I Am Yours

I am Yours and not my own.
I am Yours and not alone.
I am Yours and not exposed.
I am Yours and not opposed.

I belong to You,
A tender, little child.
I belong to You,
On me You have smiled.
The world trips me up,
Trying to hold me back.
But I am Yours,
Thus they'll always attack.

But I shall not fear,
Nor will I fret,
For I am Yours,
thus I am set.

I am Yours and not my own.
I am Yours and fully known.
Through Jesus Christ Your dear Son,
I am Yours and I have won.

Air

As air fills the earth,
so Your love surrounds me.
Never a moment passes that I am devoid of it.
It gives me life and sustains -
     remove it and I die.
Every waking and sleeping moment -
     I am surrounded.
It fills me.
I do not have to seek it.
     It seeks me.
Never can I hide from it,
     for it is relentless.
Never does it run out,
     for it is abundant.
You are the air I breathe.
You are the life I live.
You surround me - 
     with love.
O God,
in Jesus' awesome name,
     I praise You.

[Breathe]

Psalm 23 Haiku

The psalmist beautifully depicts the life of sheep, and I can relate. I am a sheep going through a dark valley, with Satan working overtime, but I’m not alone. Two very close prayer warriors/friends reminded me of that truth recently.


Sheep in a valley.
A wolf’s hungry eyes craving.
Smack! The Shepherd’s staff.


1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.
3 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

[Psalm 23:1‭-‬6 ESV]

Good News Haiku

R.C Sproul has said, “The gospel is only good news when we understand the bad news.”
What does this mean? Great question, I am so glad you asked. Here’s another Haiku for you.


Newborn baby bird
To the ground fast – plummeting.
Hopeless? No! Jesus.


Who, in your sphere of influence, needs to hear the Good News? Make sure you explain the “bad news” first and then — Give them Jesus.

Prayer in Weakness

Whatever weakness or vulnerability you are facing, may You know the grace and love of God through Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior. He will never leave you nor will He desert you, leaving you to deal with your affliction alone. He is faithful and will be your strength. Praise Him in the storm. Praise Him always and forever. Praise Him. Let us pray…

Oh God,
I feel weak and vulnerable, frail and helpless. My strength has been melted away. But, You never promised the easy way in this life, but Jesus did promise to be with us to the very end of the age.
Oh my God,
sustain me in that promise.
For that promise, in the midst of affliction and weakness, is what gives me strength and hope. It cheers my heart when I am down and lifts me up when it feels I am at rock bottom.

May I not forget Your faithfulness.

Though my body feels frail, you are my strength.
Though I feel vulnerable, You are my Helper.
Though I feel useless, Your Spirit still works through me.
Though I feel pain, You are my Comforter.
Though I feel hopeless at times, You never desert me.
Though I feel overwhelmed, You are in complete control.

Oh God, my Father, Sustainer, Good Shepherd, Sovereign God, Lord and my Rock,
I praise You in the storm.
Though the waves are crashing into my boat,
You hold me tight
and will not let me be swept away.
Though the winds are blowing hard against me,
You hold me firm
and have placed me upon the Rock.
And so I beseech You,
Oh my God,
bind Satan that he may not drive me to despair.
Cast him away that my strength is not in fighting him,
but rather,
spent glorifying You,
knowing that my strength is from You.
And so,
as I sit here,
may You be glorified despite and though my weakness,
for You are worthy,
and my Good God almighty.
It is in Jesus name I pray,
Amen.

Various Haikus

The following are four Haikus (Haiku styled at least) that I have been working on. They are all very different and may not follow the ancient, traditional rules. I included a short intro to each one, but hopefully not too much lest I rob your imagination. Call these contemporary Haikus if you like. Whatever the case, from my heart to you.


The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in NW Washington is a favorite memory of my family:
It’s festival time
A landscape once colorless –
Bursts into rainbows.

I posted this faith-filled Haiku the other day but this one has been updated:
Once captive in sin.
Jesus was crucified – dead…
LIFE!!! Now I’m redeemed.

My kids love going to the park. Me? I love taking them and just sitting there watching and listening. I try not to occupy myself too much, lest I miss out:
Children. Laughter. Joy.
A playground of adventures.
Look! A pirate ship!

