Carrots

I am tired of the world’s empty promises,
for it cares nothing for me.
It promises satisfaction.
It promises fulfillment.
It dangles its promises before me as a carrot before a horse,
and I can never quite obtain it,
always falling short –
lacking,
hungry,
unfulfilled.
But You have promised me Your heart, oh God.
No empty promise.
No dangling carrot,
rather You lovingly feed me the carrot and I am filled.
Now it’s You I long for,
but You long for me more.
I desire You,
but You desire me more.
I strive to know You,
but You know me –
more.
And yet, You still feed me carrots?
No strings attached?
No empty promises?
I am fulfilled.
Oh God, please feed me more
carrots.

Praying the Psalms ~ Psalm 119:81-88

These verses in Psalm 119 really struck home for me. The psalmist is pleading for help to remain true to God’s law and not be seduced away. There are many people twisting scripture to their own advantage. There are many pressuring the Church to become more “relevant” and thus the temptation to seek peace with the world. May I stand firm on the Truth of scripture as challenges come from all sides. God help me.

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It’s You that I long for, oh God.
It’s in You that I place my life.
But the world persecutes me, God,
And thus I have nothing but strife.

When will You come to my defense?
When will Your Spirit comfort me?
How long must I endure attacks?
Oh God, it’s You I long to see.

False teachers teach their own message,
And in Your Word they do not stay.
They preach a word that’s not from You,
So keep me true that I won’t stray.

They fight and shout and long to stop,
Your Word of hope – Your Word that saves.
But it’s Your love that gives me life,
So may I stand and be so brave.

When the world fights hard against me,
You’re my salvation and my shield.
It matters not what they can do.
My life is Your’s so I won’t yield.

The Doxology

As the Lord’s Prayer ends, we are taught to say “Amen”. Amen means, yes, it shall be so. When asked by the disciples about how to pray, Jesus said, When you pray, say… He gave us the words and thus it makes sense that God is pleased with the words we pray. It is like a teacher giving you the answers to the quiz. It behooves you to use them. Here, in this prayer, we can be confident that we will get that for which we pray. So when you pray, say with confidence: Amen!

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How should I pray?
You have given us the words;
words pleasing to You,
so we know we’ll be heard.

For You’re our Father,
Holy are You.
Your kingdom is coming.
Your glory is due.

And what do you want?
Our hearts to believe;
Satan’s schemes to be defeated;
Your Word to be received.

You’re the Great Provider.
The Forgiver of my sins.
May I forgive others,
and when tempted may I win.

And now I have the words,
to lay at Your feet,
pleasing to Your ears,
perfect and complete.

Yours is the kingdom,
the power and the glory.
Yes, it shall be so,
for I am in Your story.

Writing Poetry

To write poetry draws me deeper into the Word or closer to whatever I am writing about. It challenges me to think more deeply and to reflect more clearly. Words matter. Nothing is simply random. And so I praise my God for inflaming the heart of this pastor to draw closer to Him in such a way.

With that being said, I am working on two more poems. One is based on Psalm 119:81-88 and the second one is the final installment in the Lord’s Prayer poem series, “The Doxology”. I look forward to sharing these with you soon. May these poems, written to the glory of God, also draw you closer to our Father as they have drawn me.

A Teacher’s Heart

As a parent of two school-aged children, my thoughts these days are for the many teachers who are either starting classes or are preparing to receive students in the coming weeks. I could not do the job they do and thus I am thankful God raises up people who have a heart for teaching. A teacher is a one-of-a-kind. They show love, commitment, and dedication that few can understand. They have a heart for children as they, mold, shape and nurture the hearts of our precious little ones. They endure stress, judgment and criticism, often from those who do not understand. I can’t imagine what it takes to be a teacher, but God knows. Would you join me in praying for teachers, staff and administration, as this new school year begins. It is to them that I dedicate this poem.

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A teacher’s heart is special and dear.
And to my child it’s always near.
Love and sacrifice and caring too.
A teacher’s heart will always come through.

It is unique for it’s Your design.
All it’s qualities You did assign.
I can’t imagine a heart without,
A grace that runs all the way throughout.

Oh God would You bless our teacher’s hearts.
And from them would You never depart.
Keep them and hold them close to Your side.
And may Your Spirit in them abide.

Deliver Us From Evil

This series of poems exploring the Lord’s Prayer has been a valuable devotional exercise for me – I hope it has been for you too. If you want to recap any of these, simply go to “Categories” on the bottom of the right sidebar of this page and scroll down to “Praying the Lord’s Prayer”. I know I will be reviewing these from time to time.

Now, for this second to last installment – Deliver us from evil. Here, at the end of this prayer, we are praying for deliverance from bodily evil/harm and from the Evil One. On that Last Day, we ask to be saved from this evil world and delivered to God to abide with Him forever. Praise be to God that we have the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

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Deliver me, oh God, from all evil.
Save me from all harm.
Help me,
Strengthen me,
Shield me with Your arms.

Satan never tires of his prowl.
He’s always seeking.
Looking,
Watching,
As a lion sneaking.

I am not strong enough to fight the fight.
I am very weak.
Overpowered,
Overwhelmed,
I am very meek.

Jesus Christ is my victorious king,
He saved me by grace.
Amazing
And awesome
My sins he erased.

Oh Lord, show me Your mercy on that Day.
Take me to Your side.
Mercifully
Lovingly
With You to abide.

Lead Us Not Into Temptation

As a Christian, simply claiming, “the devil made me do it“, to justify a sin is never a defense. We are sinners, plain and simple, and thus we are guilty of disobedience. Satan, the father of lies, is the master deceiver and he will be judged and condemned. For the Christian, our only hope is Jesus. He saves us from our sins, but in this life now, we still must be alert and fight the battle of temptation. Praise be to God that there is forgiveness through faith in Christ. In the meantime, fight, but know that you do not fight alone.

God,
Father,
Lord,
I am weak.
I am a sinner and thus it’s You I seek.
Satan is the father of lies,
He deceives and leads away.
He does this without fail,
Every single day.
I give in,
Even though I know Your way.
THIS I do every single day.
Going astray,
Oh, how I disobey.
I do what I do not want to do.
I don’t do as I should.
I don’t listen as I ought,
Oh how I wish I understood.
Jesus is the Way, Truth and Life.
Your Way is wholly right.
Oh God, I want to walk the straight and narrow,
For Jesus is my great delight.
I know that you don’t lead me into temptation,
That falls to the father of lies.
So help me, Lord and Savior,
For I do not want to die.
And so I cry out to you,
For I am helpless and weak.
Without You, oh Lord my God,
My outlook would be very bleak.
Lead me,
Guide me,
Show me Your way.
This I ask that You do,
Please, Lord, every single day.