Faith and Church Related Poems
A. The Fun And Games At Diagnosis Stage Section
The Doctor - Oct/30/08 God graces us through giving
so don't deny others their chance to be graced by giving to us.
Alzheimer's - Oct/30/08 Grace regarding pride.
The Church - Oct/30/08 Break of formal social relationships
often happens before death though the organismic ones still remain.
The Apostle - Oct/30/08 Reference to desire for
ability to write religious poetry etc.
Headlights - Nov/3/08 Reference to life beyond
death and to the religious dimension of life here and now.
Middle See - Nov/12/08 Significant life is to be seen in both high an low key pictures.
NCI Chat - Nov/18/08 Reference to significant
losses to be seen in not completing goals or objectives. Carrying out difficult
requirements of responsibility and egs of people who did not do it.
Logical Confinement - Nov/22/08 Example of a person
set free by an explication of an ancient Biblical concept.
The Time For Every Purpose Under Heaven - Nov/24/08 Remaining
quiet in the spirit. The importance of testing each other in life re self
giving or self serving motivations and actions. Tough love.
The Ice Flow - Nov/25/08 Difference between Truth
and truth. Inability to keep that luxury of truth in tough times. Reference
to human frailty , sin and evil. Reference to the world's addiction to small
't' truth and peace when it is let go of.
Pioneer Mom - Nov/26/08 Reference to (Bessy)
the power that gets us through life. Restoration of hope owing to the removal
of the problem of recurring cancer in our continued journey.
Pay-Up Time - Dec.01/08 professional life has costs
collected at points of change...e g. our familiarity with clear, honest and
direct communication, which is often no longer available to us in regular
life and death situations.
The End of the System-Mistress - Dec.02/08 Departure
from institutional church leadership role. Reference to the amalgam of theology
which the institutional church is and compromises needed to make it work
for us; to constant pressure to drop to lower levels of life and love; to
God removing us from bad contexts before their final demise so we can carry
on despite them.
Because It's Time - Dec.03/08 Reference to the world's
pressure to conform to current social mores and customs (the do's and don'ts)
and its violence to the artistic world; the potential blessings of synchronizing
our lives to God's world;Reference to he evil eye.
Tina - Dec.06/08 Spiritual
impact o of people in our formative years of life. Reference to fairness
and justice for all and self giving love.; to sanctity of human life and
family; Ministry of church architecture; the whirlwind of euthanasia we
- Dec/08/08 The clash of two religious perspectives in the protestant
church; faith vs medical healing; problem of hard hearts; need for Christ
Child to soften hearts.
Still Waters - Dec/09/08 The blessing of quiet attentive listening; we're
our brother's brother not keeper; lots of good people around, are you one?
Crisis of over, restore your soul for His name's sake.
The Encourager - Dec/09/08 Accept who you are and live fully that way in God.
- Dec/11/08 The positive effect of excellence in leadership as we respond
to the challenges before us.
Take-Off - Dec/11/08 An approach to enormous challenges so as to not under
Spring Breakup - Dec/11/08 What makes for enduring self giving love?
Present - Dec/11/08 Living life fully in the present.
Morning Prayer - Dec/11/08 Prayer that we live so as to inspire others to live fully also.
- Dec/16/08 Pride and discomfort with death, and slipping into that way of
Beams - Dec/17/08 Conflict between fait healing and medical practice and
it being unnecessary.
Shop Floor Transformation - The Woman From India - Dec/17/08 Addressing the problem of folks slipping between the cracks in social institutions.
The Lieutenant - Dec/19/08 errors of life are edited out at the end like a film.
Dare I To Hope
- Dec/20/08Fragility of hope and its role in life and healing.
Dreams - Dec/22/08 Reference
to dreams and their role in making life better.
The Chicken And The Pig - Dec/23/08 The dangers of false pride, pretense
of perfection, scapegoats.
Time - Dec/23/08 Preference of time over lies as a way of softening speech.
- Dec/24/08 Need of spiritual force to break free fro self and community
yet retain their benefits.
