Monday, December 9, 2013

great city

Oh great city,
Where streets connect at intersections
and commerce happens at every corner
business transactions with a handshake
and legal documentation to support
Where structures are erected or torn down
in the name of progress
where campaigns bring loyalty to ideals
and divide people over the issues

Oh great city,
Where sturdy buildings are reminiscent
of bygone eras and the lifestyles that went with them
shrines for the working class and monuments to the daily grind
Where moral codes are eroded by the hands of time
like a shirt in a dryer or under a hot iron
the heat is absorbed in the pavement
and wears down all who walk upon it

Oh great city,
That is still yet to come
Whose architect and builder is God
Who alone is immortal and lives in unapproachable light
Who prepares a place for all foreigners and aliens on earth
who live by faith in what was promised and not yet received
They shall posses gladness and joy
in that great city where God is present
and Jesus is Lord of all!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

waking up

Let the wind blow through me
awakening what is deep within
cutting through the bones
past the marrow and the joints
flowing through the veins
to find a heart that beats within

From pale white to warm red
oxygen brings life
and anoints a joy to crown my head
bringing life to what was dead
waking up like a little boy
rising from his bed

Wake up, wake up o sleeper
rise up from the dead
Christ will shine upon you
and anoint your weary head

Monday, August 12, 2013

on the other side of the fence

“Hey you in the green shirt!” I heard the voice coming from the other side of the fence. Looking down to remind myself that I was indeed wearing a green shirt, I began to approach the fence skeptically. Perhaps it was just another sad story used only to manipulate and then after you’re conscience struck, only to ask for a few bucks.

“They said those in the green shirts were supposed to pray for us!” She continued. As I drew closer I could make out the figure of an emaciated woman who probably could have slid between the iron bars of the fence without any effort. A small boy was standing close by at her feet. They had not been at the community event that afternoon, but had heard from a distance and sent out a desperate plea from the other side of the fence.

“How may I pray for you?” I asked and she presented a litany of things to pray about. Looking down to where the boy was I saw another volunteer in a green shirt kneeling to talk with him. The lady on the other side of the fence repeated her list to the other volunteer in case she didn't hear the first time. She also confessed an alcohol addiction. When she finished emptying her burdens, we reached through the fence, joined hands with her and began to pray in the name of Jesus.

Many of the people that live in my community are like this lady. They are on the other side of the fence where prosperity and plenty have no name. They struggle with addictions and coping mechanisms that only provide a temporary escape from reality. They have more mouths to feed than they are able and finding a decent job without a high school diploma seems nearly impossible. They are on the other side of fence struggling, but not without hope.

God has called his children to reach through the fences, to pray and care for our community, to fellowship with them in the midst of suffering and to love them through our actions. As we do so, we find that the love of Christ melts the iron bars that separate us. We find that we are no different from our neighbors because we are all in need of God. We find that God longs to break down those barriers making a way through Christ to join with those on the other side of the fence.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

hope

I'm wide awake
it’s the middle of the night
and I reach for the light
on the bedside table

Something has taken me
and won’t let me be
I am restless and unable
to know why it’s gripping me

But I consider that my suffering
is not worth comparing to the coming glory
so I wait in expectation
although I’m subject to frustration
I wait for redemption
and for this hope to come to me

I’m wide awake
it’s the middle of my life
what plan do you have for me
hope that is seen is no hope at all
but don’t leave me hopeless in spite of it all
just give me a clear call
and a mind that is fixed on the joy set before me

For when I consider my suffering
it is not worth comparing to the coming glory
so I wait in expectation
although I’m subject to frustration
I wait for redemption
and for this hope to come to me

Sunday, August 26, 2012

let them know you

Let them know hunger
let then know thirst
let them know pain
heartache and disease
Let them know about
things such as these

Let them know murder
anger and pride
jealousy and
hate for mankind
Let them know this
deep inside

Let them know heartache
loss and tragedy
life without meaning
and emptiness inside
Let them know despair
and feel crippled from their pride

So that they may seek you
in the midst of the pain
So they may reach out
and find that you remain
never far from us
loving each the same

So that they might know you
instead of all the fear
and that they might reach out
to find that you were always near
Close to the brokenhearted
you come closer and appear

Close to the brokenhearted
you come closer and appear

Thursday, July 5, 2012

new day

I awake refreshed
as the sun strikes across my face
sitting up I feel the warmth
and I am filled with awe at your embrace
though the night is not far behind me
and the darkness that it brought
eclipsing all the goodness
that resides within my heart
but the morning dew is resting
on green blades broken in the dark
as a reminder that your love for me will never part

Thursday, April 5, 2012

formless and void

Like the earth I am without form
needing substance to give me shape
needing something to fill me
and sustain me beyond what I can provide.
I remain shapeless until shape is given to me
yet I conform to whatever consumes me
for I am consumer and I am consumed.
The contortions that bend me in all directions
and mold me into something recognizable
leave me sore and lifeless
and I desire to be left formless.

