Pause to Ponder

Artificial Parts and All

First it was a sleeping machine
Then it became clear I need aids to hear
Now I have to have a pacemaker implanted

Laugh as I may, all this prompts today
big feelings & questions deep down inside
and I face a substantial leap of faith

Can I still count on God’s gift of dreams? Will
aids distract from what my soul longs to hear?
Will I lose the shimmer of Spirit in my heart?

Later life alive calls for a spiritual discipline
choosing to shine with the light and love of God
through artificial parts and all!


This holiday weekend gives me pause to ponder
why in the midst of so many distractions I yearn
for some hard task to quite my mind and make me whole

But doesn’t the Sabbath offer the same?
To focus on the still, quiet voice within,
with eyes of faith on the rising sun

Flowering Trees

Giving thanks for flowering trees this spring
in Minnesota, and for one in particular I planted
In loving memory just before I moved to the Pacific Northwest, fourteen years ago.

There she stood as I walked through the old neighborhood, bright and beautiful in the morning sun, bringing to mind a wisdom Psalm and the blessed life it promises then, now, and forever.

“They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper.”
Psalm 1:1-3

Place Called Home

Today I give thanks
for having lived long enough
on the Lower Columbia

To experience a place
where the river and the roads
are not a way but home

One day a road will take me elsewhere,
an island in the Puget Sound
God willing

But home is wherever I live
forever in the presence
of my Prime Mover

…A new poem
in honor of National Poetry Month


Tears have been shed recently
at the death of loved ones
I’ve been privileged to shepherd
at Pioneer Presbyterian Church.

Yesterday teardrops flowed
at news of a dear friend,
two years younger,
whose body gave way to cancer.

While often called upon to speak of hope found in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, words can’t express all I feel when I pause for a moment to embrace death as part of the larger experience of life.

So as this National Poetry Month comes to an end
perhaps this little haiku
from Called to be Alive!
will simply have to do:

Raindrops on window
Dead in Mighty River
Heading for the sea

What is Enough?

April is National Poetry Month

Today on the shore of the Columbia River
I am pondering the “what is” in my later life
and what is enough

Meditating on this little poem by Wendell Berry
In The Peace of Wild Things:

The Arrival

Like a tide it comes in,
wave after wave of foliage and fruit,
the nurtured and the wild,
out of the light to this shore
in its extravagance we shape
the strenuous outline of enough

Earth Day Call

Today I give thanks to God, my wife Carol,
and all who encourage me to do my part
in our love and care for Mother Earth.

On this Earth Day
may we all feel the call
to be Alive!

Song from my Called to be Alive! Studio Collection