Sunday, June 4, 2017

On Waiting on the Lord (More Spurgeon)

"The Lord, when he hath given great faith, has been known to try it by long delayings...But we must be careful not to take delays in prayer for denials: God's long-dated bills will be punctually honored; we must not suffer Satan to shake our confidence in the God of truth by pointing to our unanswered prayers. Unanswered prayers are not unheard...Will not the Lord's time be better than thy time? By and by he will comfortably appear, to thy soul's joy, and make thee put away the sackclock and ashes of long waiting, and put on the scarlet and fine linen of full fruition."

CH Spurgeon, Evening by Evening

Monday, March 27, 2017

i dreamed

i dreamed

you made me

into a lipstick rose - a kiss

to a well-watered

garden of grass and trees

of teeming things

i awoke

a beavertail pricky pear

fastened miles and

miles, miles and

miles out in

mojave sands

i stood

for days and

days, days and

days in a southwestern

oven waiting

sun radiating

a raindrop,

then two; a

wildflower superbloom

i saw beauty and life

come to even

death valley

Kariana Reyes

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

We must do business in great waters (a quote by CH Spurgeon)

“We must do business in great waters; we must be really on the deck in a storm, if we would see the works of the Lord and His wonders in the deep. We must have stood side by side with King David; we must have gone down into the pit to slay the lion or have lifted up the spear against the eight hundred, if we would know the saving strength of God’s right hand. Conflicts bring experience, and experience brings growth in grace which is not to be attained by any other means.”

CH Spurgeon, Gleanings Among the Sheaves

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Shepherd goes after the one (A Triolet)

The Shepherd goes after the one 

The Shepherd goes after the one

Lost sheep until brought safely home

On shoulders, like a prize that's won

The Shepherd goes after the one

Hillside rejoicing will soon come

Together, one hundred will roam   

The Shepherd goes after the one

Lost sheep until brought safely home 

Kariana Reyes 

Saturday, June 18, 2016

"Piece by Piece" - An Unexpected "Worship" Song

"Piece by Piece"- An Unexpected "Worship" Song

A few months back, a woman from church shared a vision with me. While praying for me, God showed her a well made of bricks. But the well was not complete - it had some bricks missing or cracked, so water seeped out of the well where there were holes. She prophesied that God would make the broken bricks whole, and where bricks were missing, He would replace them. This was my first time meeting this woman, and she didn't know that for months God had been speaking to me loudly and clearly about water - in particular, His Living Water (John 7:38). After hearing her vision, I knew that I desired to carry a whole, strong, and deep well that could hold His Living Water - a well not just for me, but one that others could drink from when they are thirsty for more of Him.

Tomorrow is Father's Day, and right now I'm listening to Kelly Clarkson's latest song about her father, "Piece by Piece." Few songs have made me cry like this one has, and I can only guess that too many people can relate to it. It's touching what a healing gift her husband has been to her and how much confidence she has in him and in his love for her. But when I hear this song, I can't help but think of God. It brings me to a heart of worship, because I know Him to be the One who makes me whole, putting me back together, piece by piece. My security and healing come from Him. This is not just head-knowledge, but heart-knowledge:

"Piece by piece he collected me up off the ground...piece by piece he filled the holes...he takes care of me cause he loves me."

I can't say that I fully understand how God is repairing my well, but I do know it is in the tender, loving way only a perfect Father could: piece by piece, brick by brick.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Telescope Heart

Telescope Heart

When darkness covers the vast night sky
When not a twinkle winks at an eye
When I cannot spy a shooting star
Lord, make a telescope of my heart
When clouds hover, blocking clearest views
When luminosity's oldest news 
When sunsets once shined heavenly art
Lord, make a telescope of my heart
When a closer view, I need to see
When I learn to fix my eyes from me
When my vision's clearer than the start
Lord, make a telescope of my heart
When a Book magnifies like a lens
When reflections of the Son romance
When it's time for gravid clouds to part
Lord, make a telescope of my heart
Behold a glow in the fleeting dark!
Lord, make a telescope of my heart 

