The following is my newest article for the Buffalo Center Tribune. To God be the glory!
Occasionally, I get inspired to write poetry. Sometimes it comes in bunches and at other times it is just one here and there. And sometimes they happen very suddenly and with little warning. The poem I have shared below is one such poem. I was preparing a sermon for Sunday, May 1 on John 21:15-19, a post-resurrection account of Jesus questioning Peter three times, “Do you love me”. The point of their interaction was that even though Jesus knew Peter was going to deny him three times; even though he knew the disciples would desert him, Jesus loves them, forgives them, and restores them. Jesus knew and still died on the cross for them, and for you and me. Jesus knows. That thought is just amazing. So, one day as I was traveling to Cabin Coffee in Forest City to sermon write, God spoke. He spoke the first stanza of the following poem. It was so captivating that I had to stop along the road in Thompson to write it down. I did not want to forget. As that stanza continued its swim in my heart, the other stanzas eventually fell into place. And so, to the glory of God, I share with you, “Jesus Knows”:
Jesus knows your joys
He knows all your needs
and your tomorrows.
Jesus knows, and loves
his grace and mercy.
You he won’t forgo.
Jesus loves, and heals
he restores your soul.
This I’m asserting.
Jesus heals, and reigns.
Reigns on high,
and now death is gone
with no more goodbye.
When God speaks, sometimes you just need to stop what you are doing and listen. And if necessary, write it down. Amen.
Another poem for you. This was written with Jonah 1:1-2 and Jonah 3:1 in mind. Jonah has been my Lenten preaching series this year. The focus tonight is the power of God’s Word, not man’s word, to save. To God be the glory!
The Word of the Lord is powerful;
It is holy, awesome and true.
The Word of the Lord is mighty,
It’s my Father making me new.
It is a word of redeeming love,
of a Savior who died for me.
It is a word for wayward sinners,
from our God who has set me free.
I wrote the following poem for a sermon I wrote and preached on 03/27/22. The text was Luke 15:11-32, The Parable of the Prodigal Son (you probably figured that out from the poem title). I haven’t written a poem for a while but when I wrote the sermon title, “From Pig Slop to Fattened Calf”, the poem began to flow. I share this with you for the glory of God.
From pig slop to fattened calf
Jesus died on my behalf.
Spotless lamb he’s true and right.
Suffered, died, was raised by might.
Sinner I am, prodigal yes
Father God I am, such a mess.
Father God, You run to me.
Restoration by decree.
You’re full of love and mercy too.
Embracing me You make me new.
The following is a fun little year in review that I wrote for our church newsletter. But first, a little context for those not familiar:
~ My call process began April 13, 2021
~ We moved into the parsonage on August 20 during a freak, massive rainstorm that sent water into our basement and garage, and more during the upcoming week. All is good now.
~ My first Sunday was our 125th anniversary celebration.
~ Children? There are a lot here in this small town and church 🙂
So there you have it. Hopefully that did not ruin the poem for you. Enjoy and to God be the glory 🙂
On April the thirteenth my year began,
As God prepared me for my new clan.
With interview one and interview two,
We would soon move in and need a canoe.
But God’s sovereign will would not be denied,
With us to B.C., He was our great guide.
And then it began on a big weekend,
So many years, to God I commend.
We worshipped as one and dwelt in God’s Word,
With Jesus as Lord, the Gospel was heard.
And the children, wow, we do have a lot.
And our teachers, wow, lacking they are not.
Our town is small but always big in heart.
What a great place to get a brand-new start.
And there’s more to say, but now it is time,
To end this silly poem and quit the rhyme.
And so, I thank my God for everyone.
God’s amazing love cannot be outdone.
The following is my article for the Buffalo Center Tribune for this week. It is a poem I published here last year but thought it was worthy to share again. To God be the glory
The following is a poem that I wrote for the end of the twelve days of Christmas last year, 2020. I share it with you now – before Christmas – to prepare your hearts for the Good News of Jesus. For you see, Jesus is more than the “stuff” of Christmas. Jesus is God incarnate; love made manifest; forgiveness; salvation; mercy and Life. Jesus was born in a stable FOR YOU and FOR ME. Christmas, not just twelve days but every day, is about Jesus. And so, to the glory of God, I present you this poem:
My true Love doesn’t give me things like partridges or turtle doves, French hens or pipers piping, dancing ladies or egg-laying geese. My true Love does not give me silly things like these. My true Love, Jesus, gave to me…
(1) Instead of a partridge in a pear tree, I have a Savior who died for me.
(2) Instead of two turtle doves, I have His love that came down from above.
(3) Instead of three French hens, I have the faith to boldly pray my amens.
