Sow seeds of Love

I keep thinking about that story, where a monk goes to his superior and says, I do my little alms and make my little prayers, and what more can I do, and the superior answers, why not pray to be turned into flame? That story has always gotten to me and I’m not sure why. What does that even mean? I think the story isn’t about martyrdom, it is more about zeal, about being all-in. So what does that mean, in 2017, here, now? Why does the story affect me at all?

Because you always think you are not doing enough. You always fear you are falling short of some impossibly high standard I have set for you.

Well, yeah—perfection. Be ye perfect, right? Straight A life, right?

This is the common interpretation, God as School-master, ready to grade performance and knowledge, every day an exam, every hour a pop-quiz. No wonder you, so many humans, are so stressed. A better understanding of perfect would be complete or whole. Scripture also says, perfect love casts out fear. Imagine a container, full to the brim with water, full even to the point of overflowing. There is no room for anything else in that container. A life lived in perfect love, a soul made perfect in love, would have no space for fear or any of fear’s outworkings, like greed (which is fear of lack) or jealousy (which is fear over position or opportunity) or hatred (which is fear of being less-than, of being ignored, of being taken for granted). Take away fear, all fear, and replace that with love, genuine love, and look what happens to your day and in your life. You treat others well and you treat yourself well. Your gifts and talents are fully developed and used to bless others, blessing yourself in the process. You have no lack. And if everyone around you is living from the same mindset, no one else has any lack either. Perfect love is the answer to every one of earth’s ills.

But, Lord, we don’t love like that. And some live the opposite—they are so full of fear they have little or no room for love at all!

It is tempting to look around and try to grade others. That is why I said, “don’t judge.” Be concerned with your own vessel, with your own heart, your own life. Fill yourself up with My Love.

How do I do that with folks whose values are so different than mine? How do I love those who do terrible things, who show no love at all?

(Gently) Little One, they need love most of all. The only way you can show love to such as these is to pray to see with My eyes, with My heart. Pray for a crack in the dark to let the light in. Pray for the tiniest crack in their bedrock of fear to let the water of Love seep in. Pray for Love to increase. Pray for seeds of Love to flourish and grow in the unlikeliest of places, in the most arid and polluted of circumstances.

The Sower sowed seed everywhere, in all kinds of soil, remember? Do you think the Sower was stupid? Or wasteful? No, the Sower is a parable of Hope! You be the good soil that brings forth a multiplication of seeds—and then dare to be a sower who scatters seeds of love everywhere, trusting that some will sprout, some will grow, and will transform the desert into a garden. That is the promise, about rivers in the desert and dry places holding a well. You grow in Love, and sow in Hope, and know, no seed of Love sown is ever truly wasted.

The Mirror of God’s Love

Lord, I am reading something You said just last week. You said when I show up, You show up. That wondrous things can happen when I show up—which I take to mean, when I am present. When I am willing. That in those times, You are present, and that is what makes the difference.

First of all, I Am always present, though often unseen, unheard and unfelt. People all over the planet breathe in air, multiple times a minute, and most don’t give it any thought. You think about your breath when you are short of it, when the air is thick with smoke or foul, or your lungs are not clear, and it is hard to take a breath. You think about your breath in certain forms of fitness or meditation, when you concentrate on your breathing as a spiritual or physical practice. Mothers-to-be practice breathing as part of childbirth. But then the practice is over, the baby is born, the air clears or the lungs fill again and once more, the breath fades into the background of conscious thought. People pray or reach out to Me in times of great trouble, when they cannot get their breath physically or financially or in their health or their relationships; people sometimes pray out of gratitude for blessings received; but then the moments pass, the crisis resolves, the hourly service concludes, and I fade into the background as busy lives move front and center.

So how can I live, how can we all live, more conscious of Your presence? What kind of relationship are You asking us to have, or inviting us into?

Think how many times every day you think of Pete, how often he crosses your mind. You factor his opinion into almost all of your decisions. You certainly talk with him about major changes to your day or to your life. You can’t wait to share good news with him, and when you are worried or anxious, you look to him for reassurance. Sometimes you forget how much he loves you, and you imagine that something you have said or done displeases him—and you react in that same way with Me, don’t you?

But I need you to realize that nothing you do or think or say creates a rift between us that My Love cannot bridge. Couples grow apart when they begin hiding their true selves from one another, when what they keep hidden inside is much more than what they reveal. You don’t have to fear revealing yourself to Me. Lean into Me as a plant grows toward the sunshine. Let My Spirit oil any worn, weary or rusty parts of your soul, your character. When you are most tempted to draw back, from fear or weariness or impatience or frustration or downright anger, come closer. Let My Love be the Mirror you look deeply into. Remember Who I Am and Who I Am in you. That is how ordinary days and ordinary circumstances and ordinary people become extraordinary. Remember Who I Am and Whose you are. Remember our connection. Don’t hide your fears or your flaws or what you think of as your failings. I see all, regardless. But if you can be willing to bring them all to Me, I can heal and restore and fix. There is nothing broken—not a body, not a spirit, not a heart, not a relationship, not a family, not a community, not a country—that My Love cannot heal. You can be one of those agents of healing—if you keep coming to Me to be made whole yourself.

