It’s my time to relinquish,
And relinquish, Lord, I will:
I’ll trust Your kindly pruning hands,
And bend me to Your will.
And though my leaves are falling fast,
I’ll trust You through my pain,
And know that when the time is right,
You’ll make me grow again.
November 8, 2018
Salvation in a cameo
May not be seen, except the joy
And beauty which refresh the eye,
And these sweet things God might employ.
Not everything screams, “Look to God!”
But scorning such may be a lie:
“Just entertainment!” which is flawed,
And may small hints of God deny.
“Just entertainment!” may be bad
If filled with ugly, hurtful things,
But are not joy and laughter sweet
When these are Heaven’s offerings?
And flowers, though they do not speak,
Or funny jokes, which don’t demean,
Can brighten up a day gone bleak:
Let’s put them where they may be seen!
These things build hope and lighten loads,
For “froth” may turn tired hearts to God.
So let us let them be the goads,
And let us these good gifts applaud!
June 15, 2018
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Those ugly memories refuse to fade,
Offending me again with my old sin—
OLD NEWS: Through Jesus’ blood, it’s all been paid.
Kind, loving gift on which my hopes are stayed.
Christ knew ahead of time about my sin
And ugliness that does not want to fade.
Remembering the love that He conveyed
Expels the worries that build up within:
One and all through Jesus’ blood has been paid.
Full payment for my sins my LORD has made.
The awful price need not be paid again.
Harsh memories can shrink and start to fade.
Accepting God’s sweet gift, I am remade.
The old no more defines the new within.
Forgiven fully: through Christ’s blood, all was paid.
Oppressive thoughts that wield Regret’s sharp blade,
Remove yourselves! God’s healing has come in.
My memories that once refused to fade?
Each one through Jesus’ blood was fully paid.
June 25, 2018
And, oh, what a relief it is!
I think about the joys that are waiting,
Not here yet, but calling our names. Calling,
“Hey! Get ready! Something great is coming:
Expect better things than you have yet known!”
And all who have any pain will be healed.
Volumes of God’s good plans will be revealed.
Everyone who accepts God will be blessed.
Nowhere in God’s home will sorrow remain.
Where every joy pours freely from God’s heart
Into those who accept His love, we know
That those whose wounds are still raw will be healed.
Heaven’s purpose for pain will be revealed.
Cherishing all our tears, Jesus welcomes
Home all who are His own: those He loves who
Really do love Him in return, and then,
Incredibly, all who move there will see
Scars and wounds that plagued our lives, fully healed,
Transformed, and through these, future joys revealed.
June 1, 2018
For a slightly more complete picture of Heaven, I would like to refer you to Scot McKnight’s excellent book, The Heaven Promise. I have so enjoyed it, and pray you may as well.
Some of my longer-term readers may be aware that I have coined a phrase for one of my poetry templates that I call a daffodil, basing it loosely on William Wordsworth’s poem “The Daffodils”. In this latest iteration of my daffodils, only EE repeating rhyming lines show up, though the six-line pattern remains. Though we do not begin with the normal ABAB, etc. rhyme schemes, I think this fits the message of this poem well because the greatly uncharted rhyme scheme fits well with what we don’t know about Heaven, if that makes any sense. Anyway, I hope you will have enjoyed dreaming with me of the joys of Heaven and the goodness of God.
Here I lay my idol down
Since I see I do not need it.
It lies dying on the ground,
And henceforth I will not feed it.
It had never served me well:
Made demands that were unruly.
Though I honored it each day,
Its design was just to fool me.
So, I’ll lay this idol down,
And no more will I embrace it.
Though it paints in colors bright,
I no longer have to face it,
Or adopt its deadly songs
Of old dreams that could not save me.
How it overflowed with wrongs!
But these Jesus has forgave me.
So, I lay my idol down
As I turn my heart to Jesus.
With a smile and not a frown,
From these deadly things He frees us.
May 20, 2018
Without their close scrutiny chasing us down,
It’s hard to imagine just who we might be.
Though truly their actions are making us frown,
Herein lie hard truths of what outsiders see.
Oh, help us to listen, oh help us to heed
Unwanted opinions on how we now live.
These insights they share may be just what we need.
Outspoken, unfeeling: such hard gifts they give!
Unless we are teachable, these may be lost.
Regarded, they may help us open our eyes.
Defamed though we feel, image comes at a cost,
Entangling those who refuse to be wise.
Then let us embrace these hard gifts as they come.
Redeeming their sorrows, let’s learn to forgive.
As Jesus has said, we can please only some:
Committed to God, it’s for Him we should live.
The ones universally praised live life wrong:
Offending our Savior is our only care.
Remember our God sees our worth. We belong
Standing firm by His side, and He welcomes us there.
May 16, 2018
for Meghan, for Ruth, and in recent minutes, for Haden
“Sticks and stones may break my bones,
But words will never hurt me!”
This lie is heard around the world
When wounded hearts are hurting.
We chant it to calm down our souls
When enemies are blurting
Those painful words that pinch and stab:
We want to stop the hurting.
But truly words can wound so deep
The wounded find no healing
From painful words that careless souls
Cast out without kind feeling.
Let’s turn to God to heal our hearts
When painful, mean words find us.
When words deliver worlds of hurt,
I pray these words remind us:
“While sticks and stones are breaking bones,
And unkind words may hurt me,
Jesus has come to heal my heart
When other friends desert me.”
May 24, 2018
Thank God for friends who speak the truth,
Who do not spare our selfish pride,
Who see the ends of foolish roads,
Who do not take the paths too wide.
Thank God for friends who love God more
Than flattery and “soothing” lies,
Who feast their hungry souls on God,
Who see the world through Heaven’s eyes.
Thank God for friends like these, although
Their friendship sometimes gives us pain,
Who make us think and help us grow,
Whose heart is on our long-term gain.
Oh, Lord, may I be such a friend
Whom others trust to speak hard truth
And speak it with such love and grace
That it may wand’ring souls recoup.
March 27, 2018
for Lucille, whose only trust is God