Friday, December 7, 2012


Pen stands astute ready to conduct symphony of dot and tittle,
and we all go marching into her soft warmth.

Peace settles into her nest,
life is pronounced.

All of my being displaced in the barrel of this object,
and there my relationship with You rests and is made known.

Sharp metal pressing character into tree flesh once more,
pointing toward that other Holy imprint of time and its great divide.

There in the suspended sacrament of B.C. and A.D.
the Word clings to pulp and the blood flows.

It echoes still- as red ink pours onto page.
Confusion leaves, focus comes and faith is strewn.

                                                      ~Delissa Jo Payne

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Crush



broken world with your face smashed up to the glass,

tears rolling down.

I see you and am with you in expectant hope.

I care.

I love you.

I'm coming for you.

                          ~ DJP

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Who Are You, O Great Mountain?

The following truth from ancient scribe, Zechariah, has been synonymous with EVE, a lively sisterhood of women I lead in Oklahoma City, for many years.

"Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit," says the Lord of Hosts.

Only recently, have I noticed the next line of the promise from the Lord's own mouth.

"WHO ARE YOU, O great mountain*?
Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain!
And he shall bring forth the capstone with shouts of Grace, grace to it!"

*The great mountain was a figurative reference to the great obstacles the people of Israel faced in rebuilding the temple

Christianity not being for the squeamish is taking on new meaning as of late.  An encouraging word from my pastor..."Delissa, you're already messy, there's no point in turning back now.  Just keep getting messier."

Now there's a DIRTY little secret for all Christians.  What great and timely wisdom!  The cost of discipleship is great and rips every shred of flesh straight through to the marrow of Spirit.  And it doesn't look "pretty" by our standards, but I believe it is a glorious sight to behold by the Father of Lights.

PS  WHO ARE YOU?  My favorite line in scripture right now.  :))

Friday, November 30, 2012

Thank, God!

I freakin' luv this man! Shaking things up a bit. We've got a renegade on our hands. A remnant of bygones!! 

Even though someone died, this makes me giggle. Hurry! Someone sentence me to a looney bin or a gathering of atheists for 10 yrs! I'll do it!!

SALT LAKE CITY — A district judge in Oklahoma has generated new controversy by sentencing a teenager to 10 years of church attendance, even though the judge admits it's not constitutional.
Religion News Services reports Judge Mike Norman gave Tyler Alred, 17, a 10-year deferred sentence for DUI manslaughter. Alred was driving a pickup truck that crashed and killed a passenger in December 2011.
In deferring the sentence, the judge not only ordered Alred to a decade of church attendance, but also required him to finish high school and welding school.
Alred's attorney and the victim's family agreed to the terms of the sentence.
The ACLU in Oklahoma calls the church requirement a "clear violation of the First Amendment."
Judge Norman, who has recommended church as part of sentencing in some past cases, admits the church attendance part of the sentence won't hold up legally but doubts either side in the case will appeal.
He says the sentence was the right thing to do.
The ACLU is considering its options, but according to RNS an individual or organization must have legal standing to challenge the constitutionality of the church attendance requirement.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

life without parole

if life itself were flowing out of me

and i was watching it pool on the floor in puddles of red

i think i would welcome that sort of surge

the grey is wearing this freedom-fighter down to a colorless nub

i need a jolt of pain or a shock of sudden glory

it's never good when imagination goes to prison without parole


I hope there are rainbow-colored cobwebs in heaven

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

entertaining angels?

I'm in the mood for strange.

Strange people passing my threshold.

Strange conversations.

Strange beauty.


Sunday, November 25, 2012


You never know around what corner it is lurking.

Waiting to grab you by the gut and wrench you into submission.

Grief is a bounty.

Full of surprises.

Whispering come closer, I understand you.

Tempting you to embrace the nothingness of sight.

Which will it be, Delissa Jo?

Friday, November 23, 2012

Waggin' My Wheel!

I'm off to find this gypsy wagon in Grandborough Fields!!
I'm going to ask them where they got their curtains and if we can play 
 a Django Reinhardt song by the campfire.
Oh, the places you'll go...with God!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Ol' Faithful

Now for the cry.

