wilderness true
awakening space
would you draw me nearer
to a spiritual place?
would I be advised
by mountains atremble
there, do the angels
prepare and assemble?
do deciduous trees
or pines with their needles
improve the acoustics
of praise from the people
to an alpha that’s fearsome
omega, and all?
will the fear make me shudder
and marvel, and fall?
if I camp near the water
can I cool there each day?
and fish with the fishers
of men by his grace?
and when I am weary
will my tent prove its worth
with aluminum poles
and spikes in the earth?
if not, will the pillars
of fire and cloud
descend thru the darkness
and around my heart shroud
protection and mercy
despite my poor skills?
his fierce holy love
in the true wild hills.


Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. – James 4:8a

And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest. – Exodus 33:14

I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.  – Psalm 34:4

The heavens declare the glory of God,
    and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
    and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
    whose voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out through all the earth,
    and their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tent for the sun,
    which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
    and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.
Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
    and its circuit to the end of them,
    and there is nothing hidden from its heat.  – Psalm 19:1-2

Image: painting by Mandy Budan


the sky is grey today
low and still
and vast
I’d prefer a rolling storm
with thunder and wind
that vibrate the earth
and crack trees
so I could hear power
and see movement
so I could feel change
and have evidence
the grey is hard pavement
above me
the stillness makes me groan
where is the fire?
where is the light?
Zion’s roads are broad
and tiled with clear sapphires
lit with burning bush…
all I have are table lamps
I turn them on
since sun remains unseen
but I know it’s there
the sun
higher and greater
than the ash hood
and my groaning is enough
and my lamp
and my knowing
grey’s edge is up ahead


Faith points us beyond our problems to the hope we have in Christ. – Billy Graham

The hope that God has provided for you is not merely a wish. Neither is it dependent on other people, possessions, or circumstances for its validity. Instead, biblical hope is an application of your faith that supplies a confident expectation in God’s fulfillment of His promises. – John C Broger

Faith has to do with things that are not seen and hope with things that are not at hand. – Thomas Aquinas

image: Lamp by Susie Anderson


approval washes over me and I
put down my needless empty leaden pack
a taxing budless bale of useless weight
a fraud I sometimes carry on my back
it’s barren branches break beneath my feet
as swiftly I advance to higher field
and I am light and quick, and gladness fueled
as favor and the altitude reveals
a crystal view atop a holy hill
the landscape stretched for me to clearly know
that every hair upon my head is dear
and counted by my Lord who loves me so

approval poem art2

Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.  Matthew 10:31

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.  Hebrews 12:1

Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 3:13-14

image: “like the dream, but it’s real” by Susie Anderson



beneath the boughs
of apple trees
the blooms fall gently there
while cocoa shells
and lilac branch
sweetly steep the air

bleeding hearts
spill thru the shade
on sidewalk, sunlit speckled
the sight and scents
renew the mind
with blade and leaf and petal


Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.  Romans 12:2

Image: watercolor by Diane Moser

outside again

a clear and shiny plastic cup
sits upon my countertop
full of dirt and secret seed
I cannot say what bloom will be
and also worms reside in jars
with lid holes poked like pin size stars
on tables meant for mug and book
that now embrace an earthy look
muddy shoes and upturned pails
line the porch in aimless trails
and fingerprints on windows smudge
some snot, some blood, a spot of fudge
outside again has just begun
its not yet June’s first summer’s sun
already grass has stained each knee
a spring green stamp as entry fee
to prime exploring and fertile play
and sweet free hours to spend our way


As soon as they come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and know that the summer is already near. Luke 21:30

This is what the Lord God showed me: behold, a basket of summer fruit. Amos 8:1

image: watercolor by Louise van Terheijden

cool of the day

in the cool of the day
the task is complete
and study can soak
and labor retreat
in the cool of the day
a clip slows to stroll
and hurry is calmed
and parts become whole
in the cool of the day
reflection is met
as sun speckles path
and souls are reset
in the cool of the day
an ease can descend
as pain’s put aside
and wounds at last mend
in the cool of the day
the garden delights
in the shade and low rays
and the finishing light
for tomorrow will bid
it’s own effort and weave
yet too the cool hours
will come to relieve

Genesis 3:8a, Song of Solomon 2:17a

image: Late Afternoon by Marlene Lowden


on this vine

partner my love
with me, on this vine
tied with ribbons
of light
I will grow with you
what will bear
and steady you
when we’re pruned
sometimes in the dark
and when the new crop yields
in the morning
our ribbons will hold
and hammock such harvest
the very horizon will bend

Vineyard, landscape art painting

John 15:5

image: Vineyard in the Sun by Banja Luka