I recently suffered an injury that tested me but showed me something of myself and my God:
Into dark darkness –
Painful cries received by none.
HE embraces me.

Christian Haiku

Many of you know that I like dabbling in poetry. It has been an enriching spiritual discipline for my heart as it forces me to think carefully about my faith, scripture, God, Jesus, my salvation, etc. Recently, I have become fascinated with Haiku. This is Japanese poetry which has a particular format: Three lines with syllables 5-7-5, and generally focuses on the natural world. I have been doing some reading recently and thus I have been trying my hand at it. Below is my first attempt at what I am calling “Christian Haiku”. I know that this may not be in the spirit of the Haiku, but I pray that this new fascination drives me deeper into my faith with God through Jesus Christ. So here you go…

Once dead in my sins –
Jesus was crucified – dead
Life! Now I’m redeemed!

To God be the glory.

My Amazing God

Your eye is upon me O God
As You reign on high.
Never distant
Never silent
On You I can always rely.

You hear my cries all day and night
Not turning a deaf ear.
Always listening
Always caring
I love that You are always near.

Your grace receives this sin-filled life
Washing me white as snow.
Always forgiving
Always restoring
Through Jesus You’ll never let me go.

Praise will always be lifted high
Raising my hands to You.
Always worshipping
Always glorifying
For to You all honor is due.

The Turning Page

The page is turning, the chapter is ending,
But the story is still the same.
The setting is changing with twists and turns,
But the plot is not in flames.

The direction of the story ebbs and flows,
Directed by Your sovereign hand.
You continue to write Your masterpiece,
A story that is so grand.

And being a part of Your perfect story,
In this chapter that’s now ending.
I am thankful that You will always be,
With me forever attending.

And So I thank You God for bringing me here:
The stunning Pacific Northwest.
Now it’s off to Iowa following You,
In You we’ve been truly blessed.

Worship, Part 2

The following article is was published in The News Tribune (Tacoma) on Sunday, June 20. It is part two of my two-part series about worship in a post-pandemic era. To God be the glory!


Does a Christian have to go to worship? In my June 6 article, I posed this question and then two inferred questions from it, (1) Does a Christian have to worship (which I answered on June 6), and now today, (2) Does a Christian have to go to worship.

Wait a second pastor, it sounds like you are just repeating the question. Yes and no. The difference today is whether a Christian has to go somewhere, to a particular place, and worship corporately with other Christians, in-person. So that is what I am going to address today.

For over a year now, the pandemic has forced churches to get creative and to step outside the box (i.e online worship). It has forced pastors and leaders to learn new skills (i.e how to live stream). It has forced congregations to invest in new technologies (i.e. video cameras). And now, as we appear to be on the back side of this pandemic, we are asking the question, “What now?” How do we do church in a post-pandemic period? What is the new normal? As more and more people get vaccinated, I am seeing more and more people begin to return to in-person worship, but not everyone. Some are still leery which I respect. Some still have questions.

There was no question that at the beginning of this pandemic stepping away from in-person activities was prudent, for a time, but it was never supposed to be the norm, nor should it. As creatures, God designed us to be in communion with one another. We are relational and online cannot satisfy the communal nature God gifted us with. There are indeed exceptions to the rule (i.e. health, distance), but online should never be the norm if you are able to be present. You see, it is within the body of believers that one another’s praises are heard and compounded with ours. It is with others that sins are confessed, and absolution is received. It is with brothers and sisters in Christ that we are held accountable. Separated by distance and protected by a computer screen, it is too easy to hide and thus conceal sins.

We are not made to be apart. As the body of Christ, we are made to be together, building each other up. When you are separated from the body of believers, the body of believers no longer benefit from the Spiritual gifts God has given you. Your gifts were meant to be used and expressed with others. Your love for God is meant to be shared and meant to be seen by others. Yes, I get that this pandemic is scary, but our God is bigger. It is time for the Church to reunite and get to know one another again. It is time to face these challenges together. It is time to exert ourselves and march into battle together, carrying the banner of victory that God won through Jesus Christ.

Does a Christian have to GO TO worship? My prayer for you is that (if you are physically able) you will want to in order to magnify God’s glory in this world. To God be the glory, always and forever, Amen.