“Perhaps beauty has an effect on us because it hints at this beauty of God, manifestations that come not intangibly but, like Jesus Christ, within time and community, and thus a beauty that transforms, a beauty that is able to embrace life as well as death.

“Whether a fleeting glimpse in the subway or a quiet act of kindness, whether something that stirred a community or stood up to a culture, each of these dim glimpses suggests not an escape from reality but a calling further into it, such that when we see the face of God we shall know that we have always known it.”

Jill Carattini (from RZIM Slice of Infinity,


“I don’t know if I have my own dream, but I do know that I can help others fulfill theirs.”

– The Ultimate Gift

Fully Known and Truly Loved

“To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.”



Haiku 116

haiku116My heart hurts for friends who are living with Alzheimers. I am also overwhelmed at the depth of love it shows in a caregiver. Recently, this video ( came to my attention which lets people “walk in their shoes.” What struck me is that there must be great loneliness in the midst of it all.

For our local writers guild, we were challenged to bring something Valentiney to this month’s meeting. Will Shakespeare provided the real meat of my offering; I just asked a Haiku question about his timeless sonnet…

Did Shakespeare see this

God-love poured out ev’ry day

On your lonely heart?

To you, dear friends with Alzheimers, we see you. We celebrate you. We pray for God’s grace to sustain you and your loved ones. Caregivers, we honor you.

Lifted Hands

Summer drought

The flowers droop

Praying mantis atop the purple bud

Lifts grateful hands to heaven

As a shower falls

Sometimes I Cry

Sometimes I cry…

…when I read the simple yet profound words of children.


…seeing dear friends again after a long absence; watching friends move away to pursue the call of God on their lives.

…hearing people who know God intimately pray.

…at glimpses of intimacy.

…hearing my nephew’s worship:

On Tiptoe

Richard Foster wrote: “In our day heaven and earth are on tiptoe waiting for the emerging of a Spirit-led, Spirit-empowered people. All of creation watches expectantly for the springing up of a disciplined, freely gathered, martyr people who know in this life the life and power of the kingdom of God. It has happened before. It can happen again…”

I was thinking of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani of Iran (currently imprisoned for his faith for over two and a half years) in light of this statement. He sounds like such a man. He wrote the following letter, obtained and translated into English by Jason DeMars of Present Truth Ministries, who the ACLJ has been working with on Pastor Youcef’s case from the beginning.

May 7, 2012

Greetings from your servant and younger brother in Christ, Youcef Nadarkhani.
To: All those who are concerned and worried about my current situation.

First, I would like to inform all of my beloved brothers and sisters that I am in perfect health in the flesh and spirit. And I try to have a little different approach from others to these days, and consider it as the day of exam and trial of my faith. And in these days which are hard in order to prove your loyalty and sincerity to God, I am trying to do the best in my power to stay right with what I have learned from God’s commandments.

I need to remind my beloveds, though my trial due has been so long, and as in the flesh I wish these days to end, yet I have surrendered myself to God’s will.

I am neither a political person nor do I know about political complicity, but I know that while there are many things in common between different cultures, there are also differences between these cultures around the world which can result in criticism, which most of the times response to this criticisms will be harsh and as a result will lengthen our problems.

From time to time I am informed about the news which is spreading in the media about my current situation, for instance being supported by various churches and famous politicians who have asked for my release, or campaigns and human rights activities which are going on against the charges which are applied to me. I do believe that these kind of activities can be very helpful in order to reach freedom, and respecting the human rights in a right way can bring forth great results in this.

I want to appreciate all those are trying to reach to this goal. But at the other hand, I’d like to announce my disgust at insulting words or activities which make stress and trouble, which unfortunately are done with the justification (excuse) of defending human rights and freedom, for the final result is so clear and obvious for me. Insulting the belief of other nations or people, whether they be a majority or minority, is not accepted and is an unworthy deed, specifically for those who have this teaching to love and respect others more than themselves and treat them the same as you want to be treated.

Then, burning and insulting is not a reverent behavior for a Christian, but it’s worthy to be in obedience to the word of God and humble ourselves to glorify God.

I try to be humble and obedient to those who are in power, obedience to those in authority which God has granted to the officials of my country, and pray for them to rule the country according to the will of God and be successful in doing this. For I know this in this way I have obeyed God’s word. I try to obey along with those whom I see in a common situation with me. They never had any complaint, but just let the power of God be manifested in their lives, and though sometimes we read that they have used this right to defend themselves, for they had this right, I am not an exception as well and have used all possibilities and so forth and am waiting for the final result.

So I ask all the beloved ones to pray for me as the holy word has said. At the end I hope this be prepared as soon as possible, as the authorities of my country will do with free will according to their law and commandments which are answerable to.

May God’s Grace and Mercy be upon you now and forever. Amen.
Youcef Nadarkhani

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