Thursday, December 29, 2011

Follow Me

Simplified Chinese
Traditional Chinese

Friday, December 16, 2011

And You Were There

I had a dream . . . and you were there.

I was driving by myself to Somewhere, Colorado, when I got a bit diverted off the road and then stuck behind cars that were not moving. People were stopping because at a certain spot, they could see some natural wonder.

When I pulled to the spot where folks were stopping, I found myself entering an old cabin. Inside, the cabin was without furniture, except an old, thin bench in front of a fireplace as you entered through the door. An old woman sat on that bench.

Throughout the cabin, along the walls, were large stones that had been carved and painted in three-dimensional tableaus. The old woman, a cabin volunteer, pointed out where to look within the fireplace to see the effect. No one knew who had created it or moved it to that spot.

I walked around the dimly lit cabin. There was something religious about it all. Several people sat on benches against this wall or that. A young man passed around small, woven baskets for donations. He handed one to me. I admired it and then set it down on a bench nearby.

When I had gone all around the cabin, I was standing in an alcove opposite the door, behind the old woman on her bench. There was another large fireplace and chimney, where three young woman in pioneer clothing were singing. And you were there. Somewhere along my walk around the cabin you were walking with me. And, in the alcove, with the singing women, you were there.

I wanted to leave. I turned to you, and said "I have to go." You took my hand and pulled me close into your side so that the middle of my chest was against your left side, and you held my hand, down at your side. You looked at the women as they sang. I looked at you. You were wearing a plain flannel gown, open at the throat. I could feel your warmth, I could smell your hair. It was all I could do to not lean my head in and kiss your neck, nuzzle your ear.

We were standing in front of the old woman as I again said I had to leave. I was toward the door, and you were on the other side of the woman, facing me. Suddenly, it got very dark and there was a loud, frightening rumble, as if the very rocks of the mountain were moving towards us. It happened again, louder, closer. And again. And again. A light over our head shook, and then the sound passed over us, no louder than someone pushing a small, wooden desk across the floor above our heads.

We were outside now. A young boy was throwing a stick in a small fire while his father watched. The fire looked like it could get out of control. The old woman was up and over there, beating out the flames, as if she were 20. That done, she returned to her bench, now on the hillside outside. Clearly, she had adopted this place as her own to look over and protect. She pulled me to her side, onto the bench next to her and softly spoke some words I know were very important. I don't remember what she said, maybe something about life, maybe something about love.

I started to leave, said your name once more, tried to pull you close and kiss you. You held me away. I said something, to which you replied, "This is why we can not be together. Because you are always niggling."

And I said, "I am always niggling because you hold me close, and I am reminded how much I love you. My love, so strong I feel my heart will beat out of my chest. My love, so strong it splits the very rocks of this mountain. And then, you push me away."

And it is true.
I still do. Love you that much.
And I've wrecked more than five years of my life because I don't know what to do with this. Or because there is nothing I can do with this.

As I told you so long ago, on that misty eve, it isn't something that goes away. It is something so powerful it hardly seems real.

And so, you aren't in my life because you can't be in my life.
I don't want to believe you aren't in my life because you don't want to be in my life.

So, where does that leave me?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fall Color Bike Ride

Went for a motorcycle yesterday and took these pictures. Click on any image to see full-size slideshow at Storie

Scenes from an Adirondack Fall

Here is an ever-growing slideshow of Adirondack Autumn photographs I've been taking from around the area. Click on any image to jump to the full-size slideshow on the Storie website

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Adirondack Autumn

The days are pleasant, sunny and cool
Sunset arrives too soon but glorious high altitude/high latitude, deep purple twilight drags on
Each morning the sun rises on mist-filled valleys
Vibrant rays across earthbound clouds of pure white

The meadows take on a golden glow as goldenrod flowers and grasses give up their chlorophyll to the frosty nights
In nearby woods and windbreaks, hints of fall colors begin to appear - a branch here, a tree there
Down in the wet lands, maples are already shading towards red and orange
While the hillsides show a muted tint of yellows and browns

Peak "foliage" comes early to the landscape around Saranac Lake
Locals look forward to the changing tide of color if not the flood of leaf-peepers that with it always wash ashore.
And where ever we gather, we rate this year's colors against those of the past
And lament the rains or the winds that almost always seems to cut the season short.

