It was that time of year again. The time to pledge, to pledge to the master laird, the landowner and the castle’s protector- Finn McIntosh. He, too, was one of the clan of McIntosh but his family was of McLure. Year after year had passed since his declared manhood at age 10, which was also the year of his first pledge. It was the year his father had perished. He’d come to castle McIntosh for protection and to learn. To learn the art of making a living, to also learn the art of making war. He’d pledged his fealty that year along with 3 others. His cousins. All McIntosh. All strong. All of one family, one people.

Out of loyalty he’d pledged. Out of devotion he’d taken the oath. Year after year he’d grown, herded the cattle, milked the cows, brushed the hoses, and fought. They’d trained in fighting everyday. Until each man, young and old felt their muscles tired enough to fall off the bone. He’d trained for battles yet to come… and then they pledged. He never understood why though. Why the need to pledge each year? He’d devoted himself body, mind, and heart to his clan, his kinfolk, his uncle the kind hearted master laird. He, Adair McLure, never considered going back on his pledge.

But this year, his 21st year, was different. In the span of less than one year he’d grown to hate. He’d grown to despise the name McIntosh. He despised the blood in his own veins and it ran cold. Ice cold. He’d grown dark inside himself, too dark to even look his master in the eye. Now he knew. He knew that one year made all the difference. Hell, just one day could change everything. A singular had done that for him. It was the day his father returned from the dead.


It had been the first day of the Hunt on the first of october. For one month the McIntosh clan hunted on their vast lands. 47 men from all across the country. Young and old. They spent each day from sunup to sundown out in the forest. The man with the largest prize, the trickiest kill would win the gold. A lump sum from the laird, but more importantly was the bragging rights. A year’s worth of bragging rights. Adair had arrived home to the annex cottage he singly inhabited on the outskirts of the castle. He arrived near twilight, covered in dirt, in blood, in grass. He was still smiling over his cousin’s joke as a momentary shadow passed the reflection of his mirror. He looked back but saw nothing.

“Is anyone there?” He called out the open window that reflected the day’s last light. He was met by no answer, so he grabbed his small axe as he headed toward the window. “I saw you. I know someone is there.” He called out fully expecting to see his McIntosh cousins come out laughing at his expense. For a moment nothing moved and then he heard it, a deep, radiating, yet familiar voice called out to him.

“You’ve so grown up, Adair, my son.” A tall strapping figure with a tangled beard came into full view of the open window. It was warm and night was setting in, the crickets chirping softly, but all feeling had gone out from Adair’s body.

“What sorcery is this? Who are you demon spirit?” He spat out barely understanding what his eyes were seeing. “My father has been dead some two decades.”

“Or perhaps that’s what the laird, my brother-in-law, wanted you to think.”

Adair tried to convince himself this was a moment of hallucination, a mere reflection after an exhausting day of Hunts, but there was no way to deceive what was truly before his eyes.

His father continued, “After all, I was presumed dead that very same day you were celebrated a man, or have you forgotten me already?”

It was those last 5 words that did the trick. After every long excursion his father had made when he was young, he always returned home and asked ‘have you forgotten me already?’. To which the young Adair would shout ‘No, what have you brought me da?” It was as if something inside his head rattled itself into place and he moved forward. “D…Da !” Adair breathed out. He ran towards the window and grabbed his father around the neck, the wall and sill between them.

That had been some four months passed. Four months he had been brooding, keeping in the anger, the murderous rage that was birthed the day he saw his father’s face in the window before his cottage. Now he had but 1 month to go until he had to make his pledge again. The hustle and bustle of the event no longer held sway over him. He no longer looked forward to it when all the clansmen came and pledged.

Adair knew either he had to flee the castle or make his pledge. Which he would choose only God Almighty knew. Everything had shattered within him that day. He could not understand how a brother could be out for the blood of his own kin, the husband of his sister. He could not understand how such malice and evil could be within a man to take in a boy only out of greed, to try and steal his land. If the laird thought McLure lands would ever be held by McIntosh then he was mistaken. Adair would be dead before that, dead well before.

And so the month passed into oblivion and Adiar found himself before the laird’s seat in line to pledge. Yes. He would pledge. He would pledge with as much venom and malice as was given him when his father had been taken from him unnecessarily. In time, though he reveled in thoughts to level the laird’s head with his sword.


A Time To Pledge

“The world behind me, the cross before me;
the world behind me, the cross before me;
the world behind me, the cross behind me,
No turning back, no turning back.”


So the question at hand may be why did I go to Haiti on for 6 days? The answer to which is: to defend the orphan. Some may reason that nothing of value can truly happen in 6 days. My arrival won’t make any lasting change happen. Maybe not. Except it did. I’m changed forever beyond those 6 mere days that don’t really hold a candle on the grand scheme of my life. 

I stated in my last post that a song arose on this trip to undo me. I cried over it for days. (See my previous post to read about it.) Haiti is the poorest 3rd world nation in the Western hemisphere. In fact it was only a 2 and a half hour plane ride to get there from Miami International Airport. Its heartbreaking to know and see a place so close by, so beautiful, that is so far removed from the kind of life we know in the USA. 

Yet, despite Haiti’s poverty and shanty town appearance, it’s a bright and cheerful place. The buildings are painted bright colors. The people smile and wave. Neighbors help each other. Community spirit is large and wide despite 98 percent of people not having running water or electricity or any real modern conveniences, like toilet paper.


So how did this whole orphan business come about? Two years ago, as the story goes, a simple pastor named Emil(above), put together a kids club at his church for the children in town, Maissade. He discovered that quite a few of them were orphaned from some natural disasters that had ravaged Haiti. Many of the kids had no home, no consistent meals. They were dirty and injured and alone in the wide world.


Pastor Emil’s church had a small house on property that was used to house pastors and missionaries that passed through and so he put the 40 orphans in the little house. Pastor Emil didn’t have much, but what he had, he gave. He knew of an orphanage in the town of Gonaieves, some 6 hours away by car and he reached out for help, seeing how he’d gathered 40 kids he needed help to feed and house them. Coreluv, an amazing organization that is about defending the Orphan, came on board to help feed them. Though, pastor Emil didn’t know how much Coreluv would be able to help, he was determined to provide for the kids in his town. Coreluv, unable to take the kids at the time, began providing financially to help care for the 40’s needs.


Being an excellent negotiator Pastor Emil was able to get food at a reduced cost and from the extra money he saved, he was able to buy some land and wanted to build an orphanage. My church Westover Hills Assembly of God had just joined Coreluv in their mission and when they heard pastor Emil’s heart and determination they partnered with him to build a home for the 40 at Maissade.


What is amazing  is that Pastor Emil had once also decided to follow Jesus and God led him down this path. The path to 40 kid’s hearts. I don’t know his story. I don’t know what made him choose Jesus over Voodoo or atheism or any thing else. But it occurred to me that since that day he decided for Jesus, he could not turn back and that led him down the path of being used by God to provide for 40 orphaned children. And even if the world was against him, he fixed his gaze on the cross before him and went forward toward the goal. He would walk the line, even if he had no money to care for the 40, even if he had little space, even if some may have thought he was crazy. And because of his obedience to God, he was able to save 40 kids. To give them a future and a hope. Hope of Jesus, hope for eternal life.


Not only that, but God used the obedience of one man to bring to knowledge the beauty, the lives, the destinies of 40 kids. He brought them into my life. He brought them into the lives of all the other 3 or 4 teams that have gone through Maissade in the last 2 years. These beautiful children with hearts filled to the brim with joy and love, who despite having nothing, least of all parents run around open space giggling, holding out pudgy hands for hugs, and smiling like they own a goldmine. God made them known to us, to me. Someone whose life is so far removed from that little country town in the Caribbean, who would have never know the beauties of that land called Haiti and its people, who never would have laughed driving down unpaved roads as naked kids from villages would run up waving and shouting “Blah…” meaning white or foreigner, jumping up and down as if the Royals had invaded town. God brought me there to intersect with those lives, that land. 


