my sister about the crisis in Kenya, "Praying for righteous leaders in the developing world to affect change and sustainable peace/governments instead of war..." (I'm thinking about Zimbabwe right now.)

This is clearly a really important time to be praying, interceding on behalf of our countries and the world. We need to rise up and take our stand, calling for men and women of integrity to be put into key government positions. We need to use our authority as children of God and citizens of this world to call the Lords' elect into leadership of our nations.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

turtle soup

A little nonsense for this foolish first day of April:

Beautiful Soup, so rich and green,
Waiting in a hot tureen!
Who for such dainties would not stoop?
Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup!
Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup!
Beau-ootiful Soo-oop!
Beau-ootiful Soo-oop!
Soo-oop of the e-e-evening,
Beautiful, Beautiful Soup!

Beautiful Soup! Who cares for fish,
Game, or any other dish?
Who would not give all else for two
Pennyworth only of beautiful Soup?
Beau-ootiful Soup!
Beau-ootiful Soup!
Soo-oop of the e-e-evening,
Beautiful, beauti-FUL SOUP!
-Lewis Carroll

And, I would be very happy to sing it for you next time I see you! (My own tune and everything)