1946 - Dec/25/08 Assorted early symbols in life and their effects.
His Fleet -
Dec/28/08 Spiritual life of a variety of people, and being copied by others.
Remains? - Dec/29/08 Reflection on giving at the end of life and wondering
just what lingers of us after we are gone.
The "ology" of "Med'sun" - Dec/31/08 Social nature of sin often and the effect institutions have on their workers.
Borderland Delight - Jan/01/09 Bridging and reconciling groups as a task.
Pump - Jan/01/09 Giving God room to operate through (often humiliating)
Our Day - Jan/07/09 The
grace that comes in the silence of waiting, eg. as the gears change.
- Jan/07/09 Sin as rebellion from the highest and best s letting that flow
from us both individually and socially.
- Jan/07/09 Reflection on the three lost and found stories of Luke Chapter
The Swordsman - Jan/07/09 Harnessing motivation in learning; sharing the victory.
The Twister's Eye - Jan/09/09 Life exists in the midst of storms.
B. A Shift In Locus Of Control Section
"Cure Day" -
Jan/10/09 Reference to former counseling work. Picking up (medical) responsibility
"A Bullet Dodged" - Jan/11/09 Reference to forgiveness.
"The Survivor" -
Jan/11-12/09 References to the church purges in the 80's and 90's. We are
to be brother's brother not brother's keeper.
Jan/11/09 Reflection on the psychological impact of a miracle. Babel
allergy gift, and return of centrality of God in life as antidote to the
"Journey's End -- A new Beginning" - Jan/12/09 The issue of social responsibility for cleaning up the medical system mess.
"Quality" - Jan/12/09 Repriorizing issues.
"Two Tears For The Healthcare System...Hip Hip..." - Jan/21/09 God's economy - prosperity with righteousness.
Jan/21/09 Decision to drop this medical issue as useless.
"Barack Obama" -
Jan/21/09 God as central to life dissolves our allergy to each other.
"Mixing Drinks" - Jan/22/09 Spirit gets enfolded into our lives in tribulation.
Through Christmas" - Jan/22-23/09 Recovery of joy and sense of self after
tribulation. Prayer for direction in new situation.
"Faith" - Jan/23/09 Reference
to my trust in God's guidance rather than his provision. Recognition that a
fear-based package drives much of my provisioning dimensions of life.
"More" - Jan/23/09 My shift from quantity of life to quality.
"Derby Fanfare" - Jan/23/09 Power sucks up money in the world system.
Of My Soul" - Jan/23/09 God knows the unseen parts of us and sees us in
"Rural Chapel" - Jan/23/09 Changes taking place in rural church at its time of need owing to loss of population and therefore funds.
Point Of View" - Jan/23/09 Our point of view and therefore output changes
after a traumatic event.
"Terminal Generation" - Jan/25/09 Our life-roles in and out of the family in terms of the next generation.
"C.V" - Jan/25/09 Prayer for direction. Finance option. Get up off the deck as equipped and trained and let the larger picture emerge.
"Joyful, Joyful..." - Jan/26/09 Make one change and let the rest follow/fall into place.
"Flight" - Jan/27/09 As zest for life rises, a rejection of affect stripping and playing it safe.
"I sCream For
What?" - Jan/28/09 Christ vs. cash rules everything about me resulting in
being a conduit for God's resources to people for purposes of encouragement.
"The Tapestry" -
Jan/29/09 My task is to attend to the tone or color in the thread that I
am rather than to worry so much about where God weaves that thread into His
larger tapestry of human history.
"The Cobra And
The Mongoose" - Jan/29/09 The option of interdependent life is ours as we
blend our resources and loves with God's.
"Imperfection" - Jan/31/09 I need to take time to grow up into this new situation in God.
Feb/4/09 "God. Sex, and a job" three teen issues which last into adult life
which don't resolve until the cultural home-base is resolved.
"Resonances" - Feb/6/09 There is Jubilee freedom from the family / cultural archetypes which bind us as the cultural base is identified, in our life in God.
Third Culture Kid) - Feb/7/09 TCK drives can lure us away from what God
wants us to do in terns of family and community etc.