That’s what God offers all of us. He offers us each a chance to be His hands and feet in a world whose hearts are starved of love, of hope. He has plans for us. Not just a plan. But plans. That means despite all the opportunities we’ve missed, we’ve been blind to, we’ve been to afraid to step into, God still has a back-up plan to use. He has a back-up for the back-up and so on. He will never give up on calling us to Himself. Never giving up in allowing us o be a part of His work, His mind boggling plan that we only see one small puzzle piece of, but when it comes together is a masterpiece of vast proportions.

Let us decide. Let us be used. Let us follow with Jesus before us and everything else behind us…


History: Haiti pt.2


When your in the battle, in the battle,

In the raging battles of life

And there seems no end in sight

No rhyme or reason to the madness

The mad, mad battle that just keeps on.

It just rages.


Inside. Outside. It goes on.

It rages without mercy,

Without compassion, with no hope.

It just continues on

Killing as it goes unending

Devouring you in its wake.


It swallows you whole, and alone you will die,

you’ll be all consumed, but for those

ally or foe who stand

and stand firm in the battles of life.

Those who have learned firmness

To stand erect and stand strong and deep.


They will stand strong, strong in your battle.

They stand on your behalf.

On landslides and avalanches

On torrential thundering waters

They stand and remain unmoved

Solid in their mounted states,


Solid, as poles dug in the ground, set deep

Deep enough that they cannot be upturned

Not in hurricane winds

Not against tidal waves.

They remain and you remain, clinging

Clinging to life in their deep-set strength.


In their iron clad will, unbendable

Unyielding strength, they remain

Erect, firm, unmoved

And you with them,

Though perhaps slightly more

More battered, more bruised, diminished.


Yet, none- the- less alive

Alive in your strife, in your pain

Alive in your raging fears.

But still a survivor of that which

Is unsurvivable, that which

Kills, destroys, leeches, diminishes you.


And one day you too will learn, learn how

You will learn how to dig deep,

Spread deep roots that broaden

Into earth’s center and remain.

You too shall grow erect, tall-

Surmountable in your own unmovable state.


You will learn the art of standing

And standing firm, firm in your battles.

In your own raging waters and avalanches,

You too will one day remain undevoured,

You too shall become like a steel pole

Bolted and bolted deep into crumbling earth.


You too shall remain unmoved, a marker,

A sign, a hope to any who can see

Who stand in the battles of their life

Soft and breakable as you once were.

And you shall be their pole,

Their firm and righteous strength.


You shall become that which

You never were, never thought to be.

So stand now in the battles of life

Clinging to the hopes that come,

And come steadily before you,

Engrained, unmoved, implanted in the earth.


Remain in them, the strong, as you would wish and

Wish deeply for one to remain in you, trust you

Clinging to that which you’ve learned

Holding on to that which you’ve weathered

Cleaving to that which you may become,

Becoming like them: strong unmovable, erect.


All in the name of the One who goes,

Goes before us all and stands,

Stands the firmest of all, erect and proud and strong.

God, in His greatness, His hope, His mercy

He goes before and paves the way

Makes provision for our lacks our wants, yet He stands.

And stands strong.

In The Battle


There is a light dawning in the darkness

A bonfire igniting in my soul

It rages through my veins

Bringing me to life.


A light that’s not dawned

In many years is coming to life

In the recesses of a dark soul,

A defeated heart, strength abides.


It’s an overflow, a whirlwind of

Raw power from the Source

It’s being poured out

It’s being gathered in me.


This desertland inside

It is coming to life.

It’s blossoming into a canopy

Where rest and fullness reside.


And I am becoming a tower

A pillar of strongholds.

So when you become weak

You can grab on and draw from me.


I will be strong enough.

I will pour out what’s been given me

I will be who I was made to be

Light in darkness so your road may be lighter.



Dawning in the Darkness

It’s 2017. A new year has begun, a fresh page in the story of our lives has come. On this first day of the year, the sun was out shining though it was pleasantly cool. Just a perfect dawning for a new year.

I couldn’t resist the urge ,so I took a drive. Windows half rolled down, music blaring- I drove through one of my most favorites local spots. It’s a tiny town nearby dubbed Gray Forest. There’s nothing gray about it, despite the name.

