Saturday, May 22, 2010

Letters to Juliet

In this visually stunning movie filmed near Tuscany, a letter hand written in 1957 - inspires its author to travel to Italy in search of her long-lost love. Modern characters are developed while relationships slowly blossom along the lovely streets of Verona. Much like the wailing wall of Jerusalem, there is a brick wall in Verona where bereft women scribble notes of their need for compassionate advice. A cluster of wise women known as the Secretaries of Juliet respond daily to each note plucked from the brick sanctuary. In the play of "Romeo and Juliet", Shakespeare lures the audience with poetic sonnets that portray the unobtainable lady as a model of inspiration. Juliet leans over the balcony to hear Romeo's exaggerated pledge and responds honestly with words of doubt; "Dost thou love me?" A woman with a noble heart, Juliet searches for truth over poetic verse. In "Letters to Juliet" self-volunteered missionaries keep hope alive as the famous Verona brick hanger for tears --- fills their need to put experience into good use. As fate would have it, the destiny of a fact finder from New York stumbles upon a story worth re-telling. Was it FATE or CHANCE that led the longing heart of Sophie to true love? In the play, Juliet dodges her father's attempt to force her to marry a man she has no feeling for, and the movie dares Sophie, the engaged writer to examine the idea of marriage over genuine feelings of love. Shakespeare's romance script allowed Romeo to test Juliet's feelings for him using a non-threatening invitation. Thus Juliet could pretend she did not understand him, and he could retreat without losing honor. The normal sequence of courtship for Sophie was sped up by the encouragement and witness of Vanessa Redgrave's hope to have her heart fulfilled. Sophie found in her --- a mother's love long lost. When one is in love, one desires to shower their beloved with affection. Mere thoughts of them provoke a fervent flutter of heart while the mind races to think of clever ways to surprise them with generous acts of service and kindness. One's mind is pre-occupied, it is filled with memories of their last words, their touch, their scent, their face. A person in love wants to stow away --- alone, to savor moments spent together. Time is devoted daily to WORSHIP the most precious relationship of one's life! Lovers obsess over how to spend more time together. When we fall into love, we fall into life's greatest pleasure. We fall into each conversation with another --- speaking of our hearts treasure. In Shakespeare's time and in the time that Jesus walked among us, a woman was required to be modest and shy to make sure that her suitor was sincere. Humble hand gestures, a respectful glance, and subtle posturing were all a part of romantic wooing. The dramatic structure of Letters to Juliet is done with a precise hope to keep the audience in a purposed breathless state of suspense. Scenes shift from hope to despair, reprieve, and new hope, which serve to accentuate the tragedy of a heart that longs to be chosen, to be loved and languish in true love. These Italian tiles artistically embrace a picture of love. A burning heart that desires to connect, to be noticed. Imagine listening for the voice of our Beloved, ears tuned and yearning for Him to whisper words that affirm true love while acknowledging all that was done to gain His notice. "I know your deeds, your hard work, your preserverance. I know that you cannot tolerate deceitful men. That you have tested those who claim to love God first and found them false. I see that you have endured hardships and persevered as you have waited upon the Lord to lead you in matters of the heart, and that you have not grown weary. Love is ready to be harvested! Indeed I have noticed you and I thank you for all that you have done in the name of Love." With such an affirmation does not the one hearing thrill to plunge into acts that reciprocate the love from the One Who has so honestly confided His recognition of thee? Would one not earnestly desire more time with the object of their affection, to just BE close in relationship together? Letters to Juliet led me to consider the truth contained in letters penned for my benefit. The letters from Mark, Matthew, Paul and John are the living Word of God, written 2010 years ago, for His beloved. Those who read, watch, listen and seek true love, a love that is ever-lasting --- find themselves carving out time once again to devote to Him in genuine worship of Jesus, the One who God sent on our behalf, to love us in spirit, and truth. God hand picked and gifted writers to document His story, and His love for us. Solomon penned most of the psalms while fascinating in His glory. Praising God in continuous worship -- "Day and night they never stop saying "Holy, holy holy is the Lord God Almighty, Who was, and is, and is to come." Revelation 4:8 The believers of Jesus in the church of Ephesus were congratulated for all the kingdom work they were doing. Then God convicted them in spirit for putting works above time with God. "Yet, I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love" Revelation 2:4---His crazy, radical, eternal LOVE is freely given --- even while we ignore He exists, even when we get side-tracked by all the beauty, people, sports, adventures in the world He created for our pleasure. His love is eternal, often unrequited, but yet He loves us, completely - as we are, always! Fall in love with the living Words of Jesus, with His desire for you --- Obtain the eternal and present opportunity to WORSHIP Him in spirit for what He has done in you. Would a hand written love letter dated 2010 years ago by a man named Paul cause you to seek to be united to his Holy Inspiration? Is GOD the most esteemed TREASURE in your heart? The Spirit of God was made available to us through the death of His Son on the cross. Would loving Jesus for what He did, for Who He is, for all the grace He gives daily, EVEN if we lose our health, our home, our loved ones, cause people to persecute you for being crazy? Is loving Jesus worth the promise of eternity in a place where there is no suffering? Shakespear spoke of our human nature's design to connect with the divine and wrote "If I profane with my unworthiest hand - this holy shrine, the gentle sin is this: my lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand, to smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss." Juliet responds delicately " Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much, which mannerly devotion shows in this; for saints have hands that pilgrims' hands do touch, and palm to palm is a holy kiss."

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Over the Rainbo

Soul support is essential! Diana gave me these ruby slippers and today I wear them as I post this. Watching the life of Di and Katie transform has been like watching a brilliant sunrise in the land of OZ, a place where colors are most vivid, and memories are unforgettable! We are all on the yellow brick road to OZ, the place where it is safe to use the gifts, to employ the talents we were born with. Awe is what I felt this morning as Di shared a peek at her first assignment for her writers group. "A year of Firsts" In reflection, hopefully we can all look back in 2009 and pinpoint a first time ever "I felt love" "I saw light" "I knew truth" "I trusted God" or that "I loved well" and "I witnessed transformation"! 2009 was totally amazing for all who look back and remember the season changing, death, birth, and new beginnings. Dorothy, like many of us had her heart broken. Along her scary path, Dorothy meets a Lion who lost courage, a person dressed in tin to protect their broken heart, and a silly Scarecrow who lost his memory. Sharing the GOOD, the BAD, and the UGLY, they bond over a cup of Starbucks and journey down the yellow brick road singing some where over the rainbow, where troubles melt like lemon drops, and........ when violent threats and unexpected challenges pop up, the group sticks together with confidence! Lynn the lion laughs, Alma removes her tin armor, and John the scarecrow begins to use his brain -- thanks to Ron the wizard! As the wise wizard, Ron retired his crystal ball and encouraged the trio to help each other melt the wicked witch of doubt! Evaluating their combined talents, they work through matters, overcome obstacles, as they cheer each other to "GO FORTH" and ."BE BOLD" They kick up their heels, laugh and have a good time! Our spirit and talents did not come from our parents, but THEY were placed in us by our Creator! Sometimes our mates, siblings, co-workers, or teachers -- they just do not understand what drives us and makes us thrive! But somewhere out there is a co-worker, a small group, or a soul sister/brother that will walk alongside us and speak to our soul's desire to emerge. That is when we contribute our significant, unique verse! We were not designed to flourish on our own. In order for a flower to bloom it needs to have the weeds pulled, and it needs to be watered with just the right amount of encouragement. We were created and given talents to use, not bury in the ground of fear. CELTIC women sing SOMEDAY I wish upon a star...finding that troubles melt like lemon drops and all woe is far behind me...looking up watching blue birds fly over the rainbo--- oh why Lord, tell me why --- can't I? Go to where skys are blue and the dreams that I dared dream ----really do come true! Like a poinsetta can only blossom when it thirsts for more, so do we blossom when we strive for more living water. My ruby slippers clicked me to a place where I felt at home. Arriving in Ajijic was like finding the pot of gold at the end of my work life. As we fly into the unknown, up the yellow brick road, without seeing, only believing, we walk thru doors that God opened for us. THE SECRET and world success guru's promote NAME IT and CLAIM IT, or BLAB and GRAB whatever you want in life. However, the truth about the buried talents of any successful person today is that nobody uncovered their unique talent, their gifted treasure overnight! We begin with mustard seeds of faith --- and we must dig through the dirt of doubt to reveal our talents. When our desires and talents are buried, His way is to give us opportunity that requires a shovel, to uncover, to expose, to remove the piled on dirt of doubt one shovel at a time. After years of struggle to believe in ourselves, to trust our instincts, we gotta admit that we NEEDED that kick in the pants, that wake-up dream, those night sweats, or that news release that appeared bad, but - through the eyes of another - an opportunity of GREATNESS became visible and POSSIBLE! WOW - In August 09 my condo foreclosed, then in December 09, my dream Casa in Mexico was purchased! Any desire that we hold and release to God, for His will be done, we then walk in faith and release our dreams, trusting the best outcome. We humans NEED support, we NEED to be cheered - just like the tin man, the lion, Dorothy and the scarecrow! Together, one day at a time, one shovel at a time, one step along the yellow brick road at a time, this motley crew of strugglers - identified each others strengths and voiced them! Our ancestors started out in the garden of Eden where they could just wake up and grab the fruit they wanted from a vast unlimited orchard of trees. On Monday they might have chosen to grab a shiny dress from the Macy tree, and Tuesday to grab a tennis ball from the US OPEN tree. The grace of God paves the long and winding yellow brick road to eternity. He did not promise that it would be easy, but He did say that a full life would take a community of believers sticking together through the good and bad times. FAITH is walking in a way you have never walked. FAITH invloves risking loss, it requires us to stretch and move in scary directions. The first tiny step might be to do things differently than you ever have! Change your comfortable routine, strike out and appear foolish! Perhaps you need to talk to a tin person with a guarded heart, or sit next to a cowardly lion - LISTEN, watch and encourage them! We grow stronger as we acknowledge the reflection of spirit in others! There are scads of folks who would love to walk beside you with their own pair of ruby shoes! Tiny steps of courage may cause a panic attack, your adrenaline to pump, but remember that the witch of doubt, or any fear found on the yellow brick road is NOT REAL! The reality IS that God gave us the VISION and the talent! He placed His spirit within! We KNOW that we can do all things through Him! When God called His people to the promised land, ten spys made the majority of hearts afraid when they reported that there were too many obstacles to overcome. Joshua and Caleb came back and said "we can do this". FEAR is a state of mind, often times unjustifed, but unless we take a step out, we are NOT exercising FAITH.
Journey on the YELLOW BRICK ROAD requires:
1) DIG thru the DIRT and unearth dreams and courage
2) FAITH the wee size of a seed, and tiny steps
God empowers us to do exceedingly more than we can imagine. However, traveling down the road in the way that God compels us to travel trusting He is with us. God gives us the dream, the vision, our hope and the JOY goose bumps we experience when we arrive at our destination! His spirit is ever in us. He goes before us to open doors. God gave us His invisible, untouchable power and He also gave me the desires of my heart to live near a lake, in a house of light to write! When the people of Israel took the yellow brick road away from Egypt (bondage) to the promised land, there were no solo travelers. People were fueled from the inside by God and outside by the people placed on the path alongside them. We were created by God, He is self-sustaining, but we can only thrive as we come together. There is no such thing as a self-made person. My trip to Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico was because I felt compelled to go from the inside. Trusting that God's plan for me includes walking in faith. Courage from the inside led me and as I walked through the doors of Casa Del Sol, I asked God for help and He put Kristina Morgan, Cathy Roberts, Don & Linda Wright, and Michel Bureau in my path! The Chapala Malecon!

Thursday, May 13, 2010


What should one feel after giving? We shall FEEL blessed to pass on all that we have been given. Yes we give without REGRET, without feeling empty, or disappointed by insufficient graditude. TO LIVE without REGRET is to FEEL happiest when GIVING without expectation of returns. When should one give? The famous incident in Jerusalem involving a poor widow. She was not a beggar seeking alms, or favors from God. She was certain that the God she worshipped was her soul provider, and out of a greatful heart, she gave at a time when she had very little. And when she gave, she gave discreetly all she had. One does not know really whether one will be there tomorrow to give! The time to give therefore is now.CLICK play, then CLICK watch on YOUTUBE. "JUST THANKFUL THAT I AM HERE TODAY"

"When the wealth of life increases to overflow, when the Holy Spirit fills your soul, toss it all overboard with both hands" Barbara Alley

How much to give? Historically it is proven over and over that the answer to the question "How much must one give?" To give as much as we have "Been Given" is entirely impossible. We cannot ever OUTGIVE or OUTLIVE God, so it is wise to listen to the VOICE within and "Give as much as you can" Who is it that fills your soul?What to give? Give out of the beauty you are. Giving generously your talent, or money towards a cause that helps others ---mirrors our FAITH in the One who gives all there is to everyone. What God gives to us daily is as much as we have eyes to see, ears to hear, tastebuds to savor, hands to embrace, and hearts to receive. WHAT we choose to give at any given opportunity ---a flower picked, an encouragement, or a smile...all are FREE, and ever available. It is not how much one gives but how one gives that really matters. When you give a smile to a stranger that may be the only good thing received by that soul in days and weeks! "You can give anything but you must give with your heart". Giving is wonderful, giving is an action that reflects your beauty! The world can't get us down!Whom to give?
Many times we "Avoid Giving" by finding fault with the person who would be the benefactor of our overflow. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged." None are truly deserving of God's rich bounty, yet we all receive His all daily. Who stands before you, who is it that grieves thee most, who has much, who has little --- GIVE, GIVE, GIVE to whom God brings to you as a friend, foe or teacher! How to give? Willingly, gladly give to the receiver in such a humble way that the recipient does not feel humiliated. ’Let not your left hand know what your right hand gives?" Mercy, grace, charity dispensed without publicity and fanfare is to give anonymously. 'Give quietly and with thanksgiving to the Source of all' As nothing really belongs to us, it simply passes through our lives to bless another. We come to this world with nothing and we all will go with nothing. Give with grace and with a feeling of gratitude.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Make A Way

Praising God for Mothers and for son's that obey! My son Jason took the time to read many a hallmark greetings to find the perfect glittered card for his grandma Mia and me his one and only proud momma. Jason came to Manteca to attend church with his mother on Mothers Day. My heart rejoiced in his choice and together we lifted our hearts and hands to praise our awesome Lord Jesus. When Pastor Mike reminded that the coming weekend was the Men's Retreat near Yosemite, Jason prayed for God's way to say that his heart had been changed. He announced in church that he is now a KLOVE music man and that his heart was surrendered to go and to learn what it is to be a disciple of Jesus Christ with other men! AMEN

Sunday, May 9, 2010


My step dad Jim Crane loved music and his son David flew in from Chicago and played "Taps" on his horn at his dad's bedside the night Jim took his last breath. The simple tune gives us lumps in our throats and tears in our eyes without even knowing the story behind the song. The song was written by a young soldier in 1862 during the Civil War. Union Army Captain Robert Elli was with his men near Harrison's Landing in Virginia. The Confederate Army was on the other side of the narrow strip of land. During the night, Captain Elli heard the moans of a soldier who lay severely wounded on the field. Not knowing if it was a Union or a Confederate, the Captain chose to risk his life and bring the stricken man back to his camp for medical attention. Captain Elli crawled on his belly through gunfire to reach the wounded soldier. When he found the souldier he discovered a dead Confederat soldier. The Captain lit a lantern and suddenly caught his breath and went numb with shock. In the dim light, he saw the face of the soldier. It was his own son. The boy had been studying music in the South when the war broke out. Without telling his dad, the boy enlisted in the Confederate Army. Heartbroken, the father asked permission of his superiors to give his son a full military burial. Since the boy was considered the enemy, his request was only partially granted. The Captain had asked to have a group of Army band members play a funeral dirge for his son at the funeral. Since the soldier was a Confederate, he was allowed to have one musician. The Captain chose a bugler. He asked the bugler to play a series of musical notes the father had found on a piece of paper in his son's pocket. The haunting melody, we now know as 'Taps' used at military funerals was born.

Day is done.
Gone the sun.
From the lakes
From the hills.
From the sky.
All is well.
Safely rest.
God is nigh.

Fading light.
Dims the sight.
And a star.
Gems the sky.
Gleaming bright.
From afar.
Drawing nigh.
Falls the night.

Thanks and praise,
For our days.
Neath the sun,
Neath the stars,
Neath the sky,
As we go.
This we know.
God is nigh
on high.

Remember those that gave their lives
to keep us safe. AMEN

Saturday, May 1, 2010


As if a faceless guardian angel stands above me, pouring glorious thoughts and ideas over me, the overflow runs through my fingertips as I peck out a post. Being aware that I have much to learn before I can be my best as a writer, tis a great gift the Holy Spirit has annointed me with. This glorious gift allows me to be the servant of my unlimited Master. To have the AMAZING AHA --- that I give Him great pleasure as a willful participant in His utmost highest plan --- thrills me to humility. In the next decade I shall allow my writing skill to be sharpened by taking a writers course online. Easily and with great appreciation do I surrender to be the instrument that paints word pictures as I am fed and led. Capturing the essence of an encounter, the color of a character, the beauty of a blossoming thought is my blessed calling. Hours upon hours of seeking photos that enhance wisdom, prose and scripture has stretched my imagination and widened my mind to the size of a canvas that matches the sky. Travelling to a beautiful landscape with a cast of extra ordinary people, then writing their characters into short stories has given me such deep satisfaction...which merely echoes a hearty HALLELUIAH, and it's about time --- from the One who gives all gifts! Thank You Father, Son, and Holy Spirit for Your patience, kindness, mercy and generosity! The colors, the beauty, the expressions, the amazing scenes HAVE indeed delighted my soul to overflow with tidbits and rambling samplings for years now. These treasured logs are my legacy of love and I thrive as an unknown author, on a world wide published blog! Your ways are not our ways Lord. Using the world wide web to reach, teach and bring understanding of how great Thou art --- through word art! You Rock, You Reign, and You rain color as You weave a good and steady stock of truth through the light of Your Word - My sacred reminder of who has always loved first. HERE I AM LORD, use me! What wonders You have shown me, and to Jesus all praise is due! Thank You for loving, uncovering, filling, guiding and preparing me to play the part You have given me. I need You Father, I love You Jesus, and I thank You Holy Spirit. I ask for Your wisdom, and invite the discipline. AMEN