Kariana Reyes

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Coastal Erosion (A Love Pursuit)

Coastal Erosion (A Love Pursuit)

Like tidal currents
Like adamant waves
Like weathering winds beating
Mighty cliffs for days
And days

You pursue me 

                      Abrasion-defensive rocks 
                      Break until humbled
                      Finest sediments made only from
                      Crack and tumble


And all of these unrelenting motions
Carry sands into Your oceans

Kariana Reyes

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A Serious and Pathetical Contemplation of the Mercies of God by Thomas Traherne

 A Serious and Pathetical Contemplation on the Mercies of God

For all the mysteries, engines, instruments, wherewith the world is filled, which we are able to frame and use to thy glory.

For all the trades, variety of operations, cities, temples, streets, bridges, mariner's compass, admirable picture, sculpture, writing, printing, songs and music; wherewith the world is beautified and adorned.

       Much more for the regent life,

               And power of perception,

                      Which rules within.

       That secret depth of fathomless consideration

               That receives the information

                      Of all our senses,

       That makes our centre equal to the heavens,

               And comprehendeth in itself the magnitude of the world;

                      The involv’d mysteries

                              Of our common sense;

                      The inaccessible secret

                              Of perceptive fancy;

                      The repository and treasury

                              Of things that are past;

                      The presentation of things to come;

                              Thy name be glorified

                              For evermore.

                              O miracle

                                     Of divine goodness!

                      O fire! O flame of zeal, and love, and joy!

               Ev’n for our earthly bodies, hast thou created all things.

                                                 { visible

               All things    { material

                                                 { sensible




               Bodies celestial,

               Bodies terrestrial,

               The four elements,

               Volatile spirits,

       Trees, herbs, and flowers,

               The influences of heaven,

       Clouds, vapors, wind,

               Dew, rain, hail and snow,

       Light and darkness, night and day,

               The seasons of the year.

Springs, rivers, fountains, oceans,

       Gold, silver, and precious stones.

               Corn, wine, and oil,

       The sun, moon, and stars,

               Cities, nations, kingdoms.

And the bodies of men, the greatest treasures of all,

               For each other.

What then, O Lord, hast thou intended for our

Souls, who givest to our bodies such glorious things!

Thomas Traherne 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

A Word of Hope from CH Spurgeon

"You may be in Egyptian darkness, and you may wonder why such a horror chills your marrow; but you may be altogether in the pursuit of your calling, and be left to the Spirit in a position of sympathy with desponding minds (CH Spurgeon; An All Round Ministry, 221-222).

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Oyster from Below the Deck

The Oyster from Below the Deck

Approaching land, dark blue waters
Transformed steadily to clear teal
The boat anchored, so I dove down
And ascended with something real:
A tightly shut Oyster I held
In my dripping, salt-wrinkled hands
Grey and modest it did appear
Next to bright Polynesian lands
This Mollusk I dared not open
Though desired to desperately
To hold what lay tucked deep inside
And to cherish its mystery:
The rarity of its Black Pearl
Purer than bricks of refined gold
More replicated than love songs
Humbler than the crowned kings of old
Truer than strict grammar lessons
Stronger than a diamond's heartbeat
More simple than sweet melodies
And rounder than these blushing cheeks

And most mysteriously: a
Thirst for Water not even the
Ocean could quench; a depth-hunger
Satiated only by Truth

So closed, the oyster would remain
Back to the reef it did belong
With brilliant clams, not with me
Keeping it would have felt so wrong
Me, the owner of a dented
Treasure chest locked and without key
Understood well, and honestly
My heart's not at all worn on sleeve
So from damp fingers the oyster
Slid, and I learned not easily
That our relationship was not
Mutual - it needed not me
And selfishly, it hurts to think
Of another's longing stare to
Get even a glimpse of the pearl
I've know all along to be there
But I guess that's where surrender
Begins - hands open from the start
Willing to let go once you hear
The Captain say it's time to part