As I was driving at snails pace through the tiny one laned “streets” of Grey Forest, I heard the birds sweetly singing  their songs. Squirrels danced in the hollows of trees, bouncing every which way. Cars lined the driveways of each house I passed. Life was happening as usual on a Sunday afternoon.

Then it struck me. It’s a new year. But life is still going on. Life doesn’t stop. Not for us to take in its delights, not to hold still so we could mourn our losses. Time runs. Life just is. I spent a lot of time missing the “old days” this past year. I’ve wondered why I came to Texas. Why God sent me to this place where it seemed life ran fast leaving me without roots to sink into the rock solid ground. As soon as I’d plant, everything changed. I was running to try to catch up and all in unfamiliar untilled soil. And all I wanted was what I had before. Strange enough when I left Florida 5 years ago now, I was so ready. I was ready to have no semblance of what I had known until then. I was ready to traverse the path without glancing back. Yet here I am, yearning for those times that no longer exist. Just like this tiny town. Life was speeding by and I was trying to hold it still.

Houses were being built, hope of future kindling under their wings. Some were selling, their signs desperately displayed out front begging for a taker, wanting a new beginning elsewhere.

Life. As plain and simple as it could be, yet filled to the brim with beauty. The beauty God has put in it. He’s gifted us a life. Only one. We can’t go back and do it again. So let’s look forward to making the rest of it what we desire.

This one is mine and I have discovered that Texas is my NARNIA, but more on that in part 2 of this post due on Sunday. Here are some pics from my drive…

Texas is my Narnia part 1

You go about your life; the plain, the ordinary until a moment where your existence collides with the words ‘abdominal mass’ and you begin to wonder.

You wonder whose life you are living in this moment of disbelief. You wonder how this can happen at 28 years old and a week and what it can mean. You wonder if those two words will determine whether you will ever be married. You wonder how having children may escape you despite loving the little humans as they walk by, hand in hand with their look-a-like parents. You wonder if there will ever be any mini-you.You wonder what your own kids could look like and weep at the uncertainty of their existence. You begin to feel utterly alone in your waiting existence.

pexels-photo-7773Your first thought is cancer. That despicable C word that has left a bad taste in your mouth. Already this year it’s claimed your mother’s breasts, her womanhood, and you wonder what it could claim from you.

You walk around the city, a zombie in human clothing and wonder some more. You wonder about your faith and call everything you’ve ever known into question. You walk about, feeling queasy and allow ten thousand scenarios play through your mind. You ask yourself “Why is it that God wants to hurt me? Why does He want to utterly destroy those I love?” despite not believing these things in your head. But between the head and heart is a good 12 inches. Its a vast conglomeration of mazes by which what you know has to travel to what you feel and so you wonder if your faith ever really was true to you or just a lie you comforted yourself in believing. You wonder what happened to the good God you once knew. You wonder if He is as good as you once thought, then why could you possibly be going through this?

You wonder and you ponder and churn on the inside like a factory burning coals day and night. And yet, amid the vast despair of not knowing, there is an odd sense of calmness, a deep set peace. A panic-less presence that somehow invades in the madness and you know. You know its God. Somehow, you know on the inside no matter the outcome, it will be okay. Yet, there are about a hundred thousands doubts between then and now. You go back and forth between trust and vomiting ten thousand times as you wait to hear an outcome.

img_2331Some weeks and a few thousand dollars later you discover the “mass”is a benign cyst. It’s not the C-word, though a c-word for sure. You begin to eat and taste food again and sleep at night. Yet, there is no going back. There is no gong back to the carefree person you were before this fire, this breach against your own person. It’s Like a betrayal. A betrayal against yourself that you have no control over.

Yet, despite the thousand lives you’ve lived in 3 weeks, you find that truly you do not want to be who you were before. You do not want to go back because despite the utter detestability of the situation, you’ve learned so much about yourself, about your faith, and even about God. And you begin to wonder again. You wonder how it is that He brought certain people into your life just recently and just in time to carry you over this threshold of despair. You wonder if He knew that you would need those powerhouse people  and put them in your path on purpose. All of a sudden, the ‘chance meetings’ are not so chanced and that gives everything a whole new meaning. You are thus reminded of the all-powerful God, who watches closely your existence not from afar and provides for all your needs ahead of time. And you begin to wonder again.

You wonder why He is the One who chose you since the beginning of time to be here, to live in the now, and made a path before your feet even when there was none. He is the God of miracles, the God who sees you despite your meagerness in the vast expanseless universe.

He is the one who carves a way out of stone and brings dead things to life. So on this journey called life I will put my hand in his and walk with Daddy, because He is a good good father who does not destroy those He holds dear. He gives us the strength to walk through the fire when it is lapping at our feet, even when it’s hard, even when we think we can’t survive, He makes a way. So I will make it a point to trust where I can’t see and live believing the best is yet to come. img_2422


Mass Wonderings, The Best is Yet to Come…

“She would now and forevermore  be known as Vandara, the Valor of Valerian, the Chosen.”


It was still dark when Vandara awoke, though dawn was near bloom. She tossed aside her covers and dressed. A deep longing was beginning in her chest, a draw to go into the wood and breath in its natural scents. It was as if she was being called into the wide wood, drawn by a force greater than herself.

Vandara dressed in layers, as the spring mornings were indeed still quite cool. She threw open the cabin door where she was staying and headed into the forest not a hundred feet from the little village.

The world was becoming lighter, less gray, and filled with writhing colors in every shade. She pressed on into the woods, not fearing. There was no danger for her here for she was the Chosen. She just did not yet know it.

The tall Cedarpencil trees made the day murky and mysterious but she continued on, careful not to trip over the monstrous tree roots braided into the earth.

After some time she reached a valley clearing and froze at the tree line. There he was. Vast and magnificent- the king of the wood, the Great White Lion. He sat perched on a large boulder watching the sun arise. His rich mane hung down in vast clumps about his thick muscular neck, white and colorless. He sat relaxed, as if without a care in the world, watching bees and gossamers flutter to and fro about him.

pexels-photo-68421Everything was coming alive in the meadow. Butterflies nested in clumps of 5 and 6, pretending as to be flowers soaking in the first rays. Some sweetly fluttered magically about, their wings buzzing mid-air. Bees were humming, their work song commencing with the dawn.

Sleepy-eyed squirrels were just arousing, their snouts salivating over a nutty morsel. They greedily rubbed their faces with tiny hands, greeting the day with squeals of delight.

Birds sang their morning song, in chorus, as they flew in twos around the treetops. They tweeted and whistled. They sang to and fro like chimes of different tones.

By now the sun had kissed the tops of the hills sounding the valley and light was abundantly streaming in, seeping through the forest and bathing life in it light.

With its arrival the mushrooms, some hanging mi-air off of tree branches began to uncoil and regain their shape. It was as if the world hid and changed in the night only to reaffirm its reality with the coming of the light as if light was some magical envoy.

Vandara was still at the tree line, gazing down upon all the life in bloom before her. She sighed in pleasure breathed in the magical beauty. And then it happened.

The Lion turned his gaze, as if knowing she was there and looked directly at her. He stared into her eyes as the breath left her lips. She froze, fear creeping in for the first time, but it was not so much a dread as it was a great awe, an expectation of what was about to unfold.

The Great Lion stood, but did not leave his place. He awaited her approach. She took courage and fell forward into step. It was as if a force outside herself was pulling her toward him. He awaited, tame and calm, still gazing at her as she came to him.

She was close enough, now that she cold see his eyes were a clear liquid blue. She came to a halt feet in front of him and awed at his beauty, the muscle in his limbs- the inhuman strength in his body.

He was strength, he was courage. He was the epitome of beauty, yet wild and untamed. She gazed still into his eyes and reached a gentle hand toward him. He bent his head slowly and she brushed her fingers through his fur. She took in a deep breath, realizing there may have never before been one her touch the Great White Cat.

His eyes were deep, silent gems aglow in the day’s light. He gazed at her intently, bearing a hole into her soul. He saw her, she knew. He saw every part of her, every cranny of her soul and relished it. He relished in who she was. Loved her purely for herself.

pexels-photo-29534He took a step back and she drew back her hand. He bowed his head, until his nose almost touched the ground. She froze. Panic began to set in. She did not understand what he was doing, but she knew it was a blessing of sorts. He was choosing her.

