Not Everyone Embraces


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All reported statistics shout, “DANGER!
Leave! Get you to a place of safety! NOW!!!
It’s true: to this creature be a stranger.
Volatile beast, he would never know how
Even to begin being gentle. Mind
Precious life well. Please let him have the space
To breathe without interference. You’ll find
Enough to do giving distance. Don’t chase
Ravenous beasts which many call extinct,
Or make yourself his meal. It’s not worthwhile.
So keep all visits (and reports!) succinct.
Antipathy runs strong through rank and file:
Unwilling to accept, though tales increase,
Religious crowds are praying these will cease.

from Jonathan David Whitcombs’s book Searching For Ropens and Finding God. The sentence, “Not everyone embraces a live pterodactyl” (which, for some reason, always throws me into fits of uncontrolled laughter–I mean, really, when was the last time you saw someone embracing a pterodactyl?) was taken from page 117, and again from page 118, but to fit the acrostic, “pterodactyl” (a specific type of flying monster) was changed to “pterosaur” (a larger group of flying monsters). I somehow (while I was not actively engaged in embracing pterodactyls) didn’t see this until the poem was finally completed. It was so much work, I just can’t force myself to change it now.

by GwennonR
May 1, 2017

I want to caution anyone wanting to read further about reports of living flying reptiles that while Mr. Whitcomb’s book is very well-researched and well-presented, he does occasionally espouse (and advertise) a worldview that I believe does not align completely with scripture. However, in the long haul, this is probably true of most of every single one of us most of the time. So, my reading friends, whenever you see me veering off in something unbiblical, you are more than welcome to call me on it. We so seldom see and recognize our own errors.




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Contempt for this time they’re displaying
When choosing to show up so late.—
If only we’d pray when we’re “praying”!

Alone I had started my praying.
Late comers some problems create:
Contempt for this time they’re displaying.

I’m wondering when we’ll start praying.
This prayer time is not a play date.
If only we’d pray when we’re “praying”!

Such carelessness is quite dismaying
Since doctors and lawyers won’t wait,
But contempt for this time they’re displaying.

The call to pray now not obeying,
To visit they won’t hesitate:
If only we’d pray when we’re “praying”!

The stop-time they won’t be delaying.
Real reverence let’s here reinstate:
Contempt for this time is dismaying—
If only we’d pray when we’re “praying”!

by Gwennon
July 12, 2017

I’m not going to even try to pretend that I’m not a part of this problem. And I know we need to give grace. Before leaving for church this morning, I already gave myself that pep-talk, all the while praying desperately that if others in the group wanted this time for social reasons, they’d just not show up. One hour after we were scheduled (according to the church bulletin and the website) to start praying for people, we still hadn’t started praying seriously. Seriously, our so-called “prayer meeting” ended up looking like a tea party in which each newcomer became the latest special guest speaker. I wish I could say that I had never seen anything like it. I simply can’t. This behavior is typical these days, and a couple of times (yep, you can see my self-righteousness at work here) I have arrived early, started praying through the list, then had to stop while late comers shut the whole thing down. But you know what, even though the time was short, and the written prayer list was long, the meeting ended up concluding “on time”. Oh, the irony of it all. I think Satan laughed all the way to the bank over that one. I feel a little sick at heart over this whole thing.

Will you pray for us? I think this may be a world-wide church problem. Especially in rich lands where lack of persecution lulls us to sleep so that we no longer see the need the for church, prayer, and God in our lives. You expect to see those things outside the church, not inside. Oh, unwelcome sorrow! How unhappily we have met again!!!

