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

Friday, July 07, 2017

day 188

Wisdom is a fountain of life
         to one who has it,  Proverbs 16:22a

          may
i drink deeply
of your Spirit
      before i
speak to
   (or about)
another.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, July 06, 2017

day 187

I hear a voice I had not
         known:
 "I relieved your shoulder of

         the burden;
   your hands were freed
         from the basket."  Psalm 81:5b-6

in the soft breath
   of a baby
        against our cheek;
in the silly jokes
   of 9-year-olds;
in the infuriating
         questions of
      teenagers,
our fears
our worries
our doubts
   are taken away.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

day 186

"I have a hope in God--" Acts 24:15a

i cling tight
to the hope
         that
   the most vulnerable
      will be valued more,
   the hungry will
      be offered banquets,
   foreclosed properties will
      be shared with the homeless,
   the lonely will
      be welcomed like family, and
in God,
   i open
   my hands to
share.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

day 185

You have fed them with the
         bread of tears,
   and given them tears to
         drink in full measure.  Psalm 80:5

you flavor
the bread of
      life with
   the tang
   of your tears,
and transformed
your bitter
         grief
   into
grace's cup.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, July 03, 2017

day 184

The human mind plans the
         way,
   but the LORD directs the
         steps.  Proverbs 16:9

we reprogram our
      soul's GPS so
   we can do what we want
   go where we will
      be who we idolize, then
you
         take us by the
      hand
         to lead us
               (barefoot)
to baptism's beach
   where we will
   surf on grace's waves
until falling asleep
exhausted.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman
  

Sunday, July 02, 2017

day 183

But his servants approached and said to him, "Father, if the prophet had commanded you to do something difficult, would you not have done it? How much more, when all he said to you was, 'Wash, and be clean'?"   2 Kings 5:13

we find rocket science
      higher math
                or
   textual criticism
a piece of cake
         compared to the
feeding of the hungry
welcoming the stranger
adopting the forgotten
living in peace
      we are asked
      to do.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, July 01, 2017

day 182

With upright heart he tended
         them,
   and guided them with
         skillful hand.  Psalm 78:72

when they show
up at our doors,
      in duffle coat,
   old hat, and
      battered suitcase
      in hand, may
we not overlook
the tag reading,
'please take care
of this child of mine,
         thank you' as
we welcome them
into our hearts
as you did us.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman