Solacetree

The Best Gift

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The Best Gift

The best gift he could give his dying friend
was to live in his presence,
evidence of hope
and promise of life
that survives the last breathe
and finite thought
with nonsensical  faith
that supersedes what seems to be finality,
spanning the breach
between best and least
to hook his hope
on God.

 

 

 

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Once Again

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Once Again

“Once again” is my favorite failure
keeping its promise to return.
“Once again” is starting over,
trusting God when I don’t trust myself,
giving in to hope
instead of giving up,
granting grace to this heart
that easily focuses on failure
once again
finding freedom
by practicing the positive things
that can’t prevent disaster,
but protect me from defeat.

 

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Emmanuel – God With Us

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Emmanuel – God With Us

(Interior of a Stable by Joshua Cristall)

Over the last few years, my interest and attachment to Christmas fru-fru has diminished.  My family tree ornaments, and those inherited from my parents, are lovingly packed away, because each one of them has a story and memory attached.  All three grown children are gluten-intolerant, so I’m not baking Christmas cookies at present (though THAT tradition will resume when I have grandkids to spoil!!).  Our home lacks any visible evidence of Christmas ...

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The Matriarch

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The Matriarch

Family Thanksgiving dinner at our house tonight.  First time I used Mama’s linens, china, and gold flatware since I inherited them.  I opened her antique china cabinet and could smell her – a fragile scent among fragile things – and without wanting to, I felt like a matriarch.  Yes, I’m the only daughter amidst a trio of sons, and the traditional “female things” were entrusted to me.  And yet…… I feel SO not ready for this responsibility.

To this table and ...

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Through the Storm

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Through the Storm

(Photograph by Dan Collado)

My 92-year-old daddy has been in the ministry over 70 years.  Four months ago, he sold his house and moved into a retirement community.  When the Activities Director learned of daddy’s background, he was asked to teach a 30 minute weekly Bible study.  The class is very popular, and about half the residents attend.  I’m digitally recording these sessions and downloading them onto my computer for other family members to hear.

Currently, he’s teaching ...

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Night Transformed to Might

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Night Transformed to Might

Did you feel trapped in your tomb,
wrapped up in my insolence?
Dead to sin, dead to me,
just plain dead.
You surely dreaded God’s abandonment,
and I haven’t been there for you, either.
I love you, but am so inconsistent
in showing what I say.

Why do you still believe in me?
Still stay when I lie,
and lie down in my own tomb,
avoiding your offer
to leap at Easter
into dazzling light and life?

You said I can’t go ...

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“Hey Bud, what’s my name?”

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“Hey Bud, what’s my name?”

 

“Hey Bud, what’s my name?”

I worked at a coffee shop for many years, and made it a point to learn my regular customer’s names and drinks.  Many of them told me how much that meant to them, which delighted me.  But for the last two years I’ve worked from my office at home, and remembering people’s names has become difficult.   Sometimes I don’t think to ask.  Other times I’ve asked and forgotten their name so many times I’m embarrassed ...

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For Every Single One of Us

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For Every Single One of Us

Being single is not alone.
Whether by choice, or force,
or no other option,
times of solitude aren’t isolated.
We all have – in fact, need –
times in our lives
where solo is “what is” –
chances to reinvent,
or reverse what’s wrong,
re-fill our “giving well”.

But restoration never happens
when we buy the lie of isolation:
no one else is there.
Not only is God ever with us,
but other hearts are eternally intertwined
with ours, with laces ...

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The Identity Liar

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The Identity Liar

“Don’t believe anything Joy says.  She lies,” Mama would tell people throughout my childhood, whether they listened or not.  For Evangelical Christians in the 1950’s and ‘60’s, what you did defined who you were.  Maybe that’s still true today.  I don’t know.  But it certainly was the “truth” then.  Good Christians behaved; bad Christians probably weren’t Christians at all.  Paul wrote,

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature  2 Corinthians 5:17 (NAS).

Real Christians were new creatures; apparently ...

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The Gospel According to Mary, Jesus’ Mom

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The Gospel According to Mary, Jesus’ Mom

Most Christians focus on every word and incident in Jesus’ life as recorded in the four Gospels.  But I’m also drawn to the people involved.  How did they relate to Jesus?  What was their story?

Being the mother of three children, there is an event in the Bible I totally understand from Mary’s point of view.  She was Jesus’ mom and caught him teaching the religious teachers in the Temple in Jerusalem at the age of 12 after he had been ...

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