Monday, December 11, 2017

Second Monday of Advent

   and on your wondrous
         works, I will meditate.  Psalm 145:5b

i could wonder
   what elements make
   up the stars, how
      many light years away
      they are, or if
   they are now dead
   and gone, or
      just rest in
   the grass, whispering
   a stunned
'wow!'

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

day 345

I know that the LORD
         maintains the cause of
         the needy,
   and executes justice for the
         poor.  Psalm 140:12

when it comes
to caring for
      the most vulnerable,
our minds are
with you, but
   our hearts,
         mouths,
         hands?

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Second Sunday of Advent

The LORD has sworn and
         will not change his
         mind,  Psalm 110:4a

no matter how
      feckless and
      faithless
   we are; no
matter how
many times
   we fall in love
   with others, you
keep those promises
you made so long
         ago.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

day 344

And I will pour out a spirit of compassion and supplication . . .  Zechariah 12:10a

we could continue
to dunk people
      in deep pools
   of bitterness, or
bathe them in
compassion,
      drying them
      off with our
prayers of hope.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, December 09, 2017

First Saturday of Advent

And he said, "Beware that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name and say, 'I am he!' and 'The time is near!'  Do not go after them."  Luke 21:8

we could chase
         after the latest
      hucksters, or
   hold on to
   that dusty hope
      heirloom;
we could believe
         every lie
      tweeted and
      pitched to us, or
simply rely
on your
   word.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

day 343

The arrogant have hidden a
         trap for me,
   and with cords they have

         spread a net,
   along the road they have

         set snares for me.  Psalm 140:5

but you
   clothe me in
         bands of compassion;
lower a ladder
   to the bottom
   of the pit;
clear my way
      of stumbles,
all out of
   love.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman 

Friday, December 08, 2017

First Friday of Advent

Wild animals and all cattle,
   creeping things and flying
         birds!
Praise the LORD! Psalm 148:10, 14c

the deer standing
motionless at
      the edge of
      the creek;
the little birds
swirling around
   the feeder;
the kitten stalking
them behind the
   safety of the window,
all
teach us
      your songs
of joy.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

day 342

For there shall be a sowing of peace;  Zechariah 8:12a

you give each
one of us
a small packet
of seeds so, if
      we plant them,
   a field of peace
   will spring up
from one edge
to the other of
creation.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman
     

Thursday, December 07, 2017

First Thursday of Advent

For God alone my soul waits
         in silence,
   for my hope is from him.  Psalm 62:5

when the emptiness
      of my soul
      echoes with the
   footsteps of my
         fears,
you reach into
your illimitable
   trove of
            hope,
to replenish my
      grace.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

day 341

Then the LORD replied with gracious and comforting words . . . Zechariah 1:13

we hurl insults,
   you offer praise;
we fling profanities,
      you whisper grace;
our words pull
the rug out from
      others, you
envelop folks with
hope and
   love.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

First Wednesday of Advent

Our God comes and does not
         keep silence, Psalm 50:3a

there are moments
when sugary lullabies
          are not needed, but
   heavy metal crescendos
   ripping apart injustice;
sometimes,
whispers of kindness
      will not grab
      the attention of bullies, only
   shouts of outrage;
tip-toeing down the hall
will not wake the kids
                      (that's right),
   but perhaps stomping
   down the corridors
   with compassion will
shake the powers that be.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

day 340

And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments;  2 John 6a

. . . and

dragging a tree
through the snow
   toward a waiting
   knot of kids;
singing
in the rain
   with our furry
   friends;
massaging the
weary feet
   of our beloved
   at the end of a long day,

this is love.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman
  

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

First Tuesday of Advent

they shall beat their swords
         into plowshares,
   and their spears into
         pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword
         against nation,
   neither shall they learn
         war any more.  Isaiah 2:4b

no more homework
      for the war colleges,
   no more doomsday clocks
      ticking down to death;
when tanks are turned
   into snowplows for
   needy neighborhoods,
when missile silos
   are filled with grain
   for the hungry,
we will know that
God's time is here,
      and we can throw
      away our watches.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

day 339

You hem me in, behind and
         before,
   and lay your hand upon
         me.  Psalm 139:5

just
as i am about
         to shatter
   into a million
             pieces, you
cradle me in
your hands, filling
   all the cracks
   with the glue
of grace.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, December 04, 2017

First Monday of Advent

cease to do evil,
   learn to do good;
seek justice,
   rescue the oppressed,
defend the orphan,
   plead for the widow.  Isaiah 1:17

we cannot pray,
   if we do not speak out
   for the oppressed;
our songs are hollow,
   if we will not listen
   to the lonely;
our words crumple
to the floor,
   if we do not
   cradle the broken;
we should not rejoice,
   if little children
   cry themselves to sleep;
our worship is selfish,
   if we do not welcome
   the stranger.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

day 338

On the day I called, you
         answered me, 
Psalm 138:3a

an involuntary gasp
      at a supermoon;
a choke of rage
   at injustice;
a muffled laugh
      at my own foolishness;
a peal of joy
   while dancing in the snow,

you hear
  and store it all
in your heart.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, December 03, 2017