Moon in Aries

The moon from full barely waning
'cross the water blows a warm and gentle breeze
But the fire of Aries sets good intentions ablaze
Setting anger alight, bringing love to its knees

For this day cultivate inner freedom
While you quietly set self apart
Celebrate Shakti, sensuality, eternity
Let another day be for conflicts of heart

Friday, September 09, 2011

Summer fading

(words & music copyright Michael R. Martin) - the sounds of the crickets this time of year always remind me of this song I wrote in late August while at Meadowlark Music Camp. The crickets' song sounds sad to me because it reminds that summer is fading away.

Summer is fading away
Crickets seek their last fling
The stars still shine, and the bats still fly,
but they can't seem to catch anything.

Fat spiders snuggle up close to the eaves
but the grass is still green, collecting dew.
Thinking 'bout life and the passage of time:
dark skies and moonlight and you;
dark skies and midnight and you.

In the shade of an old oak tree
waves lap at the shore.
I've often pondered the spectrum of life
but it don't seem to matter no more.

Fat spiders snuggle up close to the eaves
but the grass is still green, collecting dew.
Thinking 'bout life and the passage of time:
dark skies and moonlight and you;
dark skies and midnight and you.

I never thought it would come.
No I never wished for this day.
Now that it's here, I miss you, my dear.
But I can't think of nothing to say.

Fat spiders snuggle up close to the eaves
but the grass is still green, collecting dew.
Thinking 'bout life and the passage of time:
dark skies and moonlight and you;
dark skies and midnight and you.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Family Reunion; And I Ponder Intersecting Lives

A recent Martin family reunion, where I saw aunts and uncles and cousins I hadn't seen for 10 years, left me thinking about how we each have our individual lives and how, occasionally, the circles of our lives briefly - and often, barely - overlap the life circles of others.

Our own world whirls about us, madly and gladly, and we are so absorbed within its spirals. And then, for a brief moment, we cross paths with others whose own world whirls madly and gladly about themselves.

I've always thought how strange there are so many lives out there going on without our knowledge. I used to sit on a bank overlooking a highway with my best college buddy and wonder about those lives I'll never know in each passing car.

We each carry our own little world about us. We leave the house, loved ones left behind, and their little worlds go on without us, as ours without them. Children go off to school for the day; and later off to college for a whole semester at a time. And their world is no longer ours, and ours no longer theirs. Except in those moments when our circles overlap.

So strange. So strange.

We are all aliens in our own little bubbles of life in a giant world of alien-filled bubbles.

So strange. So strange.

And the ultimate act of overlap is to take another in your arms, and wrap one another, skin on skin, bubbles completely merged, for those few glorious moments where there is no mine and there is no yours; boundaries dissolve and the two worlds becomes one and infinite, two as one.

And then, breathless and flushed, you slowly tease your circles apart. And life resumes, no longer so alien and alone. For as long as it lasts.

Only, try as you might, no two can maintain a singular bubble of one. And one day, once again, you realize you are alone in your bubble, looking out at the world looking in.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A night spent listening

Crickets sang all night
And at first light
Joined by thrush & robin song

Wonder I what was being said
While others lay wrapped in dreams, in bed
Until my chance for sleep had gone

The deck, damp of evening's rain
Through steel-grey clouds day dawns again
Such a night of wondrous pondering be judged wrong

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Purity of Vision

I look at the world
And see the beauty of its infinite shades of color
Life and love and the universal connection of it all.

But with that vision comes the ability to see all of the world's darkness as well

But mostly, I see beauty


A true friend
For all the long nights we spent talking by the lake
A true friend
For all the long nights silently sitting at the end of the dock
A true friend
For when your heart stopped, I forgot how to breathe

Friday, June 10, 2011


This disconnect
May be of my own making
But it is not of my own choosing


We are all alone in this life:
Alone in birth,
Alone in breath,
Alone in thought,
Alone in death.

The effect of time on love

As people grow
They grow apart
Time breaks the bond
Of love and heart

Monday, May 30, 2011

Reflecting at Lake Clear Beach

Wind in the pines and quaking aspens
A steady hiss against the rhythmic lapping of gentle waves
Quiet voices breaking through like wordless notes in a natural scale
A gathering of worshipers of sun and water
Teens on their own, mothers with small children
And one winter-white, tattooed biker

I see that chubby is the new slim
And that's okay, too
So much better than obsessing over figure and fashion

The breeze, not high enough to keep the biting insects away
I am a smorgasbord for black flies and mosquitoes

I reflect upon the years gone by at the beach
As a child on Cape Cod, catching hermit crabs with my baby sister, building little lagoons and sand castles for the little crabs
Gilford Beach with friends and girlfriend
Goffstown State Park after work, single and alone, brief affair with the lovely lifeguard
This very beach with son and daughter, from diapers to teen
And now me, here, alone, contemplating the look & feel of my remaining years

Alone looks pretty good right now

Sunday, May 29, 2011

New Rain

Far off lightning flash, then thunders
The air is filled with fragrant wonders
Grass and blossoms, dampened earth
Each scented breath of priceless worth

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Morning, Lake Flower

Filtered sunlight
Gold of early morn
Reflecting green hillsides on still waters
The town awakens
Traffic sounds occlude the calls of many birds
Red-winged blackbirds, robins and wrens
Singing only for themselves
A loon cries out in flight
Distant outboard heads across the lake
Gentle hum and slapping water heard long before it is seen

A new day
The same as all
Full of promise or full of pain
That choice, alone, is ours to make

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Clouds at Dusk

Pale sky, light blue and peach
Heavy black clouds scraping along the hills around town
Threat of rain that never comes

Spring Rains

The sky a diffuse brightness that hurts the eyes
Between clouds
Dark, heavy, hanging low
Ready to burst upon the landscape:
Green lawns splashed with waves of yellow
Profusion of dandelions;
The hillsides misty lime green
Leaves still crinkled with newness;
Rivers of black, cold water
Bursting banks to meander across wooded valleys;
Quiet village, shades of pale paint
Winter's damp sand accumulated in all its corners;
Small boy pedals his bike, singing to himself
Weary mother trails behind, walking as if on leaden legs.

Mother with child, defiant, spreads blanket along the water's edge
To sit and gaze upon the grey, rippled surface of a mill pond.

And everything changes if but for a moment of pure sunshine -
The landscape,
The mood,
The energy level of life.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Life's Crap

It's never as bad as it seemed when you were up to your neck in it


It was as bad as it seemed but not important in the grand scheme of things


Thank God for selective short-term memory)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Cloudy Dawn, Birds Singing

A cloudy day, barely dawns
Robins sing their "rain comes" songs
A Phoebe calls for love. I yawn.
And Sadie sniffs about the lawn.

A lonely morning, I am not singing.
Despite the birds, my ears are ringing
I guess I slept, mid toss & turning
But like the Phoebe, my heart is yearning

Yet spring has come, the air is fresh
I will not keep this mood, I guess
The beauty of the world surrounds
God's hand within my life abounds

We carry on through high and low
What future brings we can not know
Hope and faith that fills our cup
At the bottom one can only look up

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Dos Rosas

Tú corazoñ y el mío
Son como dos rosas en florecer
Una casa ardiente en invierno
Juntos como el batir
De las olas en el orilla

