Praise like cascading waters, like rushing rivers,
Praise like flying birds, and flight of eagles.
Praise like thundering herds cross vast expanse.
Praise written cross skies in clouds and drifting mists.
Praise with the quaking aspen. Praise golden and blissful.
Praise to the heavens, to the highest heavens.
Heartfelt and hallowed, on angels’ wings and from the mouths of babes.
Hush; listen in silence.
Creation, on tip toe, peering beyond Time to Eternity.
Time poised on the brink of the Eternal, awaiting Your Word.
Praise from the heart, one poor and yearning heart.
Come, O Immortal. Come!
By Joann Nelander
O, You, Who gladden Day,
Send my roots deep into Your Heart,
Which is entwined with mine,
Alive in my soul,
That glorious place at my center,
Lit by Your Presence and Your Light,
And which by grace is eternal,
Never to go out.
Extend my branches
As willowy arms,
Reaching to the heavens,
Branches of You, the Tree of Three,
Destined to support your nestlings,
Becoming home to a universe of creatures,
Each living Your purpose
In its precious destiny.
O, my Beloved,
Ground of my being,
Sharing the mysterious I Am,
And naming me,
Calling forth the clay that be,
To take on immortality.
I am all “Fiat” and gratitude,
As Son to Father live the Spirit,
One, All in all,and Heart, my Three.
©2011 Joann Nelander
Shepherds, hear the word of the Lord. But what are the shepherds to hear? Thus says the Lord God: Behold I myself am over the shepherds, and I will claim my sheep from their hands.
Hear and learn, you sheep of God. God calls for an accounting of his sheep from the wicked shepherds and inquires into the death of his sheep at their hands. For in another passage he speaks through the same prophet: Son of man, I have appointed you a watchman for the house of Israel. You shall hear the word from my mouth and you shall point out the way to them in my name. When I say to the sinner: You shall die, and you do not speak to warn the wicked man from his wicked way, because of his wickedness he shall die, but you shall be held responsible for his death. If, however, you warn the wicked man to turn away from his wickedness, and he fails to do so, he shall die in his iniquity, but you shall have saved your soul.
Dear brothers, what does this mean? Do you see how dangerous it is to keep silent? The sinner dies and rightly so; he dies in his wickedness and in his sin, for his failure to heed you has killed him. He could have found the Lord, the living shepherd who says: I live. But he was heedless; and the one appointed for this task, the watchman, did not warn him. The wicked one then justly suffers death and the watchman rightly suffers damnation. But the Lord says, if you say to the wicked man: You shall surely die, and if he fails to heed the sword of judgment with which I have threatened him, that sword will overtake and kill him, and he will die in his sin; but you will have saved your soul. Therefore it is our task not to keep silent, and it is your task, even if we ourselves are silent, to hear the words of the shepherd from the Scriptures.
I have said that he will take the sheep from the bad shepherds and give them to shepherds who are good. Let us consider whether he does so. I see him taking the sheep from the bad shepherds, when he says: Behold, I myself am over the shepherds, and I will claim my sheep from their hands; and I will turn away from them so that they may not pasture my sheep, and the shepherds shall no longer give pasture. For when I say: “Let them pasture my sheep,” they give pasture to themselves and not to my sheep. Therefore, I will turn away from them so that they may not pasture my sheep. How does the Lord turn away from them to keep them from pasturing his sheep? Do whatever they tell you, but do not follow what they do. It is as if he said: “The words they say are mine, but their deeds are their own.” If you do not follow the example of the bad shepherds, they are not giving you pasture. But if you do what they say, it is I who am feeding you.”
Lord, as I begin this day,
Have it Your way.
I seek not me, but Thee.
When bitter valley threaten,
And I count the cost,
I choose not me, but Thee.
In the dark night.
Trace Your path upon my heart,
That demons, seeking to terrorize and tempt,
Meet not me, but Thee.
When gift and labor
Bring merit and reward,
All glory to, not me, but Thee.
May those I meet upon Your Way,
See, not me, but Thee.
© 2014 Joann Nelander
Tough As Nails – Defiant Letter to God from the World, & the Flesh
We are willing to discard the person for the part.
“We’ve made great strides”, “…a long way, Baby.”
You and Your creation shall serve us.
Yes, that is our “Way”.
It makes perfect sense to us.
After all, You are invisible,
As invisible as a child within the womb,
That is, until the flesh is torn away.
We have the technology.
See, no cringing here. “Just do it!”
We’re tough as nails.
You are familiar with nails?
Yes, tough as nails.
In this world you have to be!
Hello. Knock, knock. Are You there?
…. See, He doesn’t care.
You hold Your anger, so we say,
“Where is this God of yours?”.
Our world crumbles,
Chaos all around.
Evidence of Your absence or Your ire?
It doesn’t matter.
You are the Past. We are Now!
If I pull Your beard, will You awaken.
Are You like us?
Will You take a poll
Or turn Your blind eyes?
In Your retirement or death,
We’ve found our voice. We’ve found our fist!
Not to worry.
We’ve come a long way.
Crowned ourselves God!
©2010 Joann Nelander
When did his passion begin?
Did it commence with the kiss
By which he bid his loved ones adieu.
Or did the call to battle
Bid him count the cost,
Shattering vanities and proud hoorahs,
With winter ice
Piercing to the marrow of bone.
The Call was always greater
Than one man’s valor or presumption.
Holier than Adam could undertake in rage,
Yet a young David found an “Amen”
Rising within his shepherd- breast,
Shielded by hope and faith
Born of a Savior,
Yet borne into battle
By the foal that carried Him forth.
Waged for the souls of men,
Find common ground;
Friend and foe,
Dying side by side.
As grains numbered as the sand,
And the blood,
Bridle high at Armageddon,
Corpses piled and claiming
The best among us,
As generations of spent warriors’ might,
Trust to God
To judge the heart of every man,
And wear his colors in His raiment.
Memories, born as festering wounds,
Or toughened scars,
Mark the man and record the Passion.
No jot or tiddle forgotten,
Fingered on the ground,
Condemning only the Accurser.
Angels minister the balm of Gilead
As the dead live again,
And the living love
Through the Darkness.
Held to a measure,
Weighed on scales of Mercy.
How long? How long?
Martyrs witness the passion of the warrior,
And place merited crown,
And victor’s wreathe,
As a new name resounds,
Pronounced by the Mouth of God.
©2012 Joann Nelander