Lofty Green

Henry Cowel 2


We’re not ready to leave this littoral haven just yet.

On and on we walk,

Taking a left at every fork in the trail

Since a right would take us home.

Higher into the colorful clerestory we climb.

Our senses, tightly-woven nets

Capturing the fragrant particles of sea air

That filter through the lofty green rafters overhead.


Psalm 42



July 2015


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Hope Hangs on You

We tend to believe that hope and despair

Sit on the far ends of a spacious spectrum.

But, sometimes the distance between the two

Is razor thin.

Much depends upon circumstance.

I like the days

With a fat padding of ease,

Where I march about celebrating

The favorable conditions.

I don’t so much like the thin days,

The slim-pickins days

Where I’m driven to my knees

In unconditional dependence.

But it’s the thin days,

The narrow spaces,

That press me

Into your presence.

My inability to meet a need

Awakens sensibilities

That lie dormant

When everything falls in place.

You implore us to trust You,

No doubt about that

And much in this world

Makes that a stretch.

But it has been said

You will finish what you start,

So hope hangs on you

Not on me.

Philippians 1:6


February 2016

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Grace and Gratefulness

We set the bar so high

For happiness

Defining prosperity

In the narrowest of terms

Making contentment wait

Just one more prize

Just one more answered prayer



Break through our habit-hardened hearts

To see the way You see, Creator-God

Teach us to seek the way You seek, Patient Savior

Compel us serve the way You serve, Incarnate One


May another’s joy become our prize

Another’s hope become our prayer

May Your Presence be our place of

Great Contentment

And Your grace our greatest gift



September 2015

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. ‘Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”  2 Corinthians 12:9


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Trails and Ducks

Show me your ways, LORD, teach me Your paths.

Psalm 25

Adventures begin with a sense of destination, right?  There is usually some place or feature you’ve heard about that you want to experience- that’s what gets you up and on the trail.  You find the trailhead, lace up your boots, and then you hike.  You hike for hours (me) or even days (younger people).

So, while the destination is the goal, the journey lies along the trail.  And the day will definitely go awry if you lose the trail.  Don’t do that.  Hiking is demanding enough as it is.



I like trails.  I take a lot of pictures of them. To me, they symbolize journeys. Based on the Bible, I think Jesus cares a lot about journeys and we know He has invited us to follow Him. If that’s not a journey, I don’t know what is.



The thing is, I wish Jesus would only use trails that are super easy to read.  “You can’t miss it, it’s ground 12 inches into the decomposed granite and bordered by meadow grass and wildflowers”- trails that seem like they were etched into creation on Day Three, so obviously do they wind through their environment. They’re predictable – you can see them unfolding a good thirty yards in front of you at all times.

But if you’ve hiked much (or followed Jesus for very long), you know that’s not how journeys work. Not all stretches of the trail are clearly delineated.

For example, sometimes the ground you have to cover to reach your destination is one big slab of granite – it’s too rock-hard to accommodate the indentation of a path. And so, trail builders mark the way with little rock  cairns, “ducks”, to keep you from getting lost.



I’m so glad that the people who know the way took the time to find the rocks and make the piles. They invested time and energy to help hikers complete the journey, and I appreciate that.

And, not only do the ducks help me from making the 11:00 local news because I got lost in the wilderness, they also remind me that when crossing terrain that makes navigation difficult, it makes perfect sense that we should look for, find, and follow the markers that keep us moving in the right direction.  They’ll be there- but we may have to look hard.

It’s an adventure, after all.

kpeterson  8/15

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Praise and Petitions

Lord God,

Thank you for your invitation.

Thank you that we need not be


Nor powerful,

Nor all put together

To be included.


Give us faith to trust you

In the places where we do not see your hand,

At least not yet.


Swallow up our weakness in your grace

That your power may be unleashed

To love this weary world through us.


Free us from our fears

That we will not have enough,

That we will not be enough.

Let us rest in the security of You.


You alone are good and wise.

You alone deserve the honor

We heap on a thousand worthless things.

Teach us how to lay down our lives

And pick up our cross,

That our lives may have the measure of consequence

You’ve designed and you desire.


We breathe a quiet prayer of thanks

For a Savior whose mercy runs so deep

He would not let us go

Without a fight,

Who braved the fire of our rebellion

And came out the other side,

Wounded but Victorious,

With any and all who would have Him

Safe and sound within His arms.


We sing and spin in a joyful dance

That we are loved so recklessly,

So completely.

May we have the courage

And conviction, Father God,

To love with such abandon.





November 2014

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