The Gift of Peace

Posted by on Dec 24, 2015 in Blog, Spritual Thoughts, Verses for the King | 0 comments

Our world desperately needs peace, but looks for it in all the wrong places. In all the rush and stress and distractions of this season of the year, may God keep us focused on the reason we celebrate and the true peace that we have in Christ this Christmas. And may our lives and words point others to that same never-failing source of everlasting peace! Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. No peace. If it weren’t for Him There’d be no peace. Imagine, if you only dare: All fear and doubt and terror everywhere. All well-earned shame and never-ending pain And this…This is why He came! To give us peace. Peace that heals us whole. Peace with the only Might that matters. Peace undeserved for each guilty soul. Peace we cannot understand. Peace beyond what we comprehend. Yet peace we have. Peace is ours. Peace here at hand. This babe. This tiny fragile infant God, Almighty Master of all, great and small Laid here in this desperate earth, such a strange unearthly birth So normal and abnormal, so lowly and incredibly holy, Our Peace appears so small, so unlikely, so naked and weak A baby wrapped in cloths and laid near beasts that reek This our King of kings? This the Prince who our peace brings? Yes! Yes and more! This little child, this tender lamb Is the mighty, perfect, great I AM Come to bear his creatures’ guilt His holy blood soon hellishly spilt For me! For me! For sinner me! For every sinner I might see. This my God, my holy God Come…come here, to be for me My ransom price to set me free. Peace that far surpasses all we might imagine All we know or feel or fashion Peace in which we rest, untouched, completely safe, God’s promises clutched… Reality in which we move and live, go forth in confidence, receive and give. In the midst of whatever earthly pain, all confusion that seems to reign God’s peace, so undeserved, is ours guarding us safe with perfect powers. In Christ we’re ever secure and whole, at peace with God and heaven our goal. So now we kneel at His manger bed, Heart in hand, bowing mind and head And celebrate the peace He brings Our long-promised virgin-born King of...

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Giving Thanks Through the Darkness

Posted by on Nov 30, 2015 in Blog, Spritual Thoughts, Verses for the King | 0 comments

Philippians 4:6 is a beautiful passage for us to consider and hold on to during these challenging, stressful, and frightening times. The passage also has such a beautiful reminder that is so appropriate as we celebrate Thanksgiving and express our gratitude to God who is the giver of every good gift! “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6 Weighed down and worried we watch wide eyed News that intensifies stresses inside Terror and tragedy, death, war and woe Where can we turn to? To whom shall we go? When our own sin and problems nag and annoy When daily we struggle to find any joy When health and wealth and relationships fail Who hears our worried whisper or wail? Anxious? Afraid? Feeling broken and small? Hear the firm love in your Savior’s call: “Do not be anxious about anything at all, But take all your issues great and small And thankfully, thoughtfully pray them all through Give them to your God who knows well what to do.” And what marvelous truth! How free we would be If we stopped clinging to our problems so selfishly Stopped believing the lie that it’s all about “me” And drowning in useless anxiety And instead we released them to our mighty God Who knows all our sin and how deeply we’re flawed But loved us with a love so intensely expressed In dying our death to give us eternal rest. Let’s pray with thanksgiving as He wants us to Not just at Thanksgiving, but at all times too. God loves to listen to each thankful prayer It guards us from imagining God’s unfair Reminds us the Father always gives good gifts. With grateful thoughts our perspective shifts From whatever we want, to what God has given First and above all, Christ crucified and risen And life now and forever with all sins forgiven And mountains of blessings we never could number Food, family, fortune, fine work and sweet slumber And endless good gifts for this life and beyond Even hard times and troubles that strengthen the bond Between us and his truth as we lean on His love And store up our treasures, not here, but above. So let us rest in His rest as we work hard through life And give Him our troubles, our stresses, our strife And present each request, with thanksgiving in prayer To the One who is always completely aware Of all that we need, every want, every care And is mighty and gracious with blessings to...