The silent warning seeps from my mind signaling my lagging body to embrace the coming wave, as I step over the threshold and shut the door on a day of these familiar tears simmering faithfully at the precipice of my lids.  How they manage to retreat in the tender moments of this day and where they go...a profound mystery.

Now what are you going to do.

My soul out in front of my flesh and bone all the day long, screaming back over the chasm, let's into the pain!  But alas, this ark needed a few more nails (or closed doors) before the flood could be released and it set for sail into the unknown.

Now I'm alone.  

Time for the soul and body to keep pace.
To marry with one another and absorb the blow.
If it may, Father, let the Spirit flow into the shattered mess, instead of escaping out.

Now we are alone.

Time to turn up the heat on those raw places and boil them to overflowing in hope something delicious and palatable will grace my plate of thanks.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Their flesh shall dissolve while they stand on their feet,
Their eyes shall dissolve in their sockets,
And their tongues shall dissolve in their mouths
                                                         ~Zechariah 14:12

PS  This is gonna be GOOD!!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

High on Prayer!

Landslide Victory!!  
Prayer gets you higher than pot! :))  
It's true.

Here are three incredibly inspiring books on the subject.  
I HIGHLY recommend investing in them.  
Still working on E.M. Bounds, 
but have read a quarter of it and the other two in the last few weeks...
I have to put them down to pray.  ;)
Obviously, the Bible is the source of all things inspiring...
studying Nehemiah's prayer life and leadership, too!!

George Muller
Delighted In God
Roger Steer

                              The Circle Maker                                     E.M. Bounds on Prayer
                                Mark Batterson                                               E.M. Bounds

PS  Eternal mysteries RULE!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


to my future daughters [in honour of Rachel Held Evans]

by Preston Yancey

[Today, thanks to the brilliant heart of our own Sarah Bessey, some of us around the web are taking time to celebrate the life and ministry of Rachel Held Evans, whom many of us have been honoured to call teacher and friend. Today, her new book releases. We wanted to throw a book launch party for her, but geography made that difficult. So from rainy Scotland to clear-skyed Portland, we're offering digital thanks. You can read other “toasts” to Rachel at JR Goudeau’s blog and add your own.]
My dear daughters,
Someday, little ones. That’s the promise your Father made while he was still living at the end of the world, casting stones into the North Sea and whispering prayers woven with midmorning lark feathers, sent flying out over the blue.
Someday. It was repeated in meter and rhyme, a refrain in the litany of a better world longed for, a world that you do not know was dreamt for you. Dreamt for you, tangle of foreign but bonded sisters, interwoven fibers of biology and circumstance, some mine by form and some mine by reception, but all mine by Child.
You did not know your Father in the seasons when he would have described himself as uncertain concerning you. You did not know him in the days when he wondered if calling had relation to hierarchy, if there were certain ways of serving the One that was not yours to take simply because of the happy accident of your birth.
Children, you did not know him in the days he would sit at his own parents’ table, legs not quite touching the floor, dangling in rhythm as he asked for the third or fourth time, Why not? You did not know that he asked this question every season, around every bend, and though there had always been an answer, he never accepted it as truth. He entertained it, acquiesced to it, but the question of honour and valour and kingdom churned still and would not leave him until he laid out all the pieces, slowly and carefully.
You shall have heard your Mother and I talking sometimes about the people who were changing the conversation of our Faith for the better when we were coming of age. You’ll have heard us mention Hans Urs von Balthasar more than once, Ellen Davis, Alison Milbank, Eleonore Strump, Henri de Lubac, NT Wright. But you’ll have heard of the others as well, the ones who wrote popular works that brought those conversations to our kitchen tables, like Lauren Winner, Wendell Berry, Madeleine L’Engle, Maggi Dawn, and so many others that we forget who is still living here and who has since gone on to that place of glory.
You’ll have heard, too, the people we were friends with in that time where words were sculpted by digital scribe, some of those beloved friends having written some of our favourite books. Books that were important. Books that are important. Books that you might not know have a lot to do with the freedom and beauty you hear whispered against your ears before you’re put to bed for the night.
But perhaps what you won’t have heard, so I need to tell you now, is that when your Father had questions and doubts, when he was so sure about being unsure, there was a collection of certain people who made him space to ask and seek.
There’s a particular woman, daughters, that you owe a certain measure of thanks to. I have to be careful in what I say, because she is the sort of woman who would not want more credit than she thinks she deserves and she’d shy away from flattery. But you should know that Rachel Held Evans, in a world that seems so far away from now, wrote a little book that made a lot of people have a lot of conversations. They weren’t always pleasant, they weren’t always gracious, but people were talking. But before that book, before all that conversation, she was the woman who answered emails from a young man trying to figure out how to reconcile the beautiful and the true and the good. She measured her responses with kindness and mercy, made enough space to challenge and enough space to comfort.
You owe her more than you know, because her voice was the form the Holy Ghost decided to take to speak to your Father’s heart. She spoke slow and patient, and He wove her words with gentle challenge, until he finally saw the rippling, crackling light in the firmament of his wondering and saw the hope of the other side.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Do you know, precious daughters, that these words were once prayed without thought for you? Do you know they were prayed in rote and haste? Do you know that now they are prayed with careful yearning, that to speak of on earth as it is in heaven is to speak of neither Jew nor Greek is to say that you are priests in your own right, servers at the same great Table?
Someday. It was the promise I made for you so very long ago. I said someday you would know that you must and shall go free, shall bear our Christ in the open fields and sing the redemption song among the wildflowers. And though she would not ask for it, though she would say that there are scores others that deserve more notice than her, I want you to know that there was a time, a place, so long ago now at the end of the world, where a woman of valour named Rachel was thinking of you, even though she had not known you, and she set words onto a page because she believed in the God who has and shall always overcome.
And when we light the candles on All Saints Day, when we sing the ancient hymns, she is near among all the others, she is not forgotten, she is not so very far away.
Your [Someday] Father