"Over The Wall" - Feb/11/09 Self sacrifice for others can be misdirected.
"Louis Riel Day (Indian Health Care Song)" - Feb/16/09 People are easier to take when they are not arrogant.
C. A Shift In Locus Of Operation Section
"Frost On The
Pain" - Feb/22/09 Option for me to stand atop the resources of the rich group
(like athlete on a pyramid formation)and hold up the beautiful/ideals in life
-- calling thereby all of us to a better life for all people rich and poor and
a better quality of relationships.
"Recovering Awe" -
Feb/22/09 The vast and ever-changing nature of the beauty and possibility
of life, all there to be photographed - held up to people as an alluring
/ tempting option of life.
"Between A Rock And A Card Place" - Feb/24/09 There are conceptual and volitional ideals to be held up as well as physical ones / inter-twined with them.
"Mana" - Feb/24/09 Prophetic
words parallel mana of all forms -- both feeds and entices folks to ideals and
better life or incites rejection of these ideals (and mana power itself is feared
by many people.
"Call To Commitment" - Feb/27/09 Reference t God's guidance to self and wife in "one last adventure". Play on term "all in" - tired, committed in marriage totally, involved in next venture (of holding up ideals etc. like a vibrant church like Church of our Savior.)
"The Gift" -
Mar/06/09 The challenge of pulling a plan together in a limited time-frame,
and need to trim sails to capture all of God's resources for movement forward.
"First Anniversary" -
Mar/10/09 Limited energy on my own.
"The Living And The Dead" - Mar/12/09 The root gives life to the branches that are left after pruning back. Sometimes removal of pieces of life takes away an even worse future.
"Slippage" - Mar/13/09 Get the bad root out of your life it is poisoning things.
Valley" - Mar/15/09 Worry about the semi-known is ridiculous really.
"Vacated Space" -
Mar/17/09 Need t to jettison cargo (see art therapy) and batten down for
the storm, but live also.
Mar/19-21/09 God works miracles by putting challenges in front of us. Protecting,forbearing,
and shoring up others enriches us.
"Isaiah : Second
Edit of Readers 'Theater" - Mar/21/09 We are the servant of the lord as
individuals and communities, as a mix of mystery, love and pain, and our living
that out moves others towards such ideals.
Cultural Lines (And Third Culture Kids)" - Mar/22-23/09 God and/or sex gets
messed up as we cross cultural boundaries. When people connect with their faith
they can workout their faith with their boots.
"To Mentor" - Mar/28/09 We grow through dealing with obstacles. Prayer that these poems from my journey might light others' pathway.
"Now" - Apr/02/09 Life at the end seeds into humanity's future.
"Wilder Penfield" - Apr/02/09 Soul/spirit matures at least until death through meeting and addressing challenges.
"Genetic Train" - Apr/06/09 Lets do life right here and now.
"Forthright Authenticity" - Apr/07/09 Don't tippy-toe after Christ - follow boldly, forgiveness for error enables zestful living.
Outgo" - Apr/09/09 Channel of God's grace through social worker through
me to others.
"The Transition (Start Of Costa Rica Trip) " - Apr/13/09 maturity comes through facing and addressing obstacles.
"The Substantiating of Things Hoped For " - Apr/15/09 Reference to RC Church's marriage encounter program for enriching marriages. Find a good reason to live.
"This Day " - Apr/15/09 Directional choice issues.
In Our Paths " - Apr/16/09 Reference to mana in life -transferable potency.
"Systemic Sin " - Apr/17/09 Reference to Mana.
"Our Capacity To Love " - Apr/18/09 The flow of love.
In Perfection " - Apr/20/09 Turning our gifts over to God for him to use.
The allergy in and antidote to interdependent life together (and he Eden aspect).
Peacemaking through Justice.
Memory" - Apr/22/09 Reflection of support of a local church to a senior.
D. Re-integration Of Photography Into Life – In Relation
To Cancer Section :
"The Tumblin' Roamin' catholic " - Apr/24/09-AM Reference to Biblical story of choice and courage to move forward.