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Find Gentleness In Our Harsh World

Posted by on Nov 23, 2015 in Blog, Spritual Thoughts, Verses for the King | 2 comments

This poem is a continuation of the last post going with themes found in Philippians 4. Here are some thoughts on Philippians 4:5, a passage that gives us good wisdom for the way we live in these last days. We rejoice in the Lord and in Him we trust, As we live in a world opposed to Him and to us, And we listen to His words that we each need to hear: Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. When sinners scream, “Sinner!” and fingers point hard, When inside and out some are hated and scarred, When cowards post online what lips dare not say, Let us be shockingly gentle in every possible way. Remember our mission: Speak His truth in love Not sinfully self-righteously speaking down from above. Yet truth we must speak, calmly calling sin—sin Being firm in our gentleness again and again Knowing only the Spirit can woo and win A heart that is proud and content in its sin As our hearts have all at one time been. So let gentleness speak and that voice be loud. Let us follow the Lamb and not follow the crowd Giving love that gladly lays life and self down So one more lost sinner might inherit the crown. And the Lord is near! Right here! Right here now! Hidden from sight and from touch somehow But here nonetheless so incredibly near With his changeless love and his attentive ear With his nail-scarred hands that rule all things With each promise true that comfort brings With his victorious, triumphant, eternal might With his calm clear truth that soothes our fright With help and healing that gives us peace With sweet forgiveness and eternal release With Him so near, we need not fear We can work and give and live each year For the One who gave each perfect breath And sacrificed himself to death. He paid full-debt for every sin That every sinner could live with Him! The time is short so we work while it’s day And live, love and speak in His gentle true way We pass on his Word of love and power Knowing we live in the final hour And soon enough, when the time is right Like a sudden flash of lightning light Our near Lord will be seen by all We’ll lift our heads and heed his call And all who scoffed and turned away Will tremble on that dreadful day When the Mighty Risen Christ appears And forever ends his people’s...

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Rejoice Always?

Posted by on Oct 1, 2015 in Spritual Thoughts, Verses for the King | 0 comments

Our earthly lives are busy and stressful. Life has a way of pushing us into extremes like despair or self-centered pride, fear or over-confidence, anger or tired indifference. God’s Grace, Salvation and his powerful Word are such a cure for this distracting and sin-warped daily life. The end of Philippians has such great encouragement and important reminders for us as we live life in this sinful world. The next few weeks I’ll be writing poems that explore themes found in Philippians 4:4-9. Today, the first Non-rhyming portion sets the overall background for the poems, the second rhyming portion focuses us on Philippians 4:4. We pursue life Run races, chase dreams, go for goals Overwhelmed We work and worry Care and complain We grind on, muscles flexed So stressed Marshalling our world Conducting our orchestra Commanding our environment Passionate for perfection We beat ourselves onward So unsatisfied, so empty, so alone Or perhaps not Perhaps we watch life change And we stand, side-lined and scared Feel pursued and overwhelmed We whine and worry Care and complain Pained and paralyzed, Depressed and stressed Fighting hard with a thousand excuses Crushed by experience Hide from a world out of control Frozen in fear So unsatisfied, so empty, so alone. Look inside and see sin, see mess, see crazy Look around and see sin, see mess, see crazy Where death and disease and disaster destroy Where dreams die hard and problems annoy Where work never ends and weariness wins We are dust, sin-ruined, often chasing the winds Yet God cries, “Rejoice!” He repeats it again! Rejoice in the Lord, not in this life of sin Rejoice in his promise, firm rock in life’s sands Rejoice for your future’s in God’s loving hands Rejoice in a Savior who lived this life true Died your full death and gave his life to you! Rejoice always. I will say it again. Rejoice! In the midst of disaster? In stress? In pain? We rejoice in his Holy unshakeable name In the midst of confusion? In fear? In doubt? We rejoice in his grace which can never run out. In the midst of loss? In tears? In distress? We rejoice in the truth of each perfect...

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The Father Made You a Father: A Poem for Father’s Day

