Saturday, April 19, 2014

Singing in the Midst

I stoppped while reading through the chapters of Mark in the Holy Scriptures, revisiting Christ's last earthly days. I saw these quick five little words..."and after singing a hymn..." (Mark 14:26).  My mind wandered to the disciples and their fellowship around that special Last Supper table. They witnessed so much first hand what the Prophet Jesus did in His three year ministry together.  Traveling dusty roads, taking boats out to stormy seas, gathering at both weddings and funerals, walking along rivers and on top of water, they were in the midst of something spectacular.  They rode donkeys, walked miles while meeting many interesting people in crowds. Jesus fed a multitude of hungry people with little; He swirled His fingers in mud and wiped a blind man's eyes and this man's first vision was His Healer, Jesus! Discarding crutches of the lame, smoothing the skin of lepers, calling out demons; Godly authority and power, so evident. Christ and the disciples developed relationships with many, rich and poor, holy and not so holy and they got to know each other in the process. Most importantly, they became familiar with the One they followed. This was truly the Promised Messiah!  They recognized God in the midst. 

Fellowship. Jesus ministered through it.  The Last Supper? --the  ultimate small group.  The planning commitee started out by listening to Jesus's directions for the Passover Meal.  Find the person who has set aside a place, an upper room.  They obeyed and without Google Maps and Suri, they found the banquet room. Once there, Jesus proceeded to set an important example to His guests, by serving them in the washing of their dirty feet.  Peter did not feel worthy. Jesus instructed him that until he submits his filthy toes, his cracked and bruised heels, his aching arches into the bowl and allow Jesus to dip his own loin cloth and cleanse, he would "have no part of Me." (John 13:10).  

Peter threw his sandals off.  If he could, he would have dunked his whole body from head to toe and received a full salon treatment. Thing is, just the toe dip refreshed and revived him for eternity. 

The disciples with Jesus ate the Passover Meal and Jesus took the bread and together with the wine connected their presence, their significance to the Holy. Fellowship partook in the Holy and that Holy resonates in us today as we partake in the Holy elements of Grace.  We remember and we give thanks. 

And doesn't that make you want to sing!  

The disciples did not understand fully what was to come in the next few days. They couldn't believe that a betrayer lurked among them.  How did one we shared so much with, seen so many miracles with, felt so much love and purpose with, disregard the Holy? Judas left, not before spilling over the healing water of the footwash basin. 

OK then, refocus.  Jesus.  He wants to teach us more.  

"Love one another, He said.  Like I have loved you. Men will see Me in you."

"Don't be worried about stuff. Just believe I've got it handled."

Jesus contined and we listened. 

"I'm going to go away for awhile. I've got more work to do with the Father. There, I will make a place for you. I will come back and get you. Where I AM, you will be right with Me. There's only one way, through me, so know this Truth. It is Life. 

"I feel like singing"...said Peter.

"I've seen God!" said Philip.  I need to praise Him, sing and...and worship!  

What lyrics, what harmonies, what beats came from these humble, chosen, very human eye witnesses to Glory on earth?  

Oh Lord, revive Thy work in the midst of the years, 
In the midst of the years make it known;
In wrath, remember mercy. 

Holy, holy, holy 
Is the Lord of Hosts.
The whole world is filled with His glory. 

I will tell of Thy name, Thy name to my brethren
In the midst of Thy assembly,
I will praise Thee

Holy, holy holy
Is the Lord Almighty
The whole world is filled with His glory. 

And then they would gather again, at the foot of a cross. The disciples knew the Holy as they watched his heaving chest, His outstrewn arms covered in caking blood, His precious palms that had touched their own stinking feet and cleansed them of all their filth.  Looking at His feet, remembering them hovered over the waves of the Galilee, and the depths of their own souls, they tasted the Manna.  At the Cross they saw the blood flow down onto his matted beard from the thorns. His back lay open, sinews and dislocations evident barely through the gaping flesh.  He asked John to take care of His mother Mary through the gurgling whisper of pain and spiritual separation of Himself and His Heavenly Father. The wine came back up. It is finished. 

Holy, holy holy
Is the Lord Almighty
The whole world is filled with His glory.

And in the midst of Me
You are Forgiven
Into Eternity

And in the midst of my human life, I sing in fellowship with other Believers on Easter morning. For in the midst of my soul lives a Risen Savior. In the midst of my earthly pain, my dirty feet, my betrayals, my anguish, the thorns in my side, my failures, my unworthiness and regret, I am made Holy. Eucharisteo. Thank you Lord. Eucharisteo, I sing Your praises in the midst of Your forgiveness of my sin and the washing of my soul in Your own blood. In the midst of Christ Jesus, the Son, My Father sees me as His child, in Grace received. Eucharisteo, in the midst of the Manna and the Wine. Holy,  Holy,  Holy. 

In Considerable Thoughts, Coleene  

Isaiah 6:3, Habbakuk 3:2, Psalm 22:22, John 14. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Break Me

"Break Me, Lord"
A Spring Break Prayer/Synopsis

“God’s Not Dead,” the film so it preached,
God shook the earth to extend His Holy Reach.
To So Cal and South Orange, county wide.
Break Me Lord of any fear I may hide.