Here Am I


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Send someone who won’t flub the job,
Especially a job so grand
Now calling for a well-trained mob
Delighted on Your plans to stand.
So, please send in a substitute!
Oh, do not let ME be the one:
My strength is small, my wisdom, too!
Excuse the soul who seldom won
On merit and whose faults aren’t few.
No, You need better souls than me
Engaged in such a worthy task.
Exempt me. This is not to be.
Love, You know better than to ask.
Send someone better far than me:
Enlist a soul who cannot fail.

by Gwennon
June 5, 2017

I’d like to say, “Look how humble I am!” But that is not true. What you see here is 100% pure, unadulterated fear: a panic-attach prayer on paper. Which perfectly matches the wandering rhyme scheme. Notice the staccato rhythm of the lines.

Anyway, on reading this poem, my friend Gail asked if God was sending me to do something in particular. I told her the scary details, concluding with, “I am just not adequate for the job.” Her answer startled me: “Of course you are not adequate. What you want is for God to work His power through you.” After a few more encouraging words, Gail finished with, “Remember God chose a little shepherd boy to be king. He deliberately looks for those who are humble enough to let Him be the power.”

So, now you know how to pray for me.

How can I pray for you today?



Philosophical Crumbs: Haiku for Kierkegaard

I hope this will both inspire and challenge you. Please be sure to thank Mr. Pullar for writing this lovely poem.

The Consolations of Writing

A friend of mine recently said that he had tried to read Kierkegaard but hadn’t made it. “I need the children’s book version,” he said. Probably not an unusual experience. While I’m not sure I’m the one to provide the children’s book, I thought I could do the next best thing: to try to put a few key ideas of Kierkegaard’s into haiku. Because what else are school holidays for?

So here are my first few offerings.

Kierkegaard Haiku I-III

In the moment, pause.
Life’s a reality, but
The crowd will deceive.

Anxiety means
Choice: the potential to do
Wrong, or to find God.

You must stand alone
Before His face and be known.

View original post

Living Well


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Today, on Acrostic Sonnet Monday, I want to share with you a poem I wrote by the grace of God and with the prayer support of a large number of friends. It celebrates the 50th wedding anniversary of two of my friends and mentors, Lola and Don Compton, without whose prayers and advice I would have floundered many times. Twenty-three years from now, I hope this poem will define my husband’s and my own marriage of fifty years.

Living Well

Learning to look for the best, they can both
Overlook irritants as they arise,
Viewing each other through Jesus’ kind eyes,
Engaged in seeking and proclaiming truth,
Delighted to serve and share God’s good news.
And we look to their example of love
Never failing: God’s deeply rooted love.
Driven, both on the street and in the pews,
Leading many souls to Christ, they are blessed.
On their soft hearts, God’s word they emboss.
Victorious, even when life looks grim,
In Christ, “from Whom all blessings flow”, they rest.
Nearer they grow, through triumph or through loss,
Giving God the glory as they serve Him.

for Lola and Don Compton
April 28, 1967 – April 28, 2017
and the adventure continues

by Gwennon
April 26, 2017

I Want To Be Somebody


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.Give me a famous name that never dies:
.Outstanding reputation, well revered,
.Durable, exalted in other’s eyes.
.Call me a great treasure to be held dear,
.Always and forever well-loved and known,
.Needing no introductions of my own,
.Enjoying recognition for my work,
.Named a part of that famously IN CROWD,
.Joyfully reminded of my life’s worth.
.Oh, don’t you know, that would make me so proud!
.Yep. That, I think, would make my life complete,
.Finally realizing my dreams so sweet,
(Of course, there’s just one way to be famous:
.Receive God’s Christ, and to Him closely cling.)
.Eternally in Jesus’s eyes blameless,
.Validated and valued by THE KING,
.Enlisted there in Heaven’s “Who’s Who”,
.Replete in joy after my life’s review.

by GwennonR
May 25, 2017

As in previous acrostic presentations, in order to force the acrostic phrases to line up along the left margin, I have added a period to the beginning of most of the lines.

In other news, someone briefly mentioned that I have carelessly allowed several aggravating spelling errors to run rampant in this blog. For a former spelling champion who prides herself on excellent spelling and grammar, and whose college degree happens to be in English, this is grave news, indeed. If my readers might be so kind as to explicitly point out where said errors have occurred, I will make every effort, as I have the time, and the internet access, to go back and correct them. Thank you.