"Ambassador Of Friendship " - Apr/24/09-AM Clergy pastoral change incident and my early life in an institutional Church context. Encourager task accepted.
"Rip Van Winkle " - Apr/24/09-AM Inner growth in exile useable later in a group.
"That Pesky End Of Time " - Apr/25/09 Don't let the small disasters sit in the slow for "the end of mankind"
Chance " - Apr/30/09 My "call" experience in the context of larger Church
"The Pebble In Our Shoe " - Apr/31/09 The loss of spirit over the long haul.
"A Watercolor " - May/03/09 Reference to one woman's pastoral ministry.
"Psalm 22's Love Passed Along " - May/03/09 Reference to Psalm 22 in today's world context (a modern paraphrase with adaptation at the end).
"Ooops... " -
May/05/09 Reference to frail humanity in the world and so error prone.
"This Little Congregation" - May/07/09 Reference to life in a small urban congregation.
Anniversary Of Diagnosis" - May/08/09 Reference to our inner demons and
the havoc they play; to Freud's big three themes; to the split in the protestant
Last Week" - May/09/09 Reference to the UCC purges by a clique; to Christ
requesting I not proceed with the defense.
Afraid" - May/10/09 Assurance of God's strength beyond our fears and issues.
Public statement about the UCC shenanigans and the dream event before it.
"Lying Down In Green Pastures - Expressions In Clay" - May/16/09 Reference to my prayer to be out from under all of this.
"Managing Losses" - May/17/09 Reference to the things now "vested in heaven" that can't be lost which lighten our load as we think of them.
"The Presence" -
May/20/09 Reference to two boys who got different answers to the same
faith question as teens; to an incident just before dad's death; to God's
invention of gambling and risk taking and its purpose.
Clay" - May/23/09 What matters most to me is Spirit and its interface with
life here. Reference to leading worship the following sunday.
"Many Hands " - May/25/09 Leading worship with a good team.
"The Pastor " -
May/25/09 Colleague who assisted me with the service.
"The Sun, The
Moon, And The Stars" (A Costa Rican Expression) " - May/25/09 Reference to
3 Jn:2 ; to Institutional Church shenanigans; to my delayed response.
E. The Start of Stu-Art Output Section :
"Communion " -
May/26/09 Reference to communion service's symbols and meaning, and their
need to refresh memory; to role of symbols in life.
"Four Things We Need - 1 - Daily Bread " - May/26/09 Reference to the Lord's Prayer (a); to having more than our fair share of the world's resources.
"Four Things We Need - 2 - Forgiveness" - May/26/09Reference to the Lord's prayer (b); to our role in stopping abusing people.
"Four Things We Need - 3 - Deliverance From Temptation" - May/26/09 Reference to the Lord's prayer (c).
"Four Things We Need - 4 - Deliverance From Evil " - May/26/09 Reference to the Lord's Prayer (d); to our role in reining in evil.
Death" - May/27/09 Reference to dying to the world's silly ways; to being
baptized/ buried symbolically; to rising symbolically to a new life in God; to
these activities making future losses pre-grieved to some extent.
Careers" - May/28/09 Reference to a very old hymn with mission theme; to
extended life making way for second careers emerging now.
"Symbols Of Acceptance" - May/28/09 Reference to a Biblical Proverb.
"On Keeping On Keeping On" - May/30/09 Reference to directional issues; to Church services; to a Biblical proverb.
"Victory Lap" -
May/30/09 Reference to the UCC shenanigans, their effects and our responses.
Victory in Christ.
" 'How Then
Will Jesus Get Down?' " - May/31/09 Reflection on a balloon illustration
of Jesus' Ascension, with the balloon getting stuck in the ceiling fan.
The Spirit" - May/31/09 Reference to the Spirit of God coming with power
into a person's life; to social action as an expression of practical love.
Your Spirit" - May/31/09 Reference to God's Spirit and the beauty of nature.
A prayer that the worship leader be able to carry some of that peace back to
the troubled lives of the urban congregation.