First Sunday of Advent

Make me to know your
         ways, O LORD;
   teach me your paths.  Psalm 25:4

like that
      frosty fork
   on our journey,
      Advent
is the road
      less travelled,
with markers left
along the way
   by God.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

day 337

By the rivers of Babylon
   there we sat down and
         there we wept
   when we remembered
         Zion.  Psalm 137:1

we could sit by
and simply add
         our tears
   to the rivers
   of injustice, or
remember God's
         hope
and use it
to build bridges
leading too new life.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, December 02, 2017

day 336

What we do know is that when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is.  1 John 3:2b

in the kids
singing carols
in the tub;
   in the teens
   shoveling sidewalks
   for neighbors;
in the folks
collecting toys
for kids not theirs,
      we hear you
           see you
           find you.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, December 01, 2017

day 335

It is he who remembered us
         in our low estate,
   for his steadfast love
         endures forever;  Psalm 136:23

when we
   stumble and
   fall into misery, you
jump in
         to show us
   the way out.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, November 30, 2017

day 334

And now, little children, abide in him,  1 John 2:28a

scanning the
      columns for places
   in the low-rent
   areas of life, we
never notice
your full-page ad
   about your heart
   which has more
   than enough room for
everyone.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

day 333

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, 2 Peter 3:10a

while we sleep,
      you tiptoe in,
   gathering up
   all our foolish
      frailties, taking
them back to
your workshop, where
   you transform them
   gifts of grace,
returning them
before we even
awake.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman
  

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

day 332

The righteous know the
         rights of the poor,
   the wicked have no such
         understanding.  Proverbs 29:7

now,
let us close
the books and turn
      our knowledge into
jobs
   hope
      homes
   grace
life
      for the most
vulnerable
around us.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman


Monday, November 27, 2017

day 331

For anyone who lacks these things is nearsighted and blind, 2 Peter 1:9a

when we look at
         others
through the thick and
fear-spotted lenses
   of judgment, polish
our souls with
grace and compassion
so we can see them
with our
      hearts.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, November 26, 2017

day 330

Praise the LORD! . . .
you that stand in the house
         of the LORD, Psalm 135: 1a, 2a

on the court,
   with the little
   gym rats;
in the shelter,
   making up
   the beds;
in the hospice,
   holding a hand;
in the silence,
   bathed in your
         grace,
we are at home,
and sing.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, November 25, 2017

day 329

Be hospitable to one another without complaining.  1 Peter 4:9

may we
feed the hungry
   without worrying if
   we will get dessert;
offer the homeless
our guest room
   without hiding
   the valuables;
listen to the
            heartbroken
   without mentioning
   our creaky knees.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, November 24, 2017

day 328

Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you;   1 Peter 3:15b

may we not
      dam
   up that hope,
      but let it
   overflow our
souls, so
   others might
   swim in its
delight.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, November 23, 2017

day 327

Honor everyone.   1 Peter 2:17a

the rough sleeper
you would step over,
      lift up;
the worker
you would bully,
      befriend;
the vulnerable
you would mock,
      laud;     
the hungry
you drive past,
      welcome to your table;
the door of your heart
you would slam shut to everyone,
      take off its hinges.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

day 326

But I have calmed and
         and quieted my soul, Psalm 131:2a

help me
to give my
         soul
   a time out
      whenever
it throws a
tantrum,
   wanting it's
   own way,
not yours.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

day 325

If you, O LORD, should mark
         iniquities,
   Lord, who could stand?  Psalm 130:3

that ruler
      you could
   use to smack
   our hands, you
take to measure
our growth in
      grace.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, November 20, 2017

day 324

Do not speak evil against one another, brothers and sisters.  James 4:11a

too often,
our dictionaries
   seem to have
      words
relating to
   compassion
   hope
   grace
   acceptance
removed by
our carping
         hearts.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, November 19, 2017

day 323

And the tongue is a fire.  James 3:6a

sometimes
      those remarks
   we think are so
   scintillating, reduce
the souls
of others
   to cinders.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, November 18, 2017

day 322

But you have dishonored the poor.  James 2:6a

sadly, we
treat those who
   struggle to put
      food on the table,
   cannot seem to
      hold a job,
   stand on street corners
      holding hand-made signs
as if
      they were
dishonorably discharged
from life.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, November 17, 2017

day 321

But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves.  James 1:22

strangely,
   peace
      hope
         grace
      mercy
never seem
to end up
on our
   to-do lists.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, November 16, 2017

day 320

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.  Hebrews 13:8

yesterday
   you were cradling
   children in a school
         lockdown;
this morning,
   you are standing
   with the workers
   on the corner hoping
         for a day job;
tomorrowandtomorrowandtomorrow
   you will be
   wherever we are,
         even when we
      don't notice.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

day 319

See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God;  Hebrews 12:15a

we are not
to parcel out
         grace
   as if it
   were an endangered
      species, but
pour it into
   others' lives
as if it were
a bottomless
      cup of
coffee.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

day 318

so the LORD surrounds his
         people,  Psalm 125:2

as our nightmares
      tiptoe down
      the hallway, creaking
   every fearboard
   with each step,
you swaddle us
in grace,
      drawing us up
      into your lap,
whispering hope
in our hearts.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, November 13, 2017

day 317

We have escaped like a bird
   from the snare of the
         fowlers;  Psalm 124:7a

while the Fouler
      was busy partying,
   you
crept in
      and, opening
death's cage,
   set us
free.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, November 12, 2017

day 316

Sheol and Abaddon are
         never satisfied,  Proverbs 27:20a

no matter
how often we feed
   the Destroyer of
   our hopes and dreams,
there
is always
         a hunger
   in the pit
   of its
stomach.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, November 11, 2017

day 315

As the eyes of servants
   look to the hand of their
         master;  Psalm 123:2a

in the finger
   tracing words
   on a page;
in the tiny hand
   reaching up
   to take ours;
in the arm
   of support for
   a teetering partner;
in the open palm
   of welcome
   to a stranger, we
recognize you.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, November 10, 2017

day 314

Our feet are standing
   within your gates,
         O Jerusalem.  Psalm 122:2

on the playground
      with little kids,
by the bed
   in a hospice,
working in a
      shelter,
packing boxes
   at a food pantry,
      we
are on
holy ground.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, November 09, 2017

day 313

He who keeps Israel
   will neither slumber nor
         sleep.  Psalm 121:4

no matter
how many times
   we awake
   in the night
hours of life, we
      find you
      sitting by the
            bed,
ready to
   hand us a
         glass of water,
   wipe our
      runny souls,
   read us a
   story until we
drift back to sleep.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

day 312

the sweetness of a friend is better      than one's own counsel.  Proverbs 27:9b (alt.)

the gentle grace
      of those
      who love us
   despite our
   worst selves
brings
   healing to
   our souls.