Mi Amor Para Ti

Amor oscuro
Amor profundo
Mi amor con mi
Es siempre primero
Mi amor para ti

Naranjas y toranjas
Y dos onzas de ron
Sueño con el dia
Cuando tú yo seremos uni
Mi amor para ti

My Last Letter to Dale Robinette

Twenty years later, I still find myself thinking of you
And I wonder
What would it be like if we were to meet today for the first time

I am older, perhaps even wiser
And I realize that in my youth
You were more a thing than a person
Yet I did love you in the only way I knew how
I gave you my attention
Unable to give my heart and soul

You have not heard the song I wrote for you
I haven't sung it in probably ten years
I can't help feeling that
At the end of my life
You will be there
A fairy tale ending - closure.
Of all that haunts me in my daily life
Yours are the only memories worth savoring.

I have been apologizing forever,
Apologize now and always
For all the stupid things I did
And hope only that you, too,
Find a few memories of me
Worth recollection.

from my journal, dated 8/23/96

Sunday, April 24, 2011

In my mind

Breezes whispering in towering pines
Waves lapping along the shore
High and distant, a jet flies to parts unknown
Full of people, unseen; Living lives unknown

I am too much the recluse to live the life I desire
Of friends and music, happy times doing what I love
Envious of those who just go out and do it
In the scene.
But I'm always the dark horse, the hermit, known but unknown
Happily greeted if ever seen, yet part of nothing and no one
Never called, never asked
It only feeds my stupid insecurities

I could do that, I say (to myself)
I didn't know you played out, they say (to me)
And so I am a fine musician who thinks he is not
I am a performer without a stage

And I say to myself, this is why they don't call:
You aren't good enough
They don't like you
You suck

Why is it when someone gives a compliment they don't know what they are talking about
Yet when someone gives a criticism they must be right

In my mind, in my mind

Friday, March 25, 2011


Jesus’ teachings were never popular, simplistic, repetitious verses to be mumbled weekly as a means to satisfy an unapproachable and unknowable deity. Rather, His teachings challenge each of us to make friends with the Spirit within each of us so that we might experience the living eternal presence of a loving God. Jesus message was clear: each of us has a personal connection to the creator of the universe who wishes us to call Him Father. If we will but move past the things of earth, past the illusion that we are at home here, and that we can have both the things of earth and the joy of heaven, our souls will lead us to higher levels of communication with God. God speaks to each of us who intentionally opens a channel of communication with him. Mysticism is nothing more than shutting out the world long enough to listen to God—high voltage prayer.

Christ's disciples were the first Christian mystics because they followed the discipline Jesus taught them. All but one of Jesus’ disciples was martyred for their determination to spread his teachings; however, their voices were so impassioned and their “truth” so authentic, they changed the world. Converts to the disciples’ metaphysical message began to communicate with a holy presence which could not be understood or seen by people who maintained their allegiance to the world. Nonetheless this presence was real and tangible to these followers who fell in love with and gave their lives for Jesus and his Father.

Saints of every time period are those who take themselves out of the world in order to hear God. It is called a life of contemplation. Many of our well-known saints—Saint John of the Cross, Saint Theresa of Avila, Saint Francis, Hildegard of Bingen, Mother Theresa, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, and Thomas Merton are all well known Christian mystics. Mother Theresa, Teilhard de Chardin, and Merton were all mystics of the twentieth century. Like the prophet Elisha who ran from the world to live in a cave, these people shut themselves off from the world in order to hear “the still small voice of God.”

If anyone thinks this is an easy life, try sitting patiently until God speaks to you. Most of us can’t even quiet ourselves long enough to watch a rainbow or sunset from start to finish or to stay with a fire long enough until the embers die, let alone to sit long enough to not only recognize God’s voice but also to slog through our skepticism and disbelief. Can you imagine anyone announcing to his or her spouse, church, or community, “I have decided to become a Christian mystic.” We would immediately be pummeled with questions like: how will you buy bread? If we answered “Man does not live by bread alone,” clearly we are following our Lord’s teachings; even so, our friends and neighbors would think us mad just as they did Saint Francis a thousand years ago.