"Third Layer" -
May/31/09 Reference to Christ's last supper before he was killed; to confession
and forgiveness as an antidote to emotional blackmail; to Freud's three big themes.
"Blessing From Pain" - June/2/09 Reference to God sensed in Urban beauty. Prayer of thanks for the presence of a small "sanctuary" from the business of urban life.
"The Painter" -
June/5/09 Reference to Christ's shepherd imagery; to God's people making
activities through us.
"John" - June/5/09 Reference
to God's gift of memory and dreams. Prayer I might live a life of relational
quality similar to John's but in my own way.
"The Choice" - June/6/09 Reference to heaven-sent peace in face of cancer situation.
"Who Is This
Man?" - June/7/09 Reference to a man who greets fellows in Christ's name,
with Christ - like life; to Elisha story in Scripture; to hospitality resulting
in encounters with Angels unawares as the Bible comments.
Gone" - June/7/09 Reflecting on the words of the great commission ("having
gone,disciple/mentor people etc.) and a farmer cleaning seed for planting.
"Location's False Promise" - June/7/09 We show God's love through us when and where we are in the present, if in fact we show God's love. Reference to taking up laughter as well, and entering the kingdom as children do.
"The Antidote" - June/13/09 The inter-gift allergy and its antidote. Melding our gifts and resources with those of God. Reference to the Eden issue.
"Things " -
June/14,16/09 Reference to the ten commandments; to playing God with resource
"If I Could Stay Away " - June/16/09 Reflection on "gaze at Jesus , glance at Doctors"
"The Picture Window " - June/18/09 Reference to Freud's big three themes.
Use " - June/19/09 Reference to an instance of God's long work through which
he sets people free with his short work; to Freud's big three; to Christ not
Cash ruling so much of my life.
"Redemption " -
June/23/09 Reference to a significant experience in my religious development;
to Psalm 23; to Freud's big three themes; to it being best that kids not be pushed
into premature religious experience that is not theirs; to God restoring relationships
between people and giving me more to focus on than resource chasing.
F. Concluding Poem of Volume I
" 'The Play's The Thing' " - June/25/09 It is as we give ourselves we come to be.
From Conclusion Section (# 172-209):
" 2-4-6-8 " - July/4/09 Reflection on the clash between Scottish and Cree outlooks on life in regards to proactive striving, with reference to the overlap of Christ's teaching and a particular traditional approach to life.
" The Quarterback " - July/10/09Inspiration gained by another person facing MS to move on in life, as God workd through peole to move us forward.
" 'The Triumph Of Hope Over Reality' " - July/12/09Reflectin on an incident when reading the story of the death of John the Baptist in church.
Week Now Since His Quiet Laugh " - July/17/09 Visit to referring doctor.
Need to keep stress down in relation to recurrence of cancer. Reference to current conflict in the current UCC organization.
You Had Fifty Days To Live " - July/17/09 Using the image of counting the
50 days an "Omar" (bushel) of barley grew from Passover to Pentecost, the
question is raised as to what one could grow in one's life in such a period
if that was all that remained of life.
" Freedom's Choice " - July/19/09 Use of media in creating healthy (church) communities in which to grow, and the power of choice of response which cannot be removed from us.
Snap Of Others' Work " - July/22/09 Dropping stress by stopping inappropriate
involvement in other people's lives. Trusting God to work in other people's
lives directly and indirectly through the events of life.
Eyes " - July/24/09 Honesty whether in facing death or living relationships
in community is refreshing and health giving.
" The Runner " - July/24/09 Reference to the encouraging effects of a support group in recovery from cancer.
Serve" - July/24/09 The powerful effects of (often unseen) people who help
in recovery of health, adn facing of death, by linking people together for mutual support.
"Pandemic Of Silence" - July/26/09 Dream of pandemic with handful of survivors (parallel reference to Noah's Ark)raises questions of forming new future life for humanity, within which are implications for our smaller scale life after cancer.