(c) 2017  Thom M. Shuman



Tuesday, November 07, 2017

day 311

Mortal, these men have taken their idols into their hearts, Ezekiel 14:3a

we take in
      idols
   like they are
stray cats, so
is it any surprise
we have no
room for
   God
in our hearts?

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, November 06, 2017

day 310

I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek out your servant, Psalm 119:176a

no matter
how much
         the world's
   GPS tries
to recalculate
       our lives, you
show us the
way.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman
    

Sunday, November 05, 2017

day 309

we who have taken refuge might be strongly encouraged to seize the hope set before us.  Hebrews 6:18

when you
hand hope
      off to us,
   let us wrap
   our souls and
         hearts
around it
so we do not
fumble.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, November 04, 2017

day 308

About this we have much to say that is hard to explain, Hebrews 5:11a

while
we think it's
   quantum physics, faith
is simply a
         be,
   where
every word
is spelled
g
r
a
c
e

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, November 03, 2017

day 307

Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, Hebrews 4:16a

we'd be quicker
      to approach
   the throne of
         grace, if
it were a
rocking chair
   where we
could climb up
into your lap.

(c) 2017  Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, November 02, 2017

day 306

a fountain shall come forth
         from the house of the
         LORD  Joel 3:18b

let us join
      all souls
in drifting down
your stream
      of grace
to the picnic
which awaits.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

day 305

Why should it be said among
         the peoples,
   "Where is their God?"  Joel 2:17c

where?
   sheltering kids
      on a crumpled
      school bus;
   responding to
      the injured
      and dying;
   parading with
   neighbors
         into fear's
      shadows . . .
there
God.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

day 304

But do not gloat
         over your
         brother
   on the day of his
         misfortune;  Obadiah 12a

rather than
turning out
      the porch light, may
   we pour grace
   into the basket
held out by
   the one whose
         scream
is not a mask.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, October 30, 2017

day 303

You came near when I called
         on you;
   you said, "Do not fear!"  Lamentations 3:57

when fear
         comes
   trick-or-treating
   in our lives, you
hand us a piece of
         hope
   to drop in
   their pillowcase,
and we go back
to making hot cocoa.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, October 29, 2017

day 302

But this I call to mind,
   and therefore I have hope.  Lamentations 3:21

your hope
      is that
   earworm
i cannot
get out of
   my soul,
thankfully!

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, October 28, 2017

day 301

They heard how I was
         groaning,
   with no one to comfort me.  Lamentations 1:21a

we could
      cradle others,
   drying their tears
   with our hope,
but

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, October 27, 2017

day 300

Do not answer fools
         according to their folly,  Proverbs 26:4a

in a flood
      of tweets,
   build an
         ark
   out of
compassion and
truth.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman
  

Thursday, October 26, 2017

day 299

I hold my life in my hand
         continually,  Psalm 119:109a

when my
      life slips
   through my
      fingers, you
pick it up
and hand it
      back to me
before the
5 second rule
   expires.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

day 298

be persistent whether the time is favorable or unfavorable;  2 Timothy 4:2b

there is never a
right day
        week
        month
        year
to confront
      injustice, just
every moment.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

day 297

I am yours, save me, Psalm 119:94a

every time
      i end up
   where i shouldn't
   be, you
find me, and
lead me back
home.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, October 23, 2017

day 296

But the word of God is not chained.  2 Timothy 2:9c

every time we
try to crate train
      grace, you
   sneak in and
   set it free
to run wild
in the world.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman




Sunday, October 22, 2017

day 295

I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you.  2 Timothy 1:5

Bampi's wisdom,
      Mom's patience,
   my aunt's humor,
      Sis's love,
   little brother's hope
are all spliced
into my faith
       DNA.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, October 21, 2017

day 294

But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these.  1 Timothy 6:8

give me
   silence
   a cuppa
   a warm scone
   a good book
   a well-worn shirt, and
ah . . .

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, October 20, 2017

day 293

I persistently sent to you all my servants the prophets,  Jeremiah 44:4a

in the young boy
offering half his sandwich
      to the rough sleeper;
in the adolescent
standing between the bully
      and the socially awkward;
in the parent
who helps kids with homework
      before heading to job #2;
in the grandparent
who builds little free libraries
      in the neighborhoods,
we find your
persistent
prophets
among us.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, October 19, 2017

day 292

Like a moth in clothing or a
         worm in wood,
   sorrow gnaws at the
         human heart.  Proverbs 25:20

you offer
      your own heart
   for our grief
   to nibble on, so
ours
      can be balmed
   by your
grace.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman
        

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

day 291

I hurry and do not delay
   to keep your
         commandments.  Psalm 119:60

may i leave
      my tortoise
      shell behind
   as i seek
to love you
and those around me.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

day 290

Remember your word to
         your servant,
   in which you have made
         me hope.  Psalm 119:49

however
      often
   i forget, you
   evoke grace
for me
in every moment.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, October 16, 2017

day 289

A voice is heard in Ra'mah,  Jeremiah 31:15a

in
#metoo,
   memories sifted
   from ashes,
communities
recovering from
too many storms
      to name,
we find our
   way to
Ramah.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

day 288

Then I shall have an answer
         for those who taunt
         me,
   for I trust in your word.  Psalm 119:42

when the bullies
      corner us,
   demanding
'cough it up!' may
we whisper
      gently,
   'hesed'