My hands dig deep, down through the earth,
Sinking the seeds, such work is well worth
The beauty, the promise, to arise from the soil.
Break me Lord of thinking it’s toil.

Grace in sunsets that pierce a skyline,
Gray clouds that gather at dusk divine.
Returning from care-giving, the elderly two;
Break me Lord of hurrying through.

The first blooms of Spring burst forth full bloom,
Singing of praise with a glorious swoon.
Amaryllis and Rose, your beauty re-born;
Break me Lord of focus on thorns.

Short trip with Sis to the port of Long Beach,
Where fishies swim in tanks and seashores teach.
Sharks, rays, clown fish and jellies;
Break Me Lord, to avoid a “whale belly.”

In study and call, a faith-step progressed,
Support of missions and music addressed.
God’s provision covered the deed;
Break us Lord of not seeing the need.

To the Magic Kingdom for just a few hours,
The elevator dropped on the Hollywood Towers.
Look for a Mouse and the fireworks source;
Break us Lord, of the rat race course.

Spring Break is over, It’s now Sunday Eve.
Tomorrow is Monday, the memories I leave.
In this rhyme, this verse I so penned,
Break Me Lord, for Your Grace is the mend.

Considerably Yours, Coleene 

Sunday, March 23, 2014



Butterflies bounce on wind whispered wings,
Lilting loveliness in a delightful dance.
Painted preachers of the Hope of Heaven;
The evidence elicits worshipful wonder.
Gratitude attitude.
Laughter, it lightens the anxiety atmosphere,
Ballooning bubbles of boisterous brevity.
Forgotten filters set forth and fun frolics freely
Through jaunts of jokes, oh silly-selfs!
Belly busters.

Inspiration ignites a spark, spurring speech
Wisdom words, written like sporadic sprays from a sprinkler,
Drench the soul, deliver the Message.
Incubated imagination, released to restore.
Purposed prose.

Sisters sojourn in backyards and bedrooms.
Travel tear trails in twining timelines.
Branches bend, yet rooted in remembrance.
Friendship fraternity, a bloodline break, yet bonded.
Heartbeat harmony.

Savior, Sovereign Salvation Sender.
Grace Giver, Truth Teller, Love Lavisher.
Forgiving Father, Sacrificed Son, Indweller Intercessor,
Provider of Peace, Healer of Heart.
Bountiful Bliss.

And so it is, my bliss moments in five letters, yet I could name a whole alphabet. In His bliss I find Thanksgiving. In bliss, I find joy and unity with God and with one another. “Bliss”—how similar it is to the word “bless,” almost interchangeable, really. So that is why I named the poem “Blissings.” There are moments in life that define our connection to God, our connection to true Thanksgiving. Treasures.  They are buried close to our heart, reflecting their brilliance both within and out of our hearts, a reflection of the goodness of the Lord. In a world so self-absorbed, blissful blessings are not just for a moment, but an intentional love gift presented to me, to be who I am meant to be in Christ.  God is intent on blessing us. He wafts in the bliss breezes that touch my face and warm my soul. (Are you as intent to receive it?)  He turns my head towards the eternal perspective where Hope reigns. Bliss is everlasting in Blessings eternal; and for that, I give thanks. Amen.

 In blissful thought, 
Coleene VanTilburg

Friday, December 20, 2013

A Baby Bump Divine

A Baby Bump Divine

Not Kanye or Kim,
Nor William and Kate.
But Mary and Joseph,
A betrothal state.

No personal message
Or e-mail gave word.
Mary did Face-time
With and Angel of the Lord.

Joseph would wonder,
Perplexed, confused.
“The Voice” in a dream…?
He’d obey and choose.

So they checked all the sites
Of how to pack light.
Headed out to register,
A “Modern Family” flight.

No Paparazzi
Shadowed the pair.
Nazareth to Bethlehem,
No Rolls, but a mare.

It wasn’t the Waldorf,
The Hilton or Ritz.
But a back room rental
Minus the glitz.

“Listen to the Sound of Music,
It’s live from the sky!”
A shepherd tweets timely
As angels fly by.

Prophesied, on a watch list,
A Royal Baby born!
(Yet His crown…
A circle of thorns).

The Wise Men came bearing
The scent and the bling.
On-line shopping under
Gifts for THE King.

“True Blood,”
God in the flesh.
But perfect in purpose
To fix our big mess.

Though Satan swings
His “Wrecking Ball” through,
The GodCare Plan
Is individualized for you.

The Christmas Child vanquishes
All the “Blurred Lines.”
For righteousness divides
And clearly defines.

So don’t be caught up
In the “Walking Dead.”
For Jesus is life,
You're Eternally fed.

Snap a “selfie,” and
“Tag” Jesus, the Lord.
Update your status,
He grants you great reward!

Christ with us
“Breaking Bad” from our will.
“Happy, Happy, Happy,”
A Dynasty of Grace fulfilled.

Merry Christmas 2013
Coleene VanTilburg