God’s Work

You are going to love this one.

simple words by susan


Abundantly loving all who seek truth

Bringing sweet fellowship as worshipers pray

Covering prayers with the fragrance of peace

Delighted with those who reach out to love

Evidence of hearts that understand grace

Faithful in failure and seeking out hope

Giving His presence that comforts and heals

Hovering over the one who is lost

Introducing salvation in a dark world

Justified by the One who is perfect

Kindness is revealed in Christ’s sacrifice

Lighting the path back to safety and faith

Merciful Messiah always within

New words of His wisdom and mercy to hear

Obedience will bless pure hearts with joy

Praise is the response that will move mountains

Quietly waiting for God’s graceful touch

Reverent eyes carefully watch His face

Salvation is found in His sacrifice

Truth appears and now freedom wins the crown

Uncompromised in beauty and promise

Victorious Savior has ransomed me

Worthy of worship…

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In the dictionary

Next to the word “oblivion”

You may see a short film clip

Of my four-year-old grand-daughter,


Expressing her joy

In possessing a prime piece

Of delicious, well-cooked bacon

Through a series of energetic dancing,

Punctuated by occasional leaps and twirls,

Followed closely by a small companion dog,

Whose own leaps and twirls

Define avarice

And disappointed hopes

Instead of joy,

As bite after delicious bite

Of that lovely, specialty meat

Disappears forever

Into the happy stomach

Of a kind-hearted preschooler

Who would never


Give pain

To the dog she loves.

by Gwennon R

May 29, 2017

from a story my son-in-law shared with the family Sunday night


In other news, I’d like to tell you I will respond quickly to any comments. Unfortunately, I have only limited internet access at the moment and must beg indulgence if I seem more than usually slow. Please accept my apologies in advance.

God Loves To Give


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Exquisite, lavish designs make it great:
Visually satisfying beauties flow
Everywhere eye can see. God will create
Rich layers of colors and textures so
You needn’t look far to find a treasure
To delight the eyes, the ears, and the hands.
Here God displays His art for our pleasure:
It’s here He delights the works of His hands,
Now giving us hints of Heaven in the
Good gifts He surrounds us with here below:
Gifts to bring every gladness and joy we
Otherwise could not yet begin to know.
Open your eyes to see the pains God takes,
Delighting to bless the people He makes.

by GwennonR
May 15, 2017

We have had some unusually beautiful sunrises, sunsets, and cloudscapes lately. And again I remember my friend Marie’s words that God customizes each landscape for the individual who will see it. Now that’s the ultimate in art and generosity, don’t you think?

Prelude to Heaven


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My heart can’t dwell in sorrows when they play
Uplifting melodies infused with joy.
Such beauty as they make their lives’ employ
Is perfect for sending dark thoughts away
Completely, never to be heard from: Tune
Bedraggled hearts to the frequency of
Yet another heavenly breath of love
To ease with God’s healing and gently soothe
Heaviness away. What a great blessing
Expressing the joy God always yearns to
Pour over His creation and subdue
Impatient disturbances here messing
Around to bring His children down. Not now!
No!! His plan is to give us every sweet
Overriding joy. So, our LORD will beat
Gloom at its own game with resounding
Unending reminders from Heaven above,
Yep, woo us with beauty that’s astounding,
Sending new creative notes of His love.

by GwennonR
May 3, 2017

This poem came joyfully dancing onto my iPhone on the tail end of my hearing “The Piano Guys” five piano player rendition of “What Makes You Beautiful”. I wanted the acrostic for a sonnet, but it was too long, and by the time the word “villanelle” crossed my mind, it was too late. So, my joyful, willful poem is a bit irregular, which I expect readers to forgive, because as every writer knows, trying to make a poem behave is sometimes a dangerous and tricky business.