In Economics" - July/26/09 Prayer for those engaged in the economic system
, especially our children, who often live beyond our day to day presence in the
"Isaiah's Band" - July/26/09 The clash of cultures within a Canadian church.
"Making Peace" - July/26/09 A visit to the peace gardens with its new addition of the material from ground zero of World Trade center attack. The clash of cultures, the inter-gift/culture allergy, and the way peace is
made and maintained. Reference to Mennonites and Peace Chapel.
Grace" - July/26/09 A couple crosses cultures to build orphanages in Kenya
as an expression of their faith in light of the pandemic of AIDS there.
"Avocation" - July/31/09 The assistance gained in sorting out vocation from avocation in making community contributions (in this case a cross-cultural missions effort) within which one has no or little say, but works under another's direction.
"TGIS (Thank God It's Sunday)" - August/2/09 Shifts in the type of work bring exhaustion, especially out of one's strength areas, for which a day off for rest adn prayer each week is welcome relief.
Years" - August/2/09 A look back and forwards at the time of the fortieth
anniversary of our engagement. Reference to my interest in things Spiritual.
New Bridge" - August/2/09 A reflection on the third anniversary of the
insight into my "Third Culture Kid" experience, and the cross-cultural / bridging
role that is emerging for myself out of that reality, at the time when Brandon
itself is getting a new road bridge.
Love Again" - August/2/09 A reflection on the welcome restoration of stressed
relationships after both sickness and extended period of stress in relationships
like marriage which seems to involve periods of both "better and worse" for
many of us.
"Without Constraint" - August/3/09 Reflection on the shortage of time for art for working people in relation to the shortage of time caused by Cancer. Reference to the life choices which emerge when cancer repriorizes life after recovery. Reference to artists being voice for humanity as humanity is voice of the rocks and clay of the universe.
"First Job" - August/4/09 Reflection back to my first job and two sermons encouraging me to move forward despite the past.
" A Creenglish Look At Kenya" -
August/8/09 Reflection on Kenya's orphan problem and the social side of
medicine writ large. Reference to the role and challenges of Church projects in cross cultural development.
"A Change In Style" - August/6-9/09 Reflections on the source of income in relation to types of ministry.
"What Is This Child's Name?" - August/10/09 Reflection on the death of one of the orphans in the project I was assisting. Reference to unknown children of this world known to God, and the need for more concern on our part for them.
Hope In Small Packages - August/11/09 Reflection on budgeting of limited money,time and energy within a larger skewed economic context, and the source of hope for small players within such a reality.
Two Languages Of Love - August/11/09 Reflection on whose love language gets used...that of the giver or the receiver. Reference to greeting cards used in times of significant life-moments.
‘Map’ - The Code For ‘Books’ - August/13/09 Reflection on the meaning of "books" to me (its 'code'). Reference to Father's use of books in Church Work.
Workman - August/14/09 A reflection on the code for tools work and call
as viewed cross culturally. Reference to Paul's observation about the interdependency
August/14/09 A poetic reflection on the approaching third anniversary of
realization I am a TCK, with implications for my writing. Reference to the UCC as the context of both realization of the fact and the locus of exclusion.
"The Deep Longing Of My Soul" - August/15/09 A poem prayer-reflection on initial priorities - the First Nations Learning style project emerges.
The Rear-View Mirror" - August/15/09 Reflection on inter dependant gifts
and the power of an earlier project in getting people on with their lives. Reference to God's role in assisting with life in direction in it.
"Our Goodbyes" - August/16/09 Reflection on losses due to the breakups of friends. Not all losses are medical, but often take place amidst our own medical journey of loss - life goes on. Reference to afterlife.
- Letting Go" - August/16/09 Habdalah is the ceremony ending the day of
rest each week, and the start of a new week for Jews. A reflection on the ending
of holidays and fresh start to a new work year.
"The Butterfly" - August/18/09 The concluding poem of this set of poems. Reflection on the transformation I have felt in myself through this journey compared to the actual experience of death and resurrection, both spiritual and physical. Reference to Christ's work through his Apostles of bringing Jewish insights into life to our other cultures with life-giving effect.