Monday, October 29, 2012

My Favorite Hymn...I knew I luved it!!

Backstory of the hymn...this woman is my she-ro!!  I think I hear her laughing all the way from future eternity.  *ting!! 

"I went for a little visit of five days," wrote Frances Havergal, explaining what prompted her to write her well-known hymn, "Take My Life and Let it Be."

"There were ten persons in the house; some were unconverted and long prayed for, some converted but not rejoicing Christians [God] gave me the prayer, 'Lord, give me all in this house.' And He just did. Before I left the house, everyone had got a blessing. The last night of my visit I was too happy to sleep and passed most of the night in renewal of my consecration, and those little couplets formed themselves and chimed in my heart one after another till they finished with "ever only, ALL FOR THEE!"

It was on this day, February 4, l874, that Frances wrote the hymn that is still sung around the world.
One of the most dedicated Christian women of the nineteenth century, Frances was the youngest child of a Church of England minister. Though she was always in frail health, she led an active life, encouraging many people to turn to Jesus and others to seek a deeper spiritual walk.

Frances had begun reading and memorizing the Bible at the age of four (eventually memorizing The Psalms, Isaiah and most of the New Testament). At seven she wrote her first poems. Several of her mature verses became hymns. In addition to "Take My Life," she wrote such favorites as "I Gave My Life for Thee," "Like a River Glorious," and "Who Is on the Lord's Side?"

Because her voice was lovely, Frances was in demand as a concert soloist. She also was a brilliant pianist and learned several modern languages as well as Greek and Hebrew. With all her education, however, Frances Havergal maintained a simple faith and confidence in her Lord. She never wrote a line of poetry without praying over it.

One of the lines of Frances Havergal's hymn says, "Take my silver and my gold; not a mite would I withhold." In 1878, four years after writing the hymn, Miss Havergal wrote a friend, The Lord has shown me another little step, and, of course, I have taken it with extreme delight. 'Take my silver and my gold' now means shipping off all my ornaments to the Church Missionary House, including a jewel cabinet that is really fit for a countess, where all will be accepted and disposed of for me...Nearly fifty articles are being packed up. I don't think I ever packed a box with such pleasure."


Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.

Take my moments and my days, 

Let them flow in endless praise.
Take my hands and let them move

At the impulse of Thy love.

Take my feet and let them be

Swift and beautiful for Thee.
Take my voice and let me sing,

Always, only for my King.

Take my lips and let them be

Filled with messages from Thee.
Take my silver and my gold,

Not a mite would I withhold.

Take my intellect and use

Every pow’r as Thou shalt choose.
Take my will and make it Thine,

It shall be no longer mine.

Take my heart, it is Thine own,

It shall be Thy royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord, I pour

At Thy feet its treasure store.

Take myself and I will be

Ever, only, all for Thee.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Talitha Cumi

Once, as I rode out into the woods for my health, in 1737, having alighted from my horse in a retired place, as my manner commonly has been, to walk for divine contemplation and prayer, I had a view that for me was extraordinary, of the glory of the Son of God, as Mediator between God and man, and his wonderful, great, full, pure and sweet grace and love, and meek and gentle condescension. This grace that appeared so calm and sweet, appeared also great above the heavens. The person of Christ appeared ineffably excellent with an excellency great enough to swallow up all thought and conception ... which continued as near as I can judge, about an hour; which kept me the greater part of the time in a flood of tears, and weeping aloud. 

I felt an ardency of soul to be, what I know not otherwise how to express, emptied and annihilated; to lie in the dust, and to be full of Christ alone;

 to love him with a holy and pure love; to trust in him; to live upon him; to serve and follow him; and to be perfectly sanctified and made pure, with a divine and heavenly purity. I have, several other times, had views very much of the same nature, and which have had the same effects.
~Jonathan Edwards 1703-1758~

Friday, October 26, 2012

Kilt Dead

Today at the Payne family residence, we have a little altar celebration going on. Yes, sheep are really being slaughtered. (not here, at the lake:)

Wiki: "Eid al-Adha, also called Feast of the Sacrifice, is an important 4-day religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide to honor the willingness of the prophet Abraham to sacrifice his young firstborn son Ishmael as an act of submission to God.

Abraham could not bear to watch his son die so he covered his eyes by a blindfold. When he cut Ishmael's throat and removed the blindfold, he was astonished to see that Ishmael was unharmed and instead, he found a dead ram which was slaughtered. Abraham had passed the test by his willingness to carry out God's command."

To my Saudi sons: May your faith be tested and you have the willingness to respond. Um Fahhad Aldawsari, UmMohammed Aldossari, Um Munahi Alotaibi, Um Mohammed Alrashdee, Um Raed Abdullah, Um T UR K Pop, Um William Alwaile, Um Fahhad Aldawsori, Um Abbad Almutiri, UmAbdullah Almasar, Um Mohammed Alyami, Um Ali al-sagoor

PS In faith, I'm also sacrificing some of my dearest possessions a.k.a. detestable idols. Thank you for sharing the altar with me. Hallelujah!!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Isn't She Delicious!

I don't even think it's really possible to be "burned by the church" nor do I think we need to be so concerned with her Reputation. 

Why? When I start entertaining these thoughts, it points me back to one thing...I am really only concerned about MY reputation. My reputation points back to the prison of self, not to the ever-increasing freedom of Spirit.

With these thoughts in mind, I click and listen. :)

The Church is my celestial family. She is profoundly beautiful. The Church is the most glorious thing I have ever laid my eyes upon. If it were up to people to have transformed my inner-being, I would have never made it through the curtain to what awaited me there.

PS I also believe it's a possibility the wounding of a heart could very well be a call to stay put in the very place it was pierced. Why leave when you've been given a unique gift to place at others' feet? The key is to listen for your instruction.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


                                      The Accolade by Edmund Blair Leighton


If I want to be treated like a queen; I must first act like one. hmmm

If I am confident (key) in who God created me to be, as in this definition...

Queen:  a goddess or a thing personified as female and having supremacy* in a specified realm

Perhaps, then I will awaken honor in the king, who is most gracious and inexhaustible in his efforts, by treating me as this definition suggests...

