starved rock fall

Starved Rock Sate Park, in Utica, IL, is always fun to visit, but in the Fall it can be just breathtaking. Situated along the Illinois River, it is a welcome contrast to the soybean fields and corn fields that dominate the landscape in this part of the midwest.

still as the tree

all the color will soon fall
and the barren trees will sing
cold and wind snow and ice
will paint the boughs with chilled beauty
as leaves are tossed
and lost are the
dried and cracked memories
of hues and tones
that proudly shouted
i am here

let's welcome winter
when it enters our souls
sometimes what we think is gold
needs to fade
be swept away
in the wind of the Spirit
may we bend and break
let proud color and hues
fall in surrender

self must fade
and give way to the dark
He will hold us tight
through the cold
and the questions
and the monochrome feelings

we must stand
still as the tree
and wait for life
to start again
in His time
His way
His truth
His life
will spring
for we wait
and in the waiting
He is present
we wait
He is comfort
He is love
we wait

let us be still

it’s the beauty and simplicity
that we often miss
the radiance and light
that we just don’t see
the comfort and the healing
that we lay aside

oh let us rest
let us be still
for the greatest of these is love
the greatest of these is love

it’s the glory and presence
that we often ignore
a sunrise
a bird song
a baby’s laughter
the colors of all the leaves
as they fall
grace is always in season

oh let us rest
let us be still
for the greatest of these is love
the greatest of these is love

it’s the bitterness
and anger and rage
that can lead us
to waste our pain
we pursue justice
at the expense of our souls
and become that which
we loath

oh let us rest
let us be still
for the greatest of these is love
the greatest of these is love

God our world is in trouble
but greater still
is my troubled soul
my anxious thoughts
God i need you
to settle this restless heart

help me to see
beauty simplicity
your presence your glory
right here

to laugh like a child
and to sing
your praise
and your renown
with the colors
and the seasons

oh let us rest
let us be still
for the greatest of these is love
the greatest of these is love

lift up your eyes

lift up your eyes
oh weary one
and let His love
clothe the lies
mend the wounds
and sing over you

lift up your eyes
oh sacred soul
you matter more
than anyone knows
let His grace
lift your head
you bear His image
be at peace
be at peace

lift up your eyes
oh shame filled one
and let His presence
surround the sorrow
all the monochrome
guilt and shame
will be restored
in the color
of His deliverance
in the brilliance
of His countenance
in the suffering
of His love

lift up your eyes
be at peace
and rest

be at peace
and rest

more fall moments

Starved Rock State Park, in Oglesby, IL, is filled with hiking trails, canyons, high cliff views of the Illinois River and, in the Fall, the beauty of all those fallen leaves. My colleagues and I go to this park for our annual hiking trip to celebrate birthdays on our staff. We enjoyed a cool, beautiful day! Thanks for stopping buy.

and He is love

the beautiful sadness of fall
colors singing proudly
before cascading to the earth
creating a carpet
of emerald crimson and lemon
to welcome the solace and solitude of winter

the humility of each season
is the common theme of the songs they sing
each season happily surrenders its beauty
to the charm and grace of the next
and so all creation sings to the Creator

let us do the same
welcome the constant change
that this life brings
and be alive
to all that must die within us
and be willing to surrender
to all that must be reborn
through confession
and the grace and mercy
of our Lord

"Yes, grass withers and flowers fade,
but the word of our God endures forever." *



* Isaiah 40:8