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, October 14, 2017

day 287

But as for you, have no fear; Jeremiah 30:10a

there is
         nothing
under the
      bed,
hiding in the
      corner,
tapping on the
      window,
tiptoeing behind
      us, that
you
   can't handle.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, October 13, 2017

day 286

I will let you find me, says the LORD, Jeremiah 29:14a

every time we say,
'let's play hide-and-seek'
and start to
count to 100
with our souls closed,

you stand
      in the middle
      of life (holding
   a big arrow
   pointing down
            at you)

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, October 12, 2017

day 285

Do not quench the Spirit.  1 Thessalonians 5:19

we stop, drop, and
               roll
      the Spirit
      every chance
            we get, but
you
      keep igniting
her wildfire of
   grace.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

day 284

Therefore encourage one another with these words.  1 Thessalonians 4:18

when
   peace prods
      the indifferent;     
   hope stirs
      the oppressed;
   laughter enlivens
      hospital rooms;
   wonder brightens
      a bored kid;
words
are no longer
just
alphabet soup.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman
  

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

day 283

The days are surely coming, says the LORD, Jeremiah 23:5a

mornings
      as grace
   rises over the horizon;
mid-day
      lunches for
   hungry seniors;
peace-filled
      afternoons in
   war zones;
evenings
      where hope cradles
   the oppressed;

come,
   days of the Lord,
come!

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, October 09, 2017

day 282

. . . and he reworked it into another vessel, as seemed good to him.  Jeremiah 18:4b

reshape me
      from that
   dusty piece on
   my ego's mantle
into
   that wide-mouthed
            jar
   where others
   can pour their
brokenness.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

day 281

Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving.  Colossians 4:2

may prayer
open
      our eyes
   to the unnoticed,
      our ears
   to the ignored,
      our hearts
   to the disfavored,
      our souls
   to you.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, October 07, 2017

day 280

Your words were found, and
         I ate them, Jeremiah 15:16a

when I had
lost everything
      but your
              words,
i had
         all
i needed.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, October 06, 2017

day 279

He disarmed the rulers and authorities and made a public example of them, triumphing over them.  Colossians 2:15

you
downsized death,
assigning it to
resurrection's mailroom.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, October 05, 2017

day 278

For your gods have become as many as your towns, O Judah; Jeremiah 11:13a

like a hundred
      paper cuts
   my gods
      bleed out
            my
soul.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

day 277

What shall I return to the
         LORD
   for all his bounty to me?  Psalm116:12


i will
dig wells
   for thirsty villages,
plant gardens
   for food pantries,
break bread
   with those i
   can't abide.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

day 276

Thus says the LORD:
Stand at the crossroads, and
         look,
   and ask for the ancient
         paths,
where the good way lies;
         and walk in it,
   and find rest for your
         souls.
But they said, "We will not
         walk in it."   Jeremiah 6:16

when we stand
      at the intersection
  of peace and
      hope,
why
   do we rush
   to get tangled
in the

brambles?

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, October 02, 2017

day 275

Search its squares and see
   if you can find one person
who acts justly
   and seeks truth --  Jeremiah 5:1b

even if
it is only
      two folks
   linking arms,
injustice knows
that it has
   met its match.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, October 01, 2017

day 274

Have you not just now called
         to me,
   "My Father, you are the
         friend of my youth --"  Jeremiah 3:4

you
sit at the
corner table, ready
   to catch up
   with us over
coffee, whenever
         we are ready.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, September 30, 2017

day 273

Only, live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ,  Philippians 1:27a

peace, not petulance
hope, not hoops
joy, not jousting
grace, not grumpiness
love, not loneliness
         only

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, September 29, 2017

day 272

seek righteousness, seek
         humility;  Zephaniah 2:3b

let us
   persist in
   finding justice;
let us
   become as
   simple as kids
          who bear
      no grudges.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, September 28, 2017

day 271

Look! On the mountains the
         feet of one
   who brings good tidings,
   who proclaims peace!  Nahum 1:15a

the boots of
      anger
   are so comfy, yet
we find
the soft, bunny
slippers of peace
too tight a fit.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

day 270

Before they call I will
         answer,
   while they are yet
         speaking I will hear.  Isaiah 65:24

may
we be the
      hopehandhelp
   others are seeking;
may
we be the
      earheartlove
   for the forgotten.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

day 269

They have distributed freely,
         they have given to the
         poor;  Psalm 112:9a

not hoarders,
      but helpers;
not hoops to jump
            through,
   but hope;
not reluctantly,
     but joyfully;

this is our calling.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, September 25, 2017

day 268

The spirit of the Lord
         GOD is upon me,
   because the LORD has
         anointed me;  Isaiah 61:1a

to
plant hope in
      despair's field;
offer grace to
   fear's hungry hordes;
swaddle the
   broken with tenderness.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, September 24, 2017

day 267

If you remove the yoke from
         among you,
   the pointing of the finger,
         the speaking of evil,
if you offer your food to the

         hungry
   and satisfy the needs of the
         afflicted,
then your light shall rise in
         the darkness
   and your gloom be like the
         noonday.  Isaiah 58:9b-10

in your community
   of neighbors, no one
hungers,
      huddles in loneliness,
   holds grudges
   against others,
hates,
fears,
hurts another.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman


  

Saturday, September 23, 2017

day 266

Seek the LORD while he may
         be found,
   call upon him while he is
         near;  Isaiah 55:6

no need to
      shout --
   God is as
   close
         as our
next breath.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, September 22, 2017

day 265

for in plain sight they see
   the return of the LORD to
         Zion.  Isaiah 52:8b

in
the touch of a nurse,
the kindness of a teacher,
the grace of kids,
the wisdom of teenagers,
the hopes of the outcast,
the forgiveness of the hurt,
we find you
hiding in plain sight.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, September 21, 2017

day 264

So let us not grow weary in doing what is right,  Galatians 6:9a

just when
      we cannot
   lift another
      finger, you
   pour us
   a cuppa
         grace,
so we can . . .