Breathe In The Positive

Lord, I am scrolling through old journals, as You said I could, and I stop, astounded. I am reading entries from three years ago, and You said then words that are so fitting for today. Again and again I read something You said before the situation, preparing me for what was to come. And here You go. You have done it again. So I am going to share this, Lord. It is so timely, I am going to trust it will be as timely for someone else reading in the moment.

Every step of growth—personal and professional—is a leap. You feel unready and unprepared; that is what learning is for. I Am not asking you to be, yet. I Am asking you to become. To be, come. To Be, Come. Come, follow Me. Come with Me. Come, and see.

Today, Come to the Sea. Come to the Leaves. Come Outside to go Within. That is your personal paradox, the distinct definition of your calling. Outside to go Within. Then you fill the well to pour out, outside in your larger world, rippling beyond your circle. That is the breathe in, breathe out, of your life. Go out/breathe in; go in/breathe out. That’s the rhythm of it. Go out, take a deep breath; hold it in; release it out, transformed to nourish the very place you were nourished by. Take in the spiritual oxygen you need and trust that the carbon dioxide you release is exactly what you are meant to give.

You’ve been trying to do this backwards, to live as a tree: to take in the carbon dioxide and put out the oxygen. To absorb in your body the negative and push out the positive. I say to you, take in, be filled with the positive and you will release the negative, and your release of the negative will in turn create the transformation of negative-to-positive, just as the trees do. But you do your part by staying positive, absorbing the good, being on the lookout for the purest oxygen possible. Breathe that. Immerse in that. Let every word, every thought, every breath, be Love. You can change your world one breath at a time. Your love is changing the people around you. Don’t focus on change—just focus on staying in the flow of My Yes to you. Yes to opportunity. Yes to safety. Yes to health. Yes to peace. Yes to joy. Yes to love. Go outside and Be, Come—more of who you are.


God, if I could sit down and have a conversation with You, one thing I would ask You about is renewal. That whole church time. And what You think about all that.

What did renewal mean to you? What did that time do for you? Never mind anyone else’s experience. What was your experience?

Well, You talked to me. That was the huge thing. I’d be there, and we’d talk. I loved that—and before those services, I longed for that connection, to hear You in my heart. It didn’t happen often before that, the whole meditative prayer thing.

And I began with my friend our ministry to the Blackfoot right before that, but we definitely felt led and empowered to go. That was huge. I received physical and emotional strength to care for Mom and Dad in their illness. Over and over I felt, well, renewed. I had new energy to continue in a difficult situation. That was huge.

 And You healed so much earlier emotional brokenness, and that healing opened the possibility of my allowing myself to love someone again—Pete—and to remarry. That was Huge, huge, huge.

So you received healing, and strength, and encouragement, and joy. You connected more deeply with Me, and you were guided by that connection in all sorts of decisions. You felt empowered to speak about Me, and especially to speak about reconciliation, peace, and unity.


What makes you think you are not living in renewal right now? You connect with Me here, and in your heart, everyday. You received supernatural strength and miracles when Pete was sick before. Your connection with family up north is a renewal miracle. You speak about Me in a way that encourages reconciliation, peace, and unity, all the time. You are walking, living, breathing a renewed life every day, all the time!

Oh, wow! Thank You, Lord! Wow, that’s great! I can feel You smiling, giving me a hug. I love You, Lord.


A little glimmer, a little shimmer, a little puff of wind. The day stretches and yawns into itself. I am quiet. Kaylee is scratching, restless. Lord, what would You say?

People think of expansion in many different ways. Your crop could yield more seeds, that is one way. The size of your fields could increase. You could have more outlets for your crop, so you waste less and store less. You could be more efficient in both planting and harvest.


Another way to think about expansion is to diversify. You have fields AND an orchard. And you raise sheep for wool, say. In order to diversify, where the land produces a year-round, expanded offering, you need more help—help which I will provide. You are close to the limit of what you can provide in terms of cranking out product. The next big piece is the writing piece, and the workshop/speaking/teaching piece. Each will have a different audience and a bit of a different purpose, but it is all your land, all your territory. I do want you to dream again, and dream on paper. Dream on the page.

Lord, I write that down and I lean back. I lift my pen off the page. Why? What’s up with that, what’s up with me?

You think the very idea of having dreams and expressing them is selfish, self-centered, prideful. You forget about my planting seeds in you, seeds that sprout as your gifts and talents, as your inclinations and preferences, as your longings. All of these are My planting within you. So let’s examine those seeds, shall we?





Rain Within

Lord, I want kindness to prevail over cruelty and mercy to overtake”justice” if justice is just shorthand for revenge, for punishment. Please, please, what would You say?

Little One, you are seeing the world—My world—as it is, while simultaneously holding the vision I have of the world—My world—as it could be. As it should be. As it will be. Heaven is the church you seek, where all truly Love One Another. You are doing your part to build My Kingdom where it really counts, which is out in the middle of My messy world.