Still, I dream of wearing this rare
Black Pearl safely around my neck
On the land, I will remember
The oyster from below the deck

Kariana Reyes

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Big Bear Lake Writing Retreat

Last month, my friend Shannon and I decided to create our own writing retreat to focus on some individual projects we are working on. We booked an adorable cabin up in Big Bear Lake, CA, and wrote and read until we were both restless. When that happened, we'd hike, explore The Village, and go for tea or coffee (the old soul and crafter in me went to a few lovely quilt shops as well).  Once we were refueled, it was back to writing and reading!

We both wanted to be intentional about writing, but also had individual goals and times of day we write best, so our schedule was not strict but rather flexible. I was typically found wide awake at 6:30 am outside with a journal and mug of hot tea, accompanied only by chipmunks and blue birds, whereas my friend would still be full of ideas at 11:00 pm (when inspiration came to me only in my dreams!).

I think it's safe to say we would both recommend personalized, flexible writing retreats for anyone desiring some focused, intentional writing time away. Nature worked for us, although I know others could be just as productive out in a city.

(You can read Shannon's account of our retreat on her blog, Isle of Books, where she has also written some great book reviews, some having come from our bimonthly book club).

Friday, August 28, 2015

Xenophyophore-like Affection

Xenophyophore-like Affection

Below brain coral and turquoise

                                               Below snapper schooling

Below buoyant whales in

                                                Below monstrous teeth and

Affection for you in

                                                Like xenophyophores dancing
                                                Through trench sediments

 Kariana Reyes 

Word Vanity (Until Love Came)

Word Vanity (Until Love Came)

Grieving Heart sent
"Positive thoughts"
That never did

Hoped to receive
Transferred "good thoughts"
But pain would not

"Kept thoughts" tucked warm
Inside of minds
(Friends tried)

Grieving Heart found
Still wanting, but
Love understood
The ride

Offered more than
Empty words, Love
Jesus wept right

Now: Hopeful Heart
Full of joy to
Weep with others
Who cry

Kariana Reyes

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Love (III) by George Herbert

 Love (III)

LOVE bade me welcome; yet my soul drew back, 
   Guilty of dust and sin. 
But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack 
   From my first entrance in, 
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning 
   If I lack'd anything. 

'A guest,' I answer'd, 'worthy to be here:' 
   Love said, 'You shall be he.' 
'I, the unkind, ungrateful? Ah, my dear, 
   I cannot look on Thee.' 
Love took my hand and smiling did reply, 
   'Who made the eyes but I?' 

'Truth, Lord; but I have marr'd them: let my shame 
   Go where it doth deserve.' 
'And know you not,' says Love, 'Who bore the blame?' 
   'My dear, then I will serve.' 
'You must sit down,' says Love, 'and taste my meat.' 
   So I did sit and eat. 

George Herbert

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Wake

The Wake

Sitting, listening to the supplications of
Mourning Filipinos I knew by resemblance
Repetitiously murmuring soft prayers
While moving fingers along
Dark-beaded rosaries
I hid
Between the ironed suits and black dresses of titas and titos
And several rows behind
My father
And his
Daughter, who knew not yet my
Familiarity; that our sweet lola
Held the key to

I waited
Hoping that no one would take offense to
Prayers much simpler than their own

Kariana Reyes

The Red Wheelbarrow by William Carlos Williams

The Red Wheelbarrow
so much depends


a red wheel


glazed with rain


besides the white 


William Carlos Williams

Monday, August 24, 2015

Potter Know Me

Potter Know Me

Potter know me
Potter mold me
Potter design me and make me
Solid and new
Potter push me
Potter flame me
Potter fracture me and make me
Set together too
Potter spin me
Potter glaze me
Potter paint me and make me
Show off 

Potter the Artist, envisioning flowers
Feed me with soil; quench me with water

Kariana Reyes

Saturday, August 1, 2015

As the Ruin Falls by C.S. Lewis

As the Ruin Falls

All this is flashy rhetoric about loving you.
I never had a selfless thought since I was born.
I am mercenary and self-seeking through and through:
I want God, you, all friends, merely to serve my turn.