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

day 263

Do not be silent, O God of
         my praise.  Psalm 109:1

whisper your
         love and
         grace
   until their echoes
drown out
the silence of
      my fears.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

day 262

I did not speak in secret,
   in a land of darkness;
I did not say to the offspring
         of Jacob,
   "Seek me in chaos."
I the LORD speak the truth,
   I declare what is right.  Isaiah 45:19

not in the
whispered seductions
      of fear;
not in the early morning  
   tweetstorms;
not in the category 5
      chaos of hate;

we will find
you
   in the silent
   watching of a
         parent over
         a child;
   in the justice
   which sweeps out
         oppression;
   in the words
   of welcome
         offered to
      outsiders.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman
     

Monday, September 18, 2017

day 261

I am about to do a new
         thing;
   now it springs forth, do
         you not perceive it?  Isaiah 43:19a

so fixed
   on rebuilding
   yesterday, we
cannot see
   the tomorrow
   you are
imagining
      (for us)

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, September 17, 2017

day 260

Therefore the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith.  Galatians 3:24

while
the babysitter
      is recording
   all our errors,
you sneak us
into the backyard
      to play in
   grace's sprinkler.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, September 16, 2017

day 259

that she has received from
         the LORD's hand
   double for all her sins.  Isaiah 40:2c

we expect
a right hook
   followed by
   a mean uppercut,
but you hand
us a plate of
   warm grace-chip
   cookies, and
a cold glass of hope.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, September 15, 2017

day 258

They asked only one thing, that we remember the poor, which was actually what I was eager to do. Galatians 2:10

if only
      we
   thought of
   those who
   have nothing,
as often as
we long for
         everything.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, September 14, 2017

day 257

A highway shall be there,
   and it shall be called the
         Holy Way;  Isaiah 35:8a

the folks
      in waders
   and boats;
the line crews
      on 16-hour
   shifts;
the nun
      chain sawing
   trees, all
know the
Holy Way.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

day 256

Make no friends with those
         given to anger,
   and do not associate with
         hotheads.  Proverbs 22:24

outrage
      is more
      contagious
   than any flu;
bitter words
flung at others
   do more damage
   than a weapon.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

day 255

For he satisfies the thirsty,
   and the hungry he fills
         with good things.  Psalm 107:9

with grace,
      you quench
      those parched
   by fear;
with justice,
      you feed all
      weakened by
      oppression's
   starvation rations.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, September 11, 2017

day 254

Or else let it cling to me for
         protection,
   let it make peace with me,
   let it make peace with me.  Isaiah 27:5

when we would play
          on the floor, using
   our grudges
   as jacks, may
we climb up
in your lap, letting
      your heartbeat
   cradle us in
peace.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, September 10, 2017

day 253

For you have been a refuge
         for the poor,
   a refuge to the needy in
      their distress,
   a shelter from the
         rainstorm and a shade
         from the heat.  Isaiah 25:4

in the family
          (and pets)
   hunkered in classrooms;
in meals
      handed out to
      rough sleepers;
in neighbors
   keeping an eye
   on the newcomers,

you are,
as you always
have been.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, September 09, 2017

day 252

I wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness.  Do bear with me!  2 Corinthians 11:1

sometimes
a pie in the
         face
   is worth
   more than all
   those pious faces
we think we
must wear.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, September 08, 2017

day 251

Look at what is before your eyes. 2 Corinthians 10:7a

patience
   in the dog
   waiting for the
   kids to come home;
love
   in the hands
   held in hospice;
hope
   in the child
   searching for a
      friend;

do you notice?

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, September 07, 2017

day 250

The firstborn of the poor will
         graze,
   and the needy lie down in
         safety;  Isaiah 14:30a

let us welcome
   dreamers to
   our feast, and
tuck the
   worn-out into
            bed,
while others
twitter their
      thumbs.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

day 249

On that day the Lord will extend his hand yet a second time to recover the remnant that is left of his people,  Isaiah 11:11a

left-overs of love
   will feed
   multitudes;
odds and ends
      of hope
   will weave justice;
a ribbon
      of grace
   will bind
   us into one.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

day 248

I will wait for the LORD, who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob, and I will hope in him.  Isaiah 8:17

though
i cannot see you
   through the fog
   of my foolishness,
i will wait, hoping
you know the
   way to me.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, September 04, 2017

day 247

Make room in your hearts for us; 2 Corinthians 7:2a

let us take
down the
   'no vacancy'
sign in our hearts,
so we may welcome
your terrifying
compassion.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, September 03, 2017

day 246

There is no restriction in our affections, but only in yours.  2 Corinthians 6:12

let love
   not be a
   grudge lodged
deep in our souls,
      but joy offered
without question
to others.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, September 02, 2017

day 245

We entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.  2 Corinthians 5:20b

when God
      moved
   toward us
   in Christ, it
was not to checkmate
         us, but
   to swaddle us
   in grace.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, September 01, 2017

day 244

"O my people, what have I
         done to you?
   In what have I wearied
         you? Answer me!"  Micah 6:3

let us not
      weary you
      with our
   whining, but
      energize you
      with our
   empathy.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, August 31, 2017

day 243

they shall beat their swords
         into plowshares,
   and their spears into
         pruning hooks.  Micah 4:4

in your mercy,
guns into guitars,
missiles into food silos,
violence into vineyards,
anger into acceptance;

please

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

day 242

Since, then, we have such a hope, we act with great boldness, 2 Corinthians 3:12

may our
      hope
be bolder
than our
   flagrant
fears.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, August 28, 2017

day 241

For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing;  2 Corinthians 2:15

like warm
      bread just
   out of the oven,
may we be the
      bouquet
of grace
   for those
   hungering for
hope.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

day 240

But if anyone has caused pain . . . So I urge you to reaffirm your love for him.  2 Corinthians 2:5a, 8

forgiveness
is not a quick
            fix
but the long,
      slow
restoration of
(two) hearts.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, August 27, 2017

day 239

For he knows how we were
         made;
   he remembers that we are
         dust.  Psalm 103:14

dusting off your
      hands, you
   breathe a sigh
   of grace,
sending
      us to be
   your hope,
   your joy,
   your welcome.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, August 26, 2017

day 238

who consoles us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to console those who are in any affliction with the consolation with which we ourselves are consoled by God.  2 Corinthians 1:4

because
we have been
   rescued
   cradled
   restored,
we must . . .