Posted by on Jun 20, 2015 in Blog, Spritual Thoughts | 0 comments

I am over-awed by the privilege and huge responsibility that God gives us as Christian fathers. It is so humbling and rewarding. This poem is the counter-part to my Mother’s Day poem.  I dedicate it to my own father, Dan, who raised me, loved me and kept me focused on God’s grace. May we celebrate the fathers the Lord has given us and take the time to show our appreciation for all they do for us. Most of all we thank God for the gift of fathers on this Father’s Day. The Father made you a father A priceless gift to precious lives. You are His; You are His agent here His representative, His heart in action, A reflection of his sacrificial love and selfless care A poor reflection, a sinner struggling to be the father the Father intends… But yet a rock that rests solidly on the Rock. Tenderly unyielding at times and yet unyieldingly tender To work to understand little hearts and minds and gently lead and shape Your mission is His mission. Your children are His children Your truest work is His work. Your delight is whatever delights Him. The Father made you a father. To be firm when firmness is required To be merciful when mercy is needed A guide to lost ones, an example for watching eyes, a healer for broken hearts, a shoulder to cry on A champion, a defender, a bringer of peace and safety, a patient teacher, a source of help and hope To right wrongs, build lives, shape futures, Protecting, comforting, guiding, ever growing, ever changing, ever loving better To understand needs and meet them. The Father made you a father A man to stand up, step up, point the way… The way that always leads to Christ’s cross where all sin stands conquered The way that always points to that empty tomb where true life began. The way that brings lives to the Father forever. The Father made you a father Yet still always a child of your Heavenly Father Planning and praying for each life in your care, Daily drinking deep of the Water of Life, feeding faith with the Bread of Life Drawing true peace and strength from the Word of the Father Leading a family in worship and to worship Ever training for life’s marathons, yet finding perfect rest in your Father’s perfect love Your love an overflow of His love for you. The Father made you a father Today, here, now, in this moment, taking the time… Investing in each precious life, creating moments and seizing opportunities Balancing, balancing, balancing Work and family, needs and wants, freedoms and responsibilities, stress and fun, Working at loving the wife God gave you, appreciating her, supporting her, guiding her And so teaching your children to love, Self-weak and God-strong, failing, forgetting, feeling the daily struggle, confessing daily sins… His peace your only true peace. His forgiveness your only true strength. Fighting the good fight, burdened but strong in Him, often confused but ever clear in God’s grace Washed clean by the Savior’s blood Life covered by the Savior’s perfection Standing forgiven, leading by following Him The Father made you a father A profound privilege. To cradle babies, to shape lives, to live love. Treasuring moments that pass too quickly, the laughter and fun, little eyes shining eager to see you, the tender touch of those who need you, watching growth and cheering, amazed at countless daily gifts Never forget that you are a blessing from the Father. Never forget that you are needed, you are loved, you are...

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Dear Mom, You Are a Priceless Gift

Posted by on May 8, 2015 in Blog, Spritual Thoughts | 0 comments

(I dedicate the following poem to my wife, Cara who is such a blessing in my life and is raising my four little children in the Lord every day and also to my mother, Mary, who raised me and blessed me with her guidance and love. This poem is a celebration of Christian mothers everywhere who are blessed by God with this unique, beautiful and precious work.) You are a priceless gift from the greatest Giver. A life-guardian, a cherisher of children, a teacher of precious growing ones, a learner of a trillion trades. God put you here In the middle of the daily normal, In the endless sea of numbing tasks…yet each a cup of cold water…each an honored service. He put you here Surrounded by ear-splitting cries and tiring questions Challenges that change every day Enduring moments that wear you down body and spirit. He put you here In this whirlwind, in the shock of the stress and chaos and mess… All difficult, all strangely beautiful, all blessed and incredibly forgiven. He put you here. Just as you are Just as he made you Just as he is forming you, fashioning you—clay in the hands of the Master You are never enough But you are always enough through Him. Overwhelmed and under-appreciated Attention divided in every direction Countless moments of strength and weakness Patience taxed and tested Creativity in overdrive Moments of mountain-top beaming triumph and door-closed weeping failure Moments of silliness and laughter and stern, loving correction. What a profound mixture of guilt and grace, fear and hope, unbelievable sadness and unspeakable joy, heart-stopping pain and life-changing love. Awed, that in your trembling arms God puts new life Grateful, that in your weakest moments he provides just enough strength Awe-struck at the awesome far-reaching responsibility he gives you Flooded with joy at the precious moments that steal your breath Experiencing love that defies all definition He put you here Where little fingers softly touch, little arms wrap round your neck Where eyes flash love and lips kiss soft He gave you this little one, these little ones, these head-strong ones, these broken ones, these unique ones, these needy ones, these growing ones, these sinful ones, these forgiven ones… They are His. His children in your care. Your children. Such incredible gifts. He put you here. Teaching truths that last for all eternity Pointing sinful eyes to the Savior’s cross Demonstrating life that lives for Him Shaping, training, building, correcting, nurturing, protecting, comforting He put you here. He blessed you here. And He blessed us all with you. For without you there would be no life, no future. Without you the world stops, nations crumble and fall, chaos reigns, generations fall away… Do not forget how blessed you are, how privileged you are. Do not forget how unique you are, how important you are. Do not forget how loved you are, how forgiven you are. How your Savior lived and bled and rose for you How He covers you and all you love in his perfect life, his perfect love How your God has freed you from all fear, cleansed you from all guilt. He put you here. In this day, in this moment, with life in your care. And today we thank God for you. We recognize and affirm you. We appreciate you, honor you Love you. You are a priceless gift from the greatest...

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