You want to find a gathering space of folks whose tenets are inclusive, welcoming, peace-centered, and when it comes to Me and My Presence, relational and experiential. You want My Presence manifest like you want air, like you want water. You are dry and thirsty without it. You are like a land in drought, spending your precious tears crying for rain when Rain is within you. You have My Spirit within you. Be church. Continue to minister. Continue to stand in love. Make your gratitude lists—and share them.


The Gift of Sabbath

Oh Lord, part of me doesn’t want to go on a quest for grand adventures. Part of me just wants to sit and be near You. Like Lucy in Narnia, leaning against Aslan’s side (and reading a book)! Vacation unplugs from responsibility but you can’t live that way.

That is why I created the Sabbath! For you, for mankind, for human rest. For a mini-vacation every week! Not to burden you with the rule of its observance, but as a regular time-out from responsibility. As a Time of Refreshing. “Church” was added much later. I created Sabbath years for the land, so it could rest, not be worked to death by humans who had forgotten how to rest, how to play. Your sleep is not restful because you allow yourself no Sabbath. You will sleep better all week long if you can create and maintain Sabbath.

I don’t know how to do that. There’s both galleries, there’s the house, there’s…

There’s your health. Physical, emotional, spiritual. You want more energy? More creative ideas and solutions? More stability in your words? Allowing yourself My Gift of Sabbath is the key to all these for you.

At Table

So I may have some quiet moments yet. What would You say? To me? To the world? On Thanksgiving?

Today, you feast. You celebrate around the table an abundant harvest. Tomorrow and Saturday, you shop. You acquire needed or wanted goods for yourselves or your homes or as gifts for others. Whether feasting or shopping the sales, your theme is the same: abundance. Sales mean you can stretch your dollars to buy more or to get items you might not otherwise afford. Feasting and shopping are national habits on this weekend, along with parades and sports, all part of a festive celebration.

Some lament the celebratory aspect, counseling instead a focus on giving to the poor as a more spiritual way to celebrate harvest.

If you look to Me, you will see I did both. I performed My first miracle at a wedding feast. I was severely criticized and labeled as a fraud because I joined in the revelry of feasting and celebration—even with those who didn’t fit the mold of spirituality in the conventions of the day. I also counseled giving to the poor and warned against greed.

It is easy to live wholly in one mindset or the other. It’s much harder to simultaneously fully enjoy all the blessings of an abundant life, while also giving and sharing those blessings, not out of guilt but out of a conviction that abundance, the feasting, and the joy are all meant for everyone, no exceptions. Yet this is how I lived, in the paradox of abundance. On this day of Thanksgiving, it is how I Am inviting you to live also.

Feast, revel and find ways to share your joy, to invite others into your abundant life, to My Abundant Life.


Lord, I’m restless.

You feel like you are the clay on the wheel, spinning around and around. You need to let Me center you. Then I can shape you, shape your life, into the perfect form and the perfect size. But all begins with centering.

I’m seeing this wide bowl and Your Hands shaping it from inside. Expanding it from within. Increasing capacity.

Today is like the disciples fishing all night and rowing home, tired and discouraged. That is where you are—that is how you feel. You are doing all you know how to do, and you are giving it your best effort. And yet you still are coming up short. So I told them to go out, at the wrong time of day and put out their nets one more time. Let out your nets for a catch. And you know the result. 153 fish. So many fish that the nets broke. So many fish the two of them couldn’t haul them in; they needed help, they needed two more helpers.

So what do I do now, today?

Relax. Unwind. Go with the flow.


The way west

Lord, You got anything for me? Anything with my name on it?

I always have something for you, but you’ve lowered your expectations.

I know I have. It’s like I am trying to fly under the radar.

You are afraid blessings bring curses, bring a backlash. Yin-yang, push-and-pull, sweet-and-sour. You think you can keep sorrow at bay by turning away joy. I’d like to roll up with an armored truck loaded with blessings, more blessings than you could ever imagine—but you have to be present to sign for it.

Present to sign for it. Hmm. I get present—aware, alert. Right? And in the present, not the past, not the future. Put my name to it. You sign for a shipment when the sender wants to verify you’ve received it. Lord?

This isn’t a loaner. You would have to sign for a loaner, too. This is yours. This isn’t something you have to send back.

Lord, why can’t I let go of the West? What is its hold on me?

The West is part of My dream and My plan for you—that’s why you can’t let go. Trust Me to get you there.

I miss it. I look at my pictures and I don’t know what I want, but they are not it. And I tried so hard…

I don’t want you to try so hard. I want you to feel. Feel, then see. You are trying to see, then feel. That’s backwards. Feel, then see. That is your way forward. Not science. Not composition. Not art. Connection. Feel. Feel the air, feel the sea, feel, feel, feel the light, feel the clouds. Feel your way back. The blind move by feeling their way. Feel your way back to sight. Let others be artful—you be connected. They will have their audience, their market, and you will have yours. Feel your way back home. Draw close. See far and see near. Find your heart again. You nourish many others, but I Am not asking you to do that at the cost of your own life. Come to your beginning place. Let’s begin again. Feel, and you’ll see.