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, August 25, 2017

day 237

and perhaps I will stay with you or even spend the winter, so that you may send me on my way, wherever I go.  1 Corinthians 16:6

we can find
a resort that
      provides every amenity
      we long for, at
   a 'special' price, or
we can rest
in your heart
      on our pilgrimage
to grace,

perhaps.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, August 24, 2017

day 236

The human spirit is the lamp
         of the LORD,
   searching every innermost
         part.  Proverbs 20:27

though we try
   to burn the
   bulb out, you
continue to
shine in  our
souls so we
   can find the way
to you.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

day 235

Now I would remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand,  1 Corinthians 15:1

sucking on bitterness,
  it is hard to preach
  good news;
hands full of anger,
   it is hard to share
   the gospel.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

day 234

Hear my prayer, O LORD;
   let my cry come to you.  Psalm 102:1

whether hurled
   like thunderbolts
or whispered in
         hope, you
gather our prayers
to your heart, where
   they are melted
   into healing balm
for our lives.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, August 21, 2017

day 233

Brothers and sisters, do not be children in your thinking; rather, be infants in evil, but in thinking be adults.  1 Corinthians 14:20

rather than
   giving hate and
              evil
         to others as
   hand-me-downs, let
us put them out
by the curb,
to be recycled into
      hope and
      grace.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, August 20, 2017

day 232

So with yourselves; if in a tongue you utter speech that is not intelligible, how will anyone know what is being said?  For you will be speaking into the air.  1 Corinthians 14:9

may our words
of hope
    grace
    justice
be clear and concise,
lest
they blow away
like dandelion puffs.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, August 19, 2017

day 231

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth.  It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never ends.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a

love
listens to grandpa's story
      for the umpteenth time
   (without rolling its eyes);
kisses every
      dirty boo-boo;
celebrates those
      who beat us in
   the spelling bee;
goes to the museum,
      leaving the tickets
   to the ball game behind;
does not keep
      a running score in the
   back of its mind;
does not laugh
   behind another's back;
stands between
      the vulnerable
   and the bullies.
love
carries the broken hearts of others,
sees good in each person,
cares when everyone else doesn't,
knows evil eclipses good but for a moment.

love always is
      love.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, August 18, 2017

day 230

The voice of my beloved!
   Look, he comes,
leaping upon the mountains,
   bounding over the hills.  Song of Songs 2:8

in the laughter
      of children playing
   leapfrog;
in the mother
      patiently teaching
   her son how
   to change a flat tire;
in the octogenarian
      softly whispering
      love songs to
   the partner whose
   hearing aids are on
   the bedside table,

we hear your voice,
Beloved.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman
     

Thursday, August 17, 2017

day 229

But if we judged ourselves, we would not be judged.  1 Corinthians 11:31

in my courtroom,
   i am always
   acquitted, but
others should bring
a good defense
attorney!

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

day 228

Do not seek your own advantage, but that of the other.  1 Corinthians 10:24

when i
long to be
         top dog,
   hand me a
   shovel to help
you
   clean the shelter's
kennels.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Day 227

The heavens proclaim his
          righteousness;
   and all the peoples behold
         his glory.  Psalm 97:6

if we took
out the ear buds,
      we might hear
      the frogs' chorus;
if we looked
up from our devices,
      we might see
      justice offering hope;
if we stopped
worrying about how
many folks are clinging
to every social media
post we make,
      we might just
      find you with those
   we have failed to notice;

if

(c) 2017 Thom  M. Shuman

Monday, August 14, 2017

day 226

Say among the nations, "The
         LORD is king!
   The world is firmly
         established; it shall
         never be moved.
   He will judge the peoples
         with equity."  Psalm 96:10

you slowly,
         patiently,
   craft your hopes
one heart,
one person,
one community
         at a time,
the measuring tape
   of fairness
always in your hand.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, August 13, 2017

day 225

O that today you would
         listen to his voice!  Psalm 95:7b

over the bile
of the radio bullies,
      may we hear hope;
turning down the rhetoric
of bellicose politicians,
      may we hear peace;
refusing to listen
to anger's enticing ads,
      may we hear love,
and then speak
with our lives.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, August 12, 2017

day 224

Cease straying, my child,
         from the words of
         knowledge,
   in order that you may hear
         instruction.  Proverbs 19:27

you stand at
the board, showing
   how grace
           hope
           justice
      might work
      in our lives, as
we slip out
the door, following
the pied piper of
foolishness.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, August 11, 2017

day 223

When I thought, "My foot is
         slipping,"
   your steadfast love,
         O LORD, held me up.  Psalm 94:18

(while the world
      waits around the
      corner, ready to
   laugh its head off at me),
you rush up
and catch me, as
      i step on
      the peel tossed
   on the sidewalk
   by foolishness, and
begin to topple
d
o
w
n.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, August 10, 2017

day 222

He who planted the ear, does
         he not hear?
   He who formed the eye, does
         he not see?  Psalm 94:9

we sit on the park bench,
holding hands with
       loneliness, as the world
   rushes by oblivious, until
you come by
on your tandem bike, asking,
   'want to go on an
   adventure?'