Queen:  the most privileged piece of each color in a set of chessmen having the power to move in any direction across any number of unoccupied squares

*(not above or below men, but equal in importance in God's realm)

Tisk, tisk that I ever demanded it, without first placing something authentic in front of a man to honor.  It's not that men won't honor you best they can, but generally I wonder if they've just been distracted.  I wonder if they're busy staring down at their blood-stained hands watching this wildly, beautiful heart they've been handed and feeling the pressure of not knowing the first thing about what to do with it.  Do you blame them?  That's a God job!

Women, if you throw your heart at a man and expect him to know what to do with it, you have also given away your confidence.  I think we are doing better, but still confused as to what it looks like to walk with a man and remain whole.  There have been some strong messages sent to women along the lines of "offering your heart" is "unveiling your beauty."   But what we've heard is "give him your heart."  Instead, give him a glimpse of your heart's confidence in God and see what happens.

Politely take your heart back and apologize daintily for the mishap...then go to God and place it back under His authority.  No man can ever do with your heart what God can.  Oopsie daisy!!  Sorry guys.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Women on Men

Lady Friends,

I was busy writing an email, when I paused long enough to look up the word "berate" in the thesaurus to see if anything different would strike my fancy.  And BOY DID I FIND GOLD.  The entry is entirely interesting as it relates to interacting with men (see below).  

Berate is a verb.  An action word.  It affects.  Most of us have heard criticism poisons a man's motivation to lead.  Maybe this will help you unpack it further.

Get this visual in your head and ask God to help you hide it in your bruised and battered heart:  take a dagger and write the word "berate" on it and start stabbing.  That's what we do to men.  I know that fear causes us to hold on tight, but a woman's strength comes from her faith.  Her worth in God alone.  Her boldness, courage and confidence come from knowing who she was created to be.  Those qualities are priceless to a man.

If you want to build a man up, pray for him and note the antonym at the end of the entry (there's only one).

Thesaurus entry for:
she berates him so often, he barely hears the words anymore: scold, rebuke, reprimand, reproach, reprove, admonish, chide, criticize, upbraid, take to task, read someone the riot act, haul over the coals; castigate; informal tell off, give someone a talking-to, give someone what for, dress down, give someone a dressing-down, give someone a tongue-lashing, rap over the knuckles, bawl out, come down on, tear into, blast; ream out, chew out, zing, take to the woodshed; dated call down, rate; rare reprehend. ANTONYMS praise.

Who can find a virtuous and capable wife?
For her worth is far above jewels.
A wife of noble character is her husband's crown,
but she who brings shame is like cancer in his bones


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Dancing Over the Pain

FLASHBACK:  I keep replaying in my mind a really moving interaction I had with a dancer on our EVE strip club outreach a few Fridays ago.   Ya know...those moments when time halts and the minutes reel in their seconds to stand at attention in a hurried hush to see what will happen next?  It played out like this.

This dancer had spent months, or had it been years, surveying these odd creatures from across camp.  These women that return to the valley monthly with the simple message that she is valued.  That band of renegade nonconformists building welcoming campfires for the wondering eye.  She used to stand at a good measured distance.  Couldn't risk being burned again, but now she's begun to see their flame as a source of warmth and has been inching toward its light.  Her back stiff and always keeping prudent watch for intruders, guarding the padlock she has placed on her soul that only pretends to securely hold back her mangled past.  This would be the night she would entrust her house of horror to strangers.  The night she should would risk it all for love once more.

The relationship intentionally slow going; a crawling pace set to the rhythm of the low groan of creation calling out for that final hour of redemption.  There's a whisper in that tempo that woos you in.  It softly says, "follow me to freedom."  If moving too fast, it cannot be heard.  And those special ones on the fringes, they know what to look for in sojourners that have reached the other side.  They are on to the fast and furious lie of this society.

I was unwittingly perched there on the precipice of a miracle.  Standing at the edge of the gaping hole the ancient scriptures refer to as the gap, building the mystery with others suspended in this parenthesis of time.

