Sunday, January 25, 2009


Saturday was Presbytery. No great issues discussed. No lines in the sand crossed. Just met with a hundred or so Presbyterian elders & ministers. No no votes. No one protested. You would think it would be boring for 6 hours. Yet time flashed past. We the people governing ourselves, inviting new ministers to join us.

One thing we do is have people pray during Presbytery. People volunteer to be a designated "pray-er" As a symbol, we have a stole we pass to the one praying. People just pray from where they are in the room, so it is truly prayer from the group, not someone outside. I got the chance to ask people to volunteer, then transfer the stole. A visible symbol of an invisible spiritual act. A "sacrament", even though we Presbyterians only have two official sacraments. I've thought we truly have more than two if we thought about it.

Marriage is one. You will find more long term marriages in the PCUSA than most places. 40, 50 years together. People for whom til death do us part is truly meant. Or death has not separated. The surviving spouse does not fear death, they know their beloved awaits. Marriage where God was part of the ceremony and the marriage. So even if we don't call it sacrament, it functions as one.

Today's poem was inspired by the question of what presbytery should be. What God intends it to be. What we fall far short of doing and being.


Are you a body
devoted to Me?
Serving together
rejoicing & grieving.

Or are you machine
chewing up people?
Concerned only with
process & rules.

Come together
in silence.
Hear Me - then
follow Me as one.
(inspired by...J)
© Presbypoet January 24, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Today a new President is sworn in. So many people have expressed great expectations of what they expect him to do. Are they right? No one knows. It doesn't change their expectations of what will happen.

Don't we do the same with God. We expect him to do things. We expect him to answer our prayers the way we want. The problem is that God likes to surprise us. To do the unexpected. To answer our prayers in ways we weren't expecting.

Today's poem is about our expectations, and God's response.

or God has Other Plans

You plant wheat.
You expect wheat.
I plant mustard.
A great tree springs up.

When the brook dried up
I sent Elijah to Zarephath.
Where a widow waited
with her last cake of bread.

My ways are not
your ways.
Your feeble plans
don't constrain Me.

Don't be limited by
your expectations.
Expect divine appointments
in your life.

Be a mustard seed.
I will surprise you.
Be prepared for
strange & wonderful things.

(Luke 13:18-19, 1st Kings 17:5-24)
© Presbypoet, September 15, 2007


Monday, January 19, 2009

I'm Back

Or rather I finally went through the 5 hour headache of getting access back to the blog. There has been nothing wrong with either me, or the poems, just sloth, (or fear of Google).

To celebrate God's return, here is a poem from God, or in this case to God. For several years, I have been learning more about one of the most important stories in the Bible, Elijah at the brook of Kerith. As the brook dried up for Elijah, my work has dried up in the past year. So this poem comes from a perspective like his. I know I can trust you Lord, but what do I do? The brook has dried up. Has your brook dried up?

Journey to Zarephath

Lord I thirst
like Israelites at meribah.
Kerith has dried up.
The ravens no longer come.

You tell me go.
As you told Abram.
Go to a place
I've never been.

I hold to hope &
certainty of grace.
I know you love me
and you will provide.

I praise & thank You
as I journey to
Zarephath to eat
the widow's cake.

It is pure joy
to know Your love.
To know with absolute
certainty of Your hope.

In poverty with nothing
to rely on I feel
Your loving presence.
Thank you Lord.
(1st Kings 17:1-24)
© Presbypoet, February 24, 2008

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