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

day 221

More majestic than the
         thunders of mighty
         waters,
   more majestic than the
         waves of the sea,
   majestic on high is the
         LORD!  Psalm 93:4

rather than
to continue to
drive our lives
   into the flash floods
   of fear and fury,
let us float
on that still pool
of your heart.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

day 220

Think of us in this way, as servants of Christ and stewards of God's mysteries.  1 Corinthians 4:1

we could take
the gospel and
   by giving it
   so many plot twists,
         characters who
         appear only once,
      clues that disappear
      down rabbit holes
      never to be seen again,
manage to
confuse everyone;

or
we could just
reveal from the
start that it was
you
in our hearts
with grace
who did it

(the butler)

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, August 07, 2017

day 219

It is good to give thanks to
         the LORD,
   to sing praises to your
         name, O Most High;
to declare your steadfast

         love in the morning,
   and your faithfulness by
         night,
to the music of the lute and
         the harp,
   to the melody of the lyre.  Psalm 92:1-3

from that
   snap, crackle, and
   pop of wonder at
         breakfast;
to the mid-morning
   cuppa break and
   scone slathered with
         grace;
to the late night
   warm glass of peace
   before we drift off to
         sleep,
sing us your
songs of hope and love
in every moment.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman
  

Sunday, August 06, 2017

day 218

these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.  1 Corinthians 2:10

putting on her
      work boots, and
strapping on the
      headlamp, Spirit
continues to mine
your heart each day
for
   the grace,
      hope,
         peace,
      wonder, and
other resources
which fuel our faith.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, August 05, 2017

day 217

For God's foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God's weakness is stronger than human strength.  1 Corinthians 1:25

when we would
put on fancy robes with
   doctoral bars,
   preaching tabs, and
      beautiful stoles, you
would dress us
in the rainbow wig,
   red nose,
   floppy shoes, and
      polka-dot pants
      and starry-spangled shirt,
saying,
   'now, go be
   the good news.'

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, August 04, 2017

day 216

I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus, for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind--  1 Corinthians 1:4-5

by your
      grace, i
can see the
broken hearts others
   hide behind a
   wall bricked with
   bravado, and
so whisper the
      hope (not
         the hurt),
   the forgiveness (not
      the foolishness)
   the love (not
      the loathing)
they need.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, August 03, 2017

day 215

Satisfy us in the morning
         with your steadfast
         love,
   so we may rejoice and
         be glad all our days.  Psalm 90:14

in a knot,
we tumble down
the stairs, rubbing
      sleep from our
      eyes, finding
you
at the table, where
we are served bowls
   of grace crispies
   sprinkled with hesed,
swimming in milk and honey,
and
after wiping our mouths
and giving you a kiss,
   we rush out
   to play in your
wonder.

(c) 2017  Thom M. Shuman

  

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

day 214

Lord, you have been our
         dwelling place
   in all generations.  Psalm 90:1

you were
the yard where
      we could lie
      on our backs
   and see animals
   in clouds;
you are
the shelter
      we return to
      at the end
      of weary days
   to rest safe
   in your peace;
you will be
the retirement home
      where we can
      spend the rest
   of our days in
   hope and grace.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

day 213

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Romans 15:13

may we go
tubing with
      Laughter and Grace
   down the rippling
   waters of hope,
climbing out on
the banks at the
end of the day, to
   share the feast
   grilled out by
           Spirit
all day long.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, July 31, 2017

day 212

For the kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.  Romans 14:17

the kingdom
is not
   most-visited websites,
   multi-campus churches,
   higher television ratings,
but
   justice for the most vulnerable,
   reconciled communities,
   learning new dance steps from the Spirit,
being,
   not just talking.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, July 30, 2017

day 211

Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.  Romans 13:10

help us
to have the
         good sense
   to come in
   out of the
      twitterstorm,
and feed the hungry,
   read to little kids,
   listen to the stories
         of grandparents,
   build hope out of fears.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, July 29, 2017

day 210

If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.  Romans 12:18

perhaps
if we listened to
         you
more than
twittering politicians,
foul-mouthed communicators,
even grudging inner voices, we
might discover how
to live with others
in love, hope, grace

perhaps

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, July 28, 2017

day 209

Forever I will keep my
         steadfast love for him,
   and my covenant with him
         will stand firm.  Psalm 89:28

here's the deal:

not just
when we are
              good,
   or in church,
or praying,
      or caring, but
forever . . .

unconditional
unshakeable
unrelenting . . .

love.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, July 27, 2017

day 208

But what does it say?
      "The word is near you,
      on your lips and in your
      heart"
(that is, the word of faith that we proclaim);  Romans 10:8

each year, we
get the booster
   immunizing us
   against your word, because
if we catch it,
we might become
         contagious
and infect others
with
   grace
         peace
      mercy
   hope
joy

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

day 207

Righteousness and justice
         are the foundation of
         your throne;
   steadfast love and
         faithfulness go before
         you.  Psalm 89:14

on the front porch,
you sit in the
rocker carved from
      the tree of justice, ready
to dry us off
and pull us up
on your lap when
   we are done playing
   with Hesed and
   Joy in the sprinklers.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

day 206

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:38-39

not yesterday,
which molds under
   the sink in the garbage,
or tomorrow,
which hangs in
   the closet waiting
   to be put on;
not politicians
who could care less
   about anyone but themselves,
or celebrities
who will be who
   others want them to be
   for a price;
not weary, aging bodies,
not foolishness who
   sticks out a foot to trip us,
not our pride which
grows larger with
every lie we tell ourselves;

nothing
can keep us apart
from God
because of
everything Jesus
did for us.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, July 24, 2017

