“Who Am I?” A Poem

I am beautiful
I am mysterious
I dance
I enchant

I invite
I welcome
I comfort
I destroy

I strike fear
I bring peace
I draw men in
I make men flee

I give light
I mesmerize
I warm
I preserve

I produce
I consume
I rage
I calm

I distract
I bring into focus
I show the way
I speak into darkness

I see tears
I hear laughter
I listen to stories
I encourage relationships

I capture love
I make men ponder
I center
I give hope

I make noise silent
I ease tension
I still the soul
I am fire

Books I Read in 2016

  1. A Community Called Taize by Jason Brian Santos
  2. All is Grace by Brennan Manning
  3. A Long Obedience in the Same Direction by Eugene Peterson
  4. A Survivor’s Guide to Ministry by Rob McCord
  5. Half Time by Bob Buford
  6. Executing Grace by Shane Claiborne
  7. Hero by Derwin Gray
  8. I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
  9. Living the Dream by James Krechnyak
  10. Making Small Groups Work by Henry Cloud and John Townsend
  11. Multi-Site Churches by Scott McConnell
  12. Parent’s Guide to Sex and Dating by Mark Ostreicher and Joel Mayward
  13. Parent’s Guide to Social Media by Mark Oestreicher and Adam McLane
  14. Parent’s Guide to Understanding Teenage Brains by Mark Oestreicher
  15. Parent’s Guide to Understanding Teenage Girls by Mark Oestreicher and Brooklyn Lindsey
  16. Parent’s Guide to Understanding Teenage Guys by Mark Oestreicher and Brock Morgan
  17. Pure Desire by Ted Roberts and Steve Arterburn
  18. Refractions by Makoto Fujimura
  19. Revelation for Everyone by N.T. Wright
  20. Right Here Right Now by Alan Hirsch and Lance Ford
  21. Seeing Through the Fog by Ed Dobson
  22. See Through Life Book for Girls by Craig Gross with Rachel Ceballos
  23. See Through Life Book for Guys by Craig Gross with Adam Palmer
  24. Thanks for the Feedback by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen
  25. The Best Story of Your Life by Joseph Anfuso
  26. The Divine Hours by Phyllis Tickle
  27. The Faith of Leap by Michael Frost and Allen Hirsch
  28. The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne (Reading as a family)
  29. The Mentor Leader by Tony Dungy
  30. The Mind Changers by EM Griffin
  31. The Skinny on Communication by Jeff White
  32. The Skinny on Discipleship by Katie Edwards
  33. The Skinny on Outreach by Greg Stier
  34. The Skinny on Parents by Mark Oestreicher
  35. The Skinny on Service by Tony Myles
  36. The Skinny on Volunteers by Jonathan McKee
  37. Vanishing Grace: What Ever Happened to the Good News? by Philip Yanceybookstack4

Two Mothers … Not a Poem … in Real, Modern Life

Yesterday I posted the powerful poem called “Two Mothers.” In searching for a picture to go on the post, I found the one you see below. I wanted to share the full story behind the picture. It was from a Ted Talk by two mothers connected through the tragedy of 9/11 who found forgiveness and friendship in the most unlikely way.

Two Mothers Poem

Long time ago, so I have been told,
Two angels once met on streets paved with gold.
“By the stars in your crown,” said the one to the other
“I see that on earth, you too, were a mother.

And by, the blue-tinted halo you wear
“You, too, have known sorrow and deepest despair…”
“Ah yes,” she replied, “I once had a son,
A sweet little lad, full of laughter and fun.”

“But tell of your child.” “Oh, I knew I was blessed
From the moment I first held him close to my breast,
And my heart almost burst with the joy of that day.”
“Ah, yes,” said the other, “I felt the same way.”

The former continued: “The first steps he took-
So eager and breathless; the sweet startled look
Which came over his face – he trusted me so.”
“Ah, yes,” said the other, “How well do I know”

“But soon he had grown to a tall handsome boy,
So stalwart and kind – and it gave me so much joy
To have him just walk down the street by my side”
“Ah yes, “said the other mother,
“I felt the same pride.”

“How often I shielded and spared him from pain
And when he for others was so cruelly slain.
When they crucified him – and they spat in his face
How gladly would I have hung there in his place!”

A moment of silence – “Oh then you are she –
The mother of Christ”; and she fell on one knee.
But the Blessed one raised her up, drawing her near,
And kissed from the cheek of the woman, a tear.

“Tell me the name of the son you love so,
That I may share with your grief and your woe.”
She lifted her eyes, looking straight at the other,
“He was Judas Iscariot: I am his mother.”

Author Unknown

Two Mothers … Not a Poem … in Real, Modern Life

Before You Sign Up

Author and Parents Coach Tim Smith offers these Questions to Ask Before You Sign Your Child Up:

  1. How does the activity affect all family members? 
  2. Will it interfere with meals, bedtimes, vacations, religious observations, holidays, and family commitments? 
  3. Is it about winning or having fun? 
  4. What are the benefits of participating now and in the future?
  5. Are there apt to be unanticipated costs or time commitments? 
  6. How much time in the car will it require? 
  7. What are my obligations as a parent?
  8. How can I support the adult leader’s efforts? 
  9. Whom can I call with my questions?