Though, she had been Chosen since the day of her birth without knowing it, it was another matter entirely for the Great Lion, the purest, most powerful creature in all the known lands, to bless her and make her Choosing public before all the creatures.

And nothing would ever again be the same. She would now and forevermore be known as Vandara, the Valor of Valerian, the Chosen.


Valor of the Chosen

I recently read this really amazing rendition of a moonlit beach experience by fellow blogger TheGhostWriter. It’s called The Dance of Salt and Glass and ascribes a moonlit beach to

“a rally between the sea salt beneath, and the ocean glass above, tangled in competition for whom attracted a brighter glow from the hovering orb of moonlight which unknowingly charmed the tides.”

It was a majestic and ethereal piece and it inspired this companion. No this is not an anti-piece campaign. It’s more of showing the other side of a coin. The marvels of a day lit beach. If you want to read the original the link is below.


Some say that the renditions of moonlight on a wide-open beach are like a dance between salt and glass, salt in the sand and water as liquid glass.

None can counterpoise the beauty of a moon lit beach. Nothing can be as mysterious and spiritually awakening as seeking the miracle of such a sight.

Yet, there is also a spectacular continence in the rage of the Sun’s face over the deep waters that sparkle and reflect its glory, and in the shadows of the Blazing Giant of the sky, there pure invisible force is made tangible wave by wave in the twinkling masses of liquid glass.

There is no color without light, hence the gradual gradient of blues exists only under the vast color spectrum concentrated in the sky’s Giant, the radiance of raw power, which is a fleeting idea under the tides. It flees with the pull and tug of the sky giants- Sun and Moon.

I for one, can’t seem to want to trade in the beauty of  warm sun infested shores for the cool moonlit one. There is too much beauty and wonder to miss.

The miracle of earth meeting the great deep, green meeting aquamarine; clear liquid force churning the grains underfoot to reveal treasures of conches and hermits alike; the blazing vastness of color-filled creatures running frantically to the rhythm of their life-their own life unattached to anyone else’s beat, to and fro in the various reefs they call home; each creature as different and unique as the next- these things all give rise to a beauty that night cannot offer. Knowledge that is lost in the darkness.

For when the dance of salt crystals and liquid glass commence that is when the vast beauties of color, of all activity ceases. Even if they never do cease, the blackness cannot reveal to us, the people of flesh and bone, the mysteries and intricacies of the aquamarine below.What we see even under the blazing giant is but a fraction of the greatness contained by the geosphere below.

It is a complex system of rhythm, an orchestra of genius proportions. One in which each and every color, every creature, every sound has a place, has a role, has a part of the song that is soundlessly sung into eternity. Every reflection, nuance, and note sings the greatness of the master who, by a wave of the wand he bears, creates all such intricacies -some that we as limited humans have not yet fathomed.


The Orchestra of Color, Liquid, and Light


Don’t think the stand in role, the one without lines, in a play  makes no difference. In reality, it’s the smaller roles that have the greatest freedoms, the grandest room for you to pour in your own vision and heart. So use them. Use the small roles and one day you will find your role is front and center and this time you will be ready to take on all that such pressure puts on you because you have worked all the roles beneath you and now you are the one to hold the show together.

You are the one whose words or simple hug, will make all the difference standing in a life and death situation. Those will come.  Just don’t rush the journey. What you gather along the way is crucial. It is in the small roles that you have room to make your mistakes, learn your own lessons, and all without the pressure of front and center. All without feeling like you will cave under what you have to uphold.

So take your small role. Pour your soul into it and watch it became what you always wanted it to be because others will notice.


Small Significant Roles


Friends. A chosen consortment of family. They are the ones we draw strength from, whose arms encircle us and keep away the raging monsters of life. Friend. A simple word. A meaning beyond words. A power house for the heart. Today, I salut you my dear friends, you who have walked with me, chosen to stand by me, who love me unconditionally despite our distance or differences. I carry you in my heart. I carry you always. You are loved. You are prayed over. You are amazing! Above all, you are cherished!!!

To Conjoin our Hearts…