This is where you found me.
At the end of my striving,
at the end of my contrived methods to be
something useful,
something noticeable,
something with purpose,
you found me.
I was groaning inwardly,
tired from trying to be that which I was not intended to be.
You found me and spoke life into my body,
birthed a thousand desires into my heart
and set a new song aflame in my soul.
Now I desire to be conformed to your image alone.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

distant day

I sit in the car as the morning arrives
hollow and empty deep down inside
Notebook and pen rest there on the dash
within my reach, within my grasp
Camera beside me on the passenger seat
full of photos and memories now out of reach
and just like a photo I’m stuck in the past
longing for things that never would last

And I am not here
I’m a million miles away
in the shadows, in the movements,
in the memories of a distant day

Sun pours through the wind shield
sprays light on a distant field
Mountains cast shadows in irregular patterns
a hawk circles overhead and turns
Grass weeds sway in rhythm with the wind
taking it all in I try to comprehend
and just like the sun I feel you reaching in
warming my heart with the love that you send

And I am not here
I’m a million miles away
in the sunlight, in the clear skies,
in the longing for a distant day

Monday, November 28, 2011

piano


You brought me this piano when I was only nine
and when I touched the keys upon it my face began to shine
now I can’t thank you enough for the stories I would find
when I played that new piano and escaped inside my mind

You gave me an instrument that sent songs into my heart
yet when I think back on it I find it played a bigger part
the piano wasn’t ornate it had no would carving design
and the bench was nothing special, but for me it did just fine
the piano would not be welcome in concert halls or places well refined
it was just a simple sturdy upright that I would learn to play in time

And it put a new song in my heart
and in the darkness the melody was a shard
bringing hope when life was hard
and I would find it’s not the flashy things that shine
it’s what’s inside that resonates more loudly over time

Twenty five years later with my hand upon familiar keys
I close my eyes in hope to find some peace
I walk into a melody and I am lifted
I walk into a melody and life is sifted
complications erased
dissatisfactions have no trace
chords untangle inside my mind
and I think back to another time
when you gave me this piano and my face begins to shine

It put a new song in my heart
and in the darkness the melody was a shard
bringing hope when life was hard
and I would find it’s not the flashy things that shine
it’s what’s inside that resonates more loudly over time

Monday, October 31, 2011

llama wool

Llama wool is used to make many colorful fabrics in Peru.  First, the dies are extracted from a cactus plant and stored in large containers.  Next the wool is placed inside of the containers and then hung out to dry when enough of the dye has been absorbed.  The wool is now ready to be used in making the colorful fabrics such as hats, socks, sweaters, bags and toys.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

broken people

Broken people in these seats
Broken people at your feet
Tears flowing down
where words are not yet found
In this moment, in this place
we sense love in your embrace

Saturday, August 6, 2011

cusco

Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983, Cusco is picturesque.




Tuesday, July 26, 2011

savage wolves

Savage wolves are running with white teeth showing.
Saliva mixes in their mouths and drips from their tongues.
Paws beat rhythmically against the ground with increasing weight.
Breaking through brush they appear dimly under a moonlit sky.
Increasing in speed with new found freedom,
they run hard through the field approaching the prey.
Letting grunts and snorts be heard, they desire only one thing.

A bleating cry rises up from an ewe like a flare in the sky.
More bleating is heard and now scampering signals incoming danger.
Those who run away from the heard will surely be devoured.

But alas, there is another stirring in the brush!
A new shadow is spreading, covering the heads of the sheep.
Sharp facial features traced by the moonlight emerge from a hood.
A strong, sturdy staff is gripped in a hand as if to be used as a club.
The shepherd strikes out to defend his sheep
and no one will snatch them out of his hand!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

miraflores

Founded in 1857, Miraflores is Lima's prosperous commercial hub, boasting shopping zones, theaters, art galleries, flowery parks, craft markets, cinemas and the city's highest concentration of cafés.

The roof terrace at Larcamor shopping center has a reflecting pool and spectacular views of the coast.




A view from the clifftops overlooking a pier containging shops and a seafood restaurant.




A modern sculpture stands near the coastline.






This bridge is a gateway to the coast for those driving down Avenido O. Benavides.


Inaugurated on February 14, 1993, Parque del Amor is devoted to the old Peruvian custom of courting in public gardens.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

picture of you

Complexity, diversity, unity and harmony
it all seems to come to me when I think of you
it all stands out to me when I'm with your people
like ceramic tiles of many hues
we make up the picture of you

Monday, May 23, 2011

haiti faces

A boy from the village plays with an old bicycle rim.
A girl poses in the shade at the pavilion where others have come for medical assistance.
A cute little boy carries goods on his head.
A girl watches from the nearby bleachers.
A boy hangs from the rafters.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

arm

After the accident on my bicycle my arm was hurting. Movement was restricted and my hand was swollen. The x-rays showed that no bones were broken, but the x-rays could not reveal the pain that I was feeling. The medication that I was given caused me to be dizzy and I vomited once. The following days revealed to me just how difficult it would be to live with only one arm. I was unable to do the most menial tasks such as remove a lid from a tube of toothpaste or tie my shoe laces tight enough to stay together. Turning a door knob would send sharp pangs throughout my entire arm. It was miserable and I was humbled by my limitations.