There was a time in human history when being “one who communicated with God” was considered a holy calling and those who accepted the call holy people. Jewish rabbinic communities supported men who devoted their lives to study. In early Christianity, monasteries became places for people to leave the world behind and to devote their lives to contemplating the nature of God. Almost all cultures have had medicine men, saints, and holy lepers. These cultures valued men and women who were willing to receive God through the really hard work of self-surrender and meditation because with that commitment miracles, healing, and faith grew among the people. Christian mystics brought not only God’s word but also often supernatural and unexplainable acts to the physical world. Why then has Christianity become less and less accepting of this evocation? My thought is that often the voice of God is frightening to those who have not committed themselves to receiving Him. Religion comforts the worldly with rote sayings and oaths that make a personal relationship with God impossible for many.

When Michael and I first talked of collaborating on a book of meditations, I readily agreed to do so because I enjoy creative worship projects. Before long, I realized that Michael was transmitting God’s desire to be God With Us in his poetry. Michael was being led to a whole different level of Christian writing. He was literally transcribing messages from the Holy Spirit as have other mystics through the ages. There have been moments when I read one of Michael’s poems that my eyes sting and my body burns; my heart lays heavy with a grief for being away from heaven. I “get the power” of Michael’s words, but I can’t hold onto them. They aren’t so easily absorbed and categorized into my thought process. I have to sit as he has with the idea that my soul needs to be in communication with God and that communication is not so easy to come by. It takes practice. It takes commitment. It takes desire to say as Saint Francis did “My God and my all.” How we will proceed with this work is beyond my imagination and Michael’s control. Clearly, his soul has found a way to adore the Father with such wisdom that both Michael and I are simply audience to his work. I am reminded of the scripture “You don’t have because you don’t ask and you don’t ask because you don’t know how to ask.” In Michael’s striving to know God, he has apparently asked the right questions because the floodgate’s of Heaven are open to him. These writings are not for the spiritually immature who think their tradition will save them; it is for the spiritually hungry who know they are missing something their religion isn’t giving them. Those who resonate with Michael’s writing should see them as a stepping stone to their own inner wisdom, their own God within.
Introduction by Maggie McCary to "Soul Insights: Christians Bridging the New Age" -

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Addict's Prayer

You woke me up
To this new day
Clean and sober
With thanks I pray

You gave me life
And when I stumbled
You brought me here
To make me humble

Brothers and sisters
Who've been there, too
It's death or life
And I chose you

So thank you, Lord
For this new day
Clean and sober
These things I pray.

copyright (c) Michael R Martin 2011
Posted using BlogPress app on my iPhone

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Family - Damn Family

Family. Damn family.
They are everything that matters on this earth.
They are the source of the greatest love.
They are the source of the greatest heartaches.
Unconditional love.
Hard, ruthless judgement.

It is a shame how hard it is to overlook history, when we all know deep down Love is all that matters.

Love doesn't always feel good. The deeper the love, the harder it hurts sometimes. But life without love is truly pitiful.

Your family is everything - not just the family you choose and create, your "immediate" family, but ALL your family, your "extended" family, blood relatives all. They are the closest bonds we have on this earth, like it or not. DNA IS thicker than water.

We may be spiritual beings, but we need that live connection we can only find in family. Call one of them today.

Caveats: longer than the content. Such is the world we live in. . .

• This is, like most of my writing, about the shared human condition as much, or more, than it is about personal experience. I love my family. And my children are the reason my heart beats.

• Family is defined here primarily by the shared DNA. That means a chosen family member, ie spouse - is NOT the same as a God-given family member, including siblings, parents, and offspring. But I recognize that there is a wide diversity of living situations. I would never mean to discount a step-member or anyone else who is family to you. Feel free to substitute "friends" for "family" if that works for you. But remember, if you HAVE family, don't blow this off just because you think it doesn't apply to you, just because you happen to not like your family.

• So, don't - NOBODY - take this out of context. Read it. Enjoy it, or not. Take something from it. And may God bless you and your family

Posted using BlogPress app on my iPhone

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Who is this who calls you so late at night?
Who is this who wakes you from your sleep?
This IS the message you must heed
You must forgive. You must forget

Wake up to the world with empty heart & empty hands
So you can do the work to which you are called
Put down your weapons, lay down your tools
Your work requires nothing but all that you are

There is no time but now
There is no place but here
Past and present and future are one
Rolled into this moment, time and space

Die and be reborn
This is called your destiny
And you must not refuse
Nothing is wasted so long as you say
from "Soul Insights: Bridging the New Age for Christians" by Michael R. Martin, CLS & Maggie McCary
Posted using BlogPress app on my iPhone

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Snowfall, imminent

Blackness on the horizon,
Blacker than black;
Not just the total absence of light
But black hole black
A black that absorbs all light
And spits out nothing in return.

(Odd that) Within that darkness rides the purest of whites
The total opposite of the clouds
A substance so white that it will brighten the landscape upon which it is draped,
Giving off more light than it receives.

Dark - Light

The blackest clouds contain an unrivaled brightness within

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Snow, Predawn

The town, draped in white;
So quiet and still
You can hear the sound of snow falling

No traffic on the road
Or tiniest breeze;
Not even a predawn chorus of birds calling

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Twittelator Tweets • My Theme Songs

Michael R. Martin (@CedarEden):
1/16/11 11:18 PM
♬ 'Lord of the Starfields' - Bruce Cockburn ♪

Michael R. Martin (@CedarEden):
1/16/11 11:17 PM
♬ 'All The Ways I Want You' - Bruce Cockburn ♪

Michael R. Martin (@CedarEden):
1/16/11 11:16 PM
♬ 'She Blinded Me With Science' - Thomas Dolby ♪

Michael R. Martin (@CedarEden):
1/16/11 11:16 PM
I've been listening to my "Theme Songs of My Life" playlist ♬ 'The Joker' - Steve Miller Band ♪

Michael R. Martin (@CedarEden):
1/16/11 11:15 PM
♬ 'Deepest Part of Me' - Dougie MacLean ♪

Michael R. Martin (@CedarEden):
1/16/11 11:15 PM
♬ 'The Boys Of Summer' - Don Henley ♪

Michael R. Martin (@CedarEden):
1/16/11 11:06 PM
♬ 'Someone I Used To Love' - Bruce Cockburn ♪

Michael R. Martin (@CedarEden):
1/16/11 10:57 PM
♬ 'The Coldest Night Of The Year' - Bruce Cockburn ♪

Collected Thoughts on Snow & Cold

Virgin white, a gentle snow drifts lazily onto Main Street, hazy highlight against sky cast purple-orange in the lamplight of this tiny city

New and falling snow brighten the day prematurely
An extra-stellar luminance that lifts the spirit an hour before sunrise

It is a magical time of day as the sky lightens
As muted walls of shadow become a tree line
Dark against slightly less dark

All is naught but shades of blue
Azure, ceil, cerulean
Denim, iceberg, indigo
Iris, palatinate, periwinkle

Persian, powder, prussian, royal
Sapphire, teal and aquamarine

It's a brutally cold day. The cold has settled in my sinuses like snow after an avalanche. Sometimes the sun shines teasing the senses but now it's true grey sharp nature blows through me like an ice sword

The moon casts an arctic cold blue glow across a field of new-fallen snow

My Farewell and Hello

As i led my last service at the United Methodist Church in Saranac Lake, the scriptures gave me strength and led me to know I was on the right path. I have been suffering by ignoring my call and holding back. That is done.
Isaiah 49:3-5

He said to me, "You are my servant, Israel,
and you will bring me glory."
I replied, "But my work seems so useless!
I have spent my strength for nothing and to no purpose.
Yet I leave it all in the LORD's hand;
I will trust God for my reward."
And now the LORD speaks—
the one who formed me in my mother's womb to be his servant,
who commissioned me to bring Israel back to him.
The LORD has honored me,
and my God has given me strength.