Then she made her move.  From behind me, I feel arms wrap round, squeezing softly.  It was a calculated move.  In a language not bound by written symbol, a silent voice within those outstretched arms communicates this, "Oh no you don't!  I'm leading the giving this time." I reciprocate and my hands go up to greet her victory.  She hugs and we begin to twist back and forth; me cocooned tightly in the risky embrace of vulnerability she has taken. It is totally natural, totally right, totally glorifying.

We stand there embracing like two school girls having weathered the lunch room wars and the dodging of rocks from flirtatious boys on the playground.

Mischievous friends reuniting after a long and lonely journey through time, now standing in solidarity outside of it somehow.  Our souls exchanging messages of amazement that we have just had an encounter with Love.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Smile Factory

I needed a smile today and it came in the most unexpected way.  This guy here.

CONFESSION:  I was hurrying toward the exit at the local wholesale, when I saw the greeter positioned at the door.  The greeter is in charge of looking over your receipt and counting your purchases to ensure you have not added items to your cart after you've paid.  It's a measure of security, since Sam's Club saves its customers money by not bagging anything.  But it isn't a time saver.

So the thought of waiting in another line at the exit door, after you've already waited in line at the register, can really be taxing on the mind. It's an exercise in making sure my mind isn't going down the gutter with thoughts that don't edify God's creation.  I'm constantly battling this.   

Even though it was only going to take but a few seconds, my thoughts started to tilt to this man being an inconvenience.  Why does this guy have to be here when I'm running behind.   Luckily, I caught the conviction and tiltttttted my mind back.  Get back in line, Delissa's brain!  You Oger, you!  And just like that, my world and thought-life were open and expansive and free again.

"Howdy, did you find everything ok, ma'am?"

"Yes, I did!"

"Good, that makes Mr. Sam happy and me employed!"


This guy is funny and he is my new hero.

Mr. Greeter didn't treat me like just any other human being with a cart in a supermarket.  His words were delivered sincerely, as if he cared about my shopping experience.  You know why?  Because he did!  Just think if I would have robbed him the chance to give himself away by closing myself off to the voice of the Spirit.  This time I heard the whisper, slowed down and I got myself a smile!

I wasn't really in that big of a hurry anyway, yet I convinced myself I was.  Why?  Because the underlying pernicious lie is that humans don't have value.  That my precious seconds of possible productivity are more important than the flesh and blood standing in front of me.  As if I could be creating something better than a human being if I were more efficient.  THAT cracks me up.  There's a reason I refer to myself as an idiot.  :)

I smiled all the way back to my car.  Geez, this guy's a human, not a robot!  He's here trying to provide for his family and I was busy devaluing his efforts.  BARF  And furthermore, he's the reason I'm smiling now.  I wanted to repay this kind and funny gent and the whisper of the Spirit came again.  He'd feel special if you took his picture.  Nothing like having your picture made, so I whipped the car around and ran back in to take his photo.

"Mr. Can I take your picture?  I want to write a little story about how nice you are."

"Why sure.  Go on ahead!'

And just like that...we had ourselves a smile factory.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Work It!

"Prostitutes are in no danger of finding their present life so satisfactory that they cannot turn to God: the proud, the avaricious, the self-righteous, are in that danger." 
— C.S. Lewis 

I know I fall in at least 2 of those 3 categories Lewis lists. At times, all 3 I imagine. I might be better off outright prostituting. Lord knows I sell myself in so many other ways. 

I am friends with a lot of prostitutes. Like sister friends. We'll be riding in the car and they'll talk about "tricks" like it is an everyday sort of topic. I have to do one more trick to pay the electricity or to get school supplies or whatever it is.

My point is, it's just really natural to them. And I love that they let me into their lives. Even if we have just met, they are often transparent pretty soon into the relationship. I love that they love me enough to be real. A wonderful gesture of loyalty and trust.

And you know what, they accept this "church lady" right where she is, too. So when I talk about Jesus, they love me back the same. Even when I "trick" myself and think I'm doing an ok job that day with pride or whatever other sin I'm dealing with.

I wouldn't change my life for the world. And I certainly don't want to change them. They've taught me everything I know. And that is...I know nothing. But Luv does.
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