On the run

Crunch-time is here now as I try and get everything done before we leave for Geneva on Thursday. The list isn't neither too long nor too short, but it all sort of has to fit together well in the midst of carrying on with normal life kind of things. I will breathe a sigh of relief when we get on the train to go to the airport! By then if it's not done, it's too late!

The one thing I don't like about going away is that we have to leave the kids. Don't get me wrong; I like a break from my kids just as much as the next guy. What I don't like is both of us going away and knowing there is always the miniscule chance that something could happen to both of us. I know that's a morbid way to think, but the thought of that is one of my deepest fears. Maybe it's because I lost my Mom at 21. I just really, really want to be able to be with my kids for a long time. So I would appreciate your prayers for travel safety. I know the kids are going to have a great time. They are already really excited and counting the days until they "get to go to Sam & Ivan's house to sleep."


The Name of Jesus

The words to this hymn have been running through my head the past few days. I really like it. It always makes me think of the part in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe where Mr. and Mrs. Beaver first mention Aslan to the children. Lewis describes the different sensations the children feel when they first hear "Aslan." Mostly it's a positive reaction, but for Edmund, whose heart is not right, the name disturbs him.

So whenever I think of that, I hope that the name of Jesus has this effect on me. These are my favorite verses.

1. How sweet the Name of Jesus sounds
In a believer's ear!
It soothes his sorrow, heals his wounds,
And drives away his fear.

2. It makes the wounded spirit whole,
And calms the troubled breast;
'Tis manna to the hungry soul,
And to the weary, rest.

3. Dear Name, the rock on which I build,
My shield and hiding place,
My never failing treasury, filled
With boundless stores of grace!

5. Jesus, my Shepherd, Brother, Friend,
My Prophet, Priest, and King,
My Lord, my life, my way, my end,
Accept the praise I bring.

6. Weak is the effort of my heart,
And cold my warmest thought;
But when I see Thee as Thou art,
I'll praise Thee as I ought.

7. 'Til then I would Thy love proclaim
With every fleeting breath,
And may the music of Thy name
Refresh my soul in death.

© Bill Moore Music.


A Poem

Today we had a meeting with the core of Oasis Madrid. After a time of worship together, we brainstormed the idea of "oasis" and tried to be open to God's idea of what we should become. It was beautiful to hear each person share. Things overlapped and complemented so well. Several times I had chills.

During the brainstorm time I wrote this poem, from the perspective of a traveler in need of an oasis.

The traveler was weary.

His mouth was dry and full of grit.

Hours past, his steps had become a shuffle

the heavy sand shifting reluctantly before his aching feet.

Alone in a blur of blazing heat,

he longed to give up.

Yet the thought of this desert
swallowing him whole
was more than he could bear.
the dread enough
for him to take one more step.

A faint sound came to him
fleeting in the heavy air.
A shadow of sound

surely not real.
It was far too light and airy
to be real in this empty expanse of dry and dust.

It came again, slightly more,
seeming a mockery.

With the last of his hope
he raised his eyes
Agonizingly lifting his hand
to shade his eyes
against the glare.

Even as his knees buckled

his eyes blinked madly
to clear this vision which must be false
could not be real.

Louder now the sound came
on wings of a tender breeze
impossibly refreshing on his face.
so close on the horizon
was a miracle of green, of life,
almost painful with its richness.

The sound grew louder

and although his mind could scarcely comprehend
his eyes took in the sight
a group of people coming toward him.

They were singing.

"O God, you are my God
earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you

in a dry and weary land
where there is no water."

As they reached him
helping hands lifting him to his feet
sharing his burden,
his weary eyes
And he rested
under a shade tree
with the water of life on his lips.