Matthew 28:18-20
Jesus came and told his disciples, "I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

Psalm 40:1-4
I waited patiently for the LORD to help me,
and he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
and steadied me as I walked along.
He has given me a new song to sing,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what he has done and be amazed.
They will put their trust in the LORD.
Oh, the joys of those who trust the LORD,
who have no confidence in the proud
or in those who worship idols.

1 Corinthians 1:4-9
I always thank my God for you and for the gracious gifts he has given you, now that you belong to Christ Jesus. Through him, God has enriched your church in every way—with all of your eloquent words and all of your knowledge. This confirms that what I told you about Christ is true. Now you have every spiritual gift you need as you eagerly wait for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will keep you strong to the end so that you will be free from all blame on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns. God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says, and he has invited you into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

My Farewell

"After 10 years as voluntary praise service music minister for the First United Methodist Church in Saranac Lake - and at a time when I'm told there would only continue to be a Praise Service if it is run voluntarily and entirely unsupported by the Church - I have decided to accept a position as Music Minister at a non-denominational service held every Sunday 10AM at St. Joseph's Addiction Treatment & Recovery Center in Saranac Lake. St. Joe's was founded by the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement and is Roman Catholic. The service, however, is non-denominational and INCLUSIVE, under the Roman Catholic Womanpriests initiative ( The worship is being led by ordained Christopher Courtwright-Cox and is offered for St. Joseph in-patients and open to the outside public.

I welcome this position as an opportunity to pursue my calling in music and ministry in an open, supportive environment. I've served as guest minister at St. Josephs on several occasions, so I know the power of the Holy Spirit moving in a room of souls crying out for a greater closeness with God. It is regrettable that for most of the years I served the First UMC, the Praise Service was rarely treated as a legitimate part of this Church's ministry. Nevertheless, I took my role seriously, spent many hours each week preparing for each service, and maintained a high standard as a UMC CERTIFIED LAY SPEAKER. While some may think that certification is just a title, it represents a certain level of discipline and study undertaken by the individual, as well as a vote of confidence by one's home church and peers.

I value the friendships I have made, and the experience gained while serving. I wish you all well. I hope that you will take the time to come check out our service one Sunday. Perhaps, too, I will be back as a guest musician or minister at YOUR church some time in the future. And, lastly, this might be an opportunity for this Methodist Church to examine its priorities and actually develop a coordinated worship plan. I'd be happy to participate in such an effort."

Sunday, January 09, 2011

We shall (can) all prophesy

Acts 2:17-18 (AMP)
And it shall come to pass in the last days, God declares, that I will pour out of My Spirit upon all mankind, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy [*telling forth the divine counsels] and your young men shall see visions (^divinely granted appearances), and your old men shall dream [^divinely suggested] dreams. Yes, and on My menservants also and on My maidservants in those days I will pour out of My Spirit, and they shall prophesy [*telling forth the divine counsels and ^predicting future events pertaining especially to God's kingdom].

*G. Abbott-Smith, Manual Greek Lexicon
^Joseph Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon

Blue day

Virgin white, a gentle snow drifts lazily onto Main Street, hazy highlight against sky cast purple-orange in the lamplight of this tiny city

New and falling snow brighten the day prematurely
An extra-stellar luminance that lifts the spirit an hour before sunrise

It is a magical time of day as the sky lightens
As muted walls of shadow become a tree line
Dark against slightly less dark

All is naught but shades of blue
Azure, ceil, cerulean
Denim, iceberg, indigo
Iris, palatinate, periwinkle
Persian, powder, prussian, royal
Sapphire, teal and aquamarine