Peace, re-assurance, pleasure, are the goals I seek,
I cannot crawl one inch outside my proper skin:
I talk of love —a scholar's parrot may talk Greek—
But, self-imprisoned, always end where I begin.

Only that now you have taught me (but how late) my lack.
I see the chasm. And everything you are was making
My heart into a bridge by which I might get back
From exile, and grow man. And now the bridge is breaking.

For this I bless you as the ruin falls. The pains
You give me are more precious than all other gains.

C.S. Lewis

Friday, April 10, 2015

Unsealed Envelope

Unsealed Envelope

four letter word
his silence speaks
loudly what's best

still, small voice
I know the rest

Kariana Reyes

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

For the Likewise Distracted: When Our Eyes are Fixed on Jesus

It doesn't take someone close to me to realize how easily distracted I am.

I'm one of those people who could be in the middle of a heartfelt, profound conversation, and yet my mind would still somehow manage to flutter away to another far away land, leaving the one I'm speaking with confused and offended. It’s embarrassing, really, and, I imagine, quite frustrating for my companions. My heart is willing to focus here - to be in the “now” with the ones I’m with - but my mind somehow takes its wings and flies speedily and effortlessly to another destination.

Until recently, I had never noticed the degree to which distractions hold me back from growing in my walk with God. While meditating on Hebrews 12:2, “…fixing your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith,” God has been emphasizing the importance of this act of looking, and not looking away. I hear whispering reminders to my distracted spirit: fix your eyes on Jesus, fix your eyes on Jesus, fix your eyes on Jesus. Focus, Kariana.

He knows the truth.

How quickly I fix my eyes on fear, only seconds after recalling His faithfulness
How quickly I fix my eyes on anxiety, minutes after His word speaks comfort
How quickly I fix my eyes on insecurity, while, mid-conversation, He is telling me how madly in-love He is with me, has accepted me, created me wonderfully, and clothed me with more than I’ll ever need!

How quickly I fix my eyes on doubt, on discouragement, on worldly wisdom, on shame, on pride, on rejection, on burdens, on criticism, on shortcomings, on loss, on gain, on the past, on the future, on failures, on successes, on, even good gifts and blessings of the Kingdom, before fixing my eyes upon my beautiful Jesus!

I am terribly, easily, wretchedly distracted! These fluttering wings of my mind and heart need desperately to be clipped.

And something is telling me I am not alone in this.

Focus, focus, focus on Him.

If you too find yourself looking away, let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, as we “cast down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). The enemy works very hard to take the bride’s eyes away from the Bridegroom's.

Do you know Jesus? Have you focused your attention on Him? If so, you know that when your eyes are fixed on Jesus, you will see Him loving you before you loved Him, dying on the cross for you. You will see Him answering the door, when you knock. You will see Him attentively listening to even your feeblest prayers. You will see Him laying His hands on you, willing to heal you, heart and soul. You will see His compassion for those poor in material, and in spirit. You will see Him gladly eating with you and other sinners. You will see Him cleansing those same sinners, filling you/them with the same powerful Spirit that raised Him from the dead, bringing life to your mortal body (Romans 8:11). You will see Him, the humblest King,  carrying your burdens. You will see Him patiently praying to the Father on your behalf. You will see Him at the right hand of the Father, with eyes blazing like fire, majestically adorned with crowns of Heavenly jewels.

Though we often fix our eyes distractedly elsewhere, when our eyes are fixed on Jesus, we will see Him, full of mercy, sitting by our side at the well, offering living water that becomes “a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life,” so that we will never thirst again (John 4: 13-14).

Fix your eyes on Jesus. Focus!