(4) Instead of four calling birds, I have His inspired, infallible, inerrant holy Word.
(5) Instead of five golden rings, I have a Spirit-renewed heart that sings.
(6) Instead of six geese a-laying, I have confidence that with Him I will be staying.
(7) Instead of seven swans a-swimming, I have a joy that is more than brimming.
(8) Instead of eight maids a-milking, I have His promises fulfilled that He’s not bilking (yes, that’s a word – and used correctly).
(9) Instead of nine ladies dancing, I have a place in His holy court, at whom I won’t be just glancing.
(10) Instead of ten lords a-leaping, I have security in His hands in which I have safekeeping.
(11) Instead of eleven pipers piping, I have the sure and certain hope that my tears He will be wiping.
(12) Instead of twelve drummers drumming, I have excitement that my Lord Jesus will soon be coming.
My true Love gave me everything I need, for all that I need is Him. And all that YOU need is him as well. Merry Christmas and Amen.
It is not good for one to be
Oh, my God, how I long to be
Known by brothers and sisters,
Connected in Christ,
For we are stronger together,
Let me say that twice.
It is not good for one to be
Alone I am vulnerable.
Alone I am weak.
Alone I am indefensible.
Here I do not misspeak.
It is not good for one to be
But even though my brothers and sisters are distant –
I am never truly
For through Jesus’ blood,
and his life,
my sins he did
Oh God, my God,
thank YOU that I am never truly
Sitting in the silence,
with only a trickle of light,
teasing the darkness.
A cup filled with liquid pleasure
warming my hands.
The silence is loud,
small, insignificant sounds distract me,
pulling me away from the moment,
I must silence the sounds –
wading through the clutter –
and return to the Sound,
The following is my newest article for the Buffalo Center Tribune. To God be ALL glory, Amen.
About four to five years ago I started to write poetry. No, these are nothing that are book worthy or something for which to cross the street. They are simply smatterings that come from my heart. Sometimes the rhyming is a little corny and I probably break all the poetry rules (if there is such a thing). But suffice it to say, I write these poems as an intellectual exercise but mostly as a spiritual discipline. Thinking about word choices in order to communicate a message in a powerful and meaningful way is something that leads me into deeper thought and reflection on the given topic. But sometimes I make things way too difficult (in poetry and in life). At times I get frustrated when I cannot come up with the perfect word(s) to rhyme with other word(s) that I have chosen. Sometimes I can spend days or longer working on a poem. Sometimes I walk away from the poem and thus forget about it; allowing the moment to pass. Sometimes I turn this simple joy into work and thus lose the joy. Sometimes I just need to take a page out of my daughter’s book.
One night my wife and I were preparing supper. As we started to put everything on the table, we called to our children to wash their hands and come to the table to eat, but both were preoccupied. Malachi was busy with his Legos and Mayah was downstairs in what we call her art studio. After my wife and I got everything set we called to them again, but still nothing. Frustration arose and we were getting annoyed. My wife and I eventually started dishing up our plates. We were going to eat with or without our children. Eventually Mayah showed up and excitedly asked, “Can I pray tonight? I wrote a prayer poem. Can I pray? Please!” I immediately felt guilty for being annoyed and responded, “Of course you can.” We stopped dishing up our plates in order to pray. This is what my 8-year-old daughter wrote (I share this with her permission):
God, thank you for this food.
I may or may not be in a good mood.
You comfort my family.
You give us clothes to keep us warmily.
You keep us happy when we may not be.
I love you because you love me.
And yes, I know “warmily” is not a word, and she may have broken every poetry rule in the book, but that’s alright, for it came from her tender, loving heart. Sometimes we just need to stop making things so difficult and become like a child. Sometimes we just need to slow down and not take things so seriously. My daughter’s prayer was one of the best prayers I have heard in a very long time; for it spoke to my heart. Thank you, Mayah, for your prayer poem. Thank you for making a “difficult” thing look so easy. Thank you for sharing your heart and the joy within. To God be all glory, praise and honor. Amen.
My God hears me when I pray,
each and every day.
He hears me when I cry,
til the day I die.
He knows my very heart,
and yet He’ll not depart.
He knows my every sin,
the darkness there within.
He’s ready to forgive,
through Jesus I will live.
He’s ready to remake;
my heart He’ll not forsake.
So hear me when I say,
with Jesus you’re okay.
Jesus my Lord, my Savior, and my friend.
With me always all the way to the end.
He heals me, saves me, and delivers me.
He holds me, loves me, and in him I’m free.
I’m disobedient and obstinate.
He’s always and ever compassionate.
Jesus my Lord, my Savior, and my friend.
Oh God, Your grace I’ll never comprehend.