The sling on my arm was a constant reminder of those limitations, but it also reminded me of that the Lord takes pity on the weak and needy (Psalm 72:13). After all He chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong (1 Corinthians 1:27). That is why Paul said “I delight in weakness, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10). Also, David was not the first born heir to the throne and he had the least worldly experience being the youngest of his clan, but God looked at his heart rather than his accomplishments. David’s heart would stand up to a giant and show forth God’s greatness through utter dependence. David’s heart would also be humiliated when confronted by the prophet Nathan and rely upon the strength that God provides to bring restoration (Psalm 51:10-12). This is the kind of heart that God desires for “the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart [He] will not despise” (Psalm 51:17).

My arm is doing much better this week and I’m sure that I will soon forget about the pain that once plagued me, but I hope that I continue to be dependent upon God as though I can’t do anything without him.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

bringing life

Come and blow the dust from my pages
turning to places where sun has not yellowed
revealing stages of past ages
now merging into the present

Come and smear the oil on the leather
restoring that which was once hard
brining life to that which binds
the mystery deep within

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

haiti landscapes

The sky and ocean are bathed in sunlight.
Two trees at sunrise.
A view through the trees.

At the beach.
Early morning hills.






Wednesday, February 23, 2011

unkempt hair

Hey there man with your unkempt hair
What brought you here where people stare
and unkind words linger in the air
Did you swallow hard when you entered that door
Did you think you’d find what you’re looking for

Well I've got two hands and I've got two feet
and I'll walk to you so that we can meet
and I've got this heart beating in my chest
so I'll extend to you my best
cause life is hard and could get worse
if you leave tonight with any more remorse

Monday, January 24, 2011

partly cloudy

Sun setting through the window
shimmers golden hues through the sky and streets
Wet pavement reflects the beauty

while beads of water swell and then streak
Silhouetted trees and street lights contrast the brilliance complete
Wonder still exists in the everyday ordinary
things


Thursday, December 16, 2010

breakfast nachos

Sometimes scrambled eggs with cheese, sausage, bacon, and salsa area served with a few tortilla chips sprinkled on top and called "migas," but I prefer to put the tortilla chips in first with the ingredients added on top to make breakfast nachos!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

dogs and pigs

A dog is a dog
it will return to its vomit
A pig is a pig
it will return to the mud
An unregenerate man is unregenerate
he will return to his sin

Morality and good works
are not enough to amend
the soul that is condemned
Feast no more at the vomit on the floor
rise up out of your mud
come to the one who will atone with his blood

Monday, November 15, 2010

continental gin building

This past weekend I visited the Continental Gin Building for an Open Studios event where twenty three artists had the doors to the studios open for guests to view or purchase their works. Walking through the building at dusk with golden light pouring through the windows, I felt like I had been transported to another time.

Monday, November 1, 2010

joy and strength

Wind rips across the water suspending a seagull in mid flight
climbs up the hill to where I sit and scatters the pages of my notes
Warm sun reflected in the water now blinding in my eye
beaming down upon my skin making me warm inside
I have joy in the sun and feel strength with the wind
a dichotomy of things living deep within

Monday, October 11, 2010

shadows

Photographs are limited in their perspective. They focus on a single subject and present views that extend to the edges of the frame only. Like a photograph my view in life is limited. I can only see so much. The shadows in these photographs point to something beyond the edge of the frame. They serve as a reminder that there is something more.




Monday, October 4, 2010

ending and beginning

Sun setting
golden window pane
remorse growing
unable to explain
the day is ending
unable to refrain

Stars glowing
in the night time air
hollow feeling
rises without care
empty longing
that I can’t repair

Morning calling
to my night time eyes
rain is coming
falling from the sky
a new beginning
that I can’t deny

Thursday, September 16, 2010

industrial images

Sometimes photography is the quest for beauty in the ordinary.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

galleria

The Galleria Mall in Dallas was opened in 1982 and has remained a successful enterprise for almost thirty years.

A canvas mobile along the main corridor screens and reflects the sun.

Circular lights above a common gathering space.

Escalators move people from one level to the next near the ice skating rink.

A wall display at one of the many department stores.
Strong vertical elements combined with skylights focus the attention upwards at appropriate intervals for access to the retail outlets.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

solace

There is a solace I have found
I wear it like an evening gown
it glows and glitters
and shows your worth
the fabric comes from virgin birth

It covers completely
from head to ground
and protects from dangers
all around

It always goes with me
so that I might remain
it never forgets me
like a chorus refrain

Thursday, August 26, 2010

gourdough's

Last weekend's trip to Austin yielded some excellent eateries. One of which was Gourdough's, famously known for their exotic donuts.
The tag line says it all.
The menu provides both savory and sweet donuts.
I tried the Flying Pig (bacon with maple syrup icing) and the Porkey (Canadian bacon, cream cheese and jalepeño jelly).
One last picture of the afternoon indulgence.