day 205

How can I give you up,
         Ephraim?
   How can I hand you over,
         O Israel?
How can I make you like
         Admah?
How can I treat you like
         Zeboiim?
My heart recoils within me;
   my compassion grows
         warm and tender.  Hosea 11:8

you could have
left your heart
      in the back
   of regret's freezer,
but
   you slipped it
   into the pan of
            grace warming
on the stove, then
pouring
it into a glass
and giving it to us
      so
we could sleep
until morning without
   nightmares.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, July 23, 2017

day 204

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  Romans 8:1

not yesterday,
      where we spend
      so much time
   kicking our mistakes
   around and around;
not tomorrow,
      which we hope
      doesn't come, with
   its chances to
   screw up again, but
         this day
         this moment
         this breath
there is hope
            forgiveness
            acceptance

now.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, July 22, 2017

day 203

I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.  Romans 7:15

i know i
should be
      gracious,
   forgiving,
      accepting, but
as a lifelong
       member
of the Saved
Beyond a Doubt
   (reformed) Church,
i am guided
by that strong
            streak of
   self-justification
to control those
around me.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, July 21, 2017

day 202

For my soul is full of
         troubles,
   and my life draws near to
         Sheol.  Psalm 88:3

Fret, Sweat, and
      their brother, Bother,
   keep nudging me
   closer to the edge, whispering,
'it's just a short
             step down,'
      but
you are there
building a bridge
   so we can
   cross the Pit
hand in hand.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, July 20, 2017

day 201

From there I will give her
         her vineyards,
   and make the Valley of
         Achor a door of hope.  Hosea 2:15a

we stand,
staring despondently
through
      the links in
      the fence, then
you come along,
   picking the lock,
   patching the pitfalls
   opening the concession stand,
and
      letting us in
  to play on the fields
of wonder.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

day 200

Hear this, you that trample
         on the needy,
   and bring to ruin the poor
         of the land,  Amos 8:4

in our rush
to get the newest
   of the inest
      of the faddest,
we knock over
those who
can't even afford
   the left-overs
   we so casually toss
aside

in our rush . . .

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

day 199

Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God.  Romans 5:1-2

we've triple firewalled
and 64-bit-encrypted our
         hearts, but
you simply type
JESUS
   in as the password
and hack us, so
we can be infected
with the grace virus.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, July 17, 2017

day 198

But let justice roll down like
         waters,
   and righteousness like an
         everflowing stream.  Amos 5:24

forgive us
         when we
   think justice is
      best served a
   drop at a time, and
we dam up hope's
river with our
   forms and regulations.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, July 16, 2017

day 197

Righteousness will go before
         him,
   and will make a path for
         his steps.  Psalm 85:13

Justice & Daughters Restoration, LLC
leads the way, filling
      in oppression's potholes
      with grace and hope, as
   God
      takes the vulnerable
      by the hands
to lead them
            home.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, July 15, 2017

day 196

One who forgives an affront
         fosters friendship,
   but one who dwells on
         disputes will alienate a
         friend.  Proverbs 17:9

like that pebble
in a shoe, a
      grudge rubs a
      blister on our
   soul, but
your grace removes
                  it, so
   we can walk
   in hope with
the one who hurt us.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, July 14, 2017

day 195

Or do you despise the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience?  Do you not realize that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?  Romans 2:4

not
    judgment
    punishment
    forever abandonment, but
gentleness
acceptance
tolerance
      are the treasures
   God
has in store for us.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, July 13, 2017

day 194

For a day in your courts is
         better
   than a thousand
         elsewhere.
I would rather be a
         doorkeeper in the
         house of my God
   than live in the tents of
         wickedness.  Psalm 84:10

this day,
may I
      serve meals
   to the hungry,
      run through
   sprinklers with kids,
      stand in the rain
   with all who
   have had the doors
   of hope slammed
in their faces.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

day 193

My soul longs, indeed it
         faints
   for the courts of the LORDPsalm 84:2a

i yearn for
      your justice
   where the oppressed
   are set free;
      your house, where
   you make popcorn balls
   for snacks;
      your yard, where
   we can chase fireflies
   until the stars
         come out
      to watch over us
   as we snuggle in
   our sleeping bags.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

day 192

A perverse person spreads
         strife,
   and a whisperer separates
         close friends.  Proverbs 16:28

slipping into
the booth while
         our best friend
         is on a call outside,
   Tattle begins
   to bandy on about
what they are (really!)
            saying
about us, hoping
   to split the desert
   with us when we
get into a huff.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, July 10, 2017

day 191

O God, do not keep silence;
   do not hold your peace of
         be still, O God!  Psalm 83:1

at the corner
      of Discord
      and Distrust, where
   we rant and rail,
trying to kick the
soapboxes out
      from under those
      we don't want to speak,
   you pull up
   in your food truck,
setting up tables
and offering tea
      and scones, encouraging
us to close our mouths
and open our hearts.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, July 09, 2017

day 190

"Give justice to the weak and
         the orphan;
   maintain the right of the
         lowly and destitute.
Rescue the weak and the
         needy;
   deliver them from the hand
         of the wicked."  Psalm 82:3-4

shelter for those
      caught in life's storms,
food for children
      hungering for hope, as well;
a welcome to all
      pushed aside by the world;
standing nose-to-nose
      with oppression's supporters;
calling the vulnerable
      our sisters and brothers . . .
. . .
   these are some of the ways
   we can pull God's beloved
out of those fists tight with

judgment.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, July 08, 2017

day 189

"I would feed you with the
         finest of the wheat,
   and with honey from the
         rock I would satisfy
         you."  Psalm 81:16

you lay out
a picnic
      of Grace's sandwiches,
   Hope's strawberry/rhubarb pies,
      Wonder's potato salad, and
   the finest vintage Peace makes,
but
we
would rather gnaw
         on our bitter
         hearts, and
chug-a-lug
   anger's acid.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman