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.
If you are like me, you want the best for your children/grandchildren. You have dreams for them and pray for them. You try to point them in the right direction and teach them. You want them to avoid the mistakes you made but want them to learn from mistakes that they will make. You want them to be happy, healthy, and successful. Above all, you want them to know peace with God through Jesus Christ our Lord. But we know this is all out of our hands, and thus we pray and entrust them to our Father’s hands.
The following prayer is from a father’s heart entrusting his children to the Father…
Father God, I pray that my children:
Will learn their ABCs and develop a love for reading.
Will learn to play a musical instrument and appreciate the arts.
Will know right from wrong and live morally upright lives.
Will respect everyone and serve the needs of others.
Will be humble yet be willing to boldly take a stand when called upon.
Will be a lifelong learner and a seeker of wisdom.
Will seek to know and love the heart of a person.
Will appreciate the simple things and not lose their child-like wonder.
Will not lose their sense of humor and never be afraid to cry.
Will know that I will always love them no matter what they do.
Will know that You will always love them no matter what they do.
Will learn to forgive and forget.
Will value in-person relationships over social media relationships.
Will love, value and respect themselves.
Will strive to know Jesus and live out loud in his name.
Will be comfortable in their skin and know they are beautiful in Your eyes.
Will pray, pray and then pray some more.
Will seek Your will for their lives and listen to Your voice.
Will know, crave and desire Your Word.
Will know that I will always be there for them.
Will know who they are and whose they are – a sinner redeemed by the blood of Jesus.
Will know that I will always pray for them.
All that I hope for and all that I wish are nothing but a father’s dream. But all that they are and all that they will be is in Your hands, Father God. And so I raise this prayer to You, And entrust them to Your sovereign care. I pray this prayer, in the name Jesus, the Lord and Savior I pray they know. Amen.
I wrote the following prayer as I sat in my daughter’s room last night. We had just finished stories and prayer time. I tucked her in, kissed her forehead and said, “Good night my sweet“, and sat down to watch over her. She always wants me to stay until after she falls asleep, to which I am happy to oblige. As a sat looking at her I started praying and the following prayer started to take shape. I finished my prayer for my little girl and then prayed this for my little boy.
Parents, this probably goes without saying but I’ll it anyway: Pray for your children.
Oh bless my child this night. Give her rest. Guard her dreams. May she wake in the morning With a smile that beams. Protect my child this night. Keep her life. Guard her soul. May she wake in the morning Feeling that she is whole. Thank you, God, for my child. I’m thankful, And praise You. May she wake in the morning And see a day that’s new. Oh bless my child this night and always. Give her peace. Give her hope. Give her Jesus.
Good night my sweet child, Rest your weary head. May the Lord bless and keep you. May the Lord grant you peace. You are my sweet child and I love you dear, but you are a child of God and He loves you even more. I cannot always see you but Jesus is always near. So rest my sweet child and dream good dreams – may they be filled with joy. And one more thing, as you drift off to your sleepy land, Your Daddy in heaven has defeated the one who would harm you. So do not fear the darkness for Jesus is your nightlight. So good night my sweet child and rest. You are in good hands.
The following chalk art was created by my imaginative 6-year-old daughter. It used to adorn the sidewalk in front of our home. Knowing that the lawn sprinklers would soon wash this masterpiece away, I made sure this was digitally preserved. This artwork, from the heart of a 6-year-old, inspired the following poem. To God be the glory!
Through death to Life, You give me hope. Through dark to light. I can now cope. For the cross rises above this broken world and life rises from within. I now have hope and strength for through Jesus Christ eternal life now begins. The sun shines, The flower blooms, Oh Lord my God my final place is not the tomb. And now my heart leaps for joy, I just can not contain it. My face radiates with love, Something that will never quit. So may the cross brightly shine, A hope for the world to see. My sins have been wiped away. That is Your loving decree.
The following is something I wrote for our July 21 Sunday bulletin; a section called, “Pastor’s Corner”. I thought I would share it with all of you as well…
While on vacation and visiting my parents, my children were treated to multiple golf cart rides with grandpa. On our last day, grandpa took each one on a ride, and as it turned out, to the grocery store. Upon their return, I could see a big smile on their face while they held a plastic grocery bag. Inside was a treat that grandpa spoiled them with. One cannot help but to smile at this. But don’t confuse a relationship like this with your relationship with God. He doesn’t take you to the “grocery store” to give you your heart’s desires, but rather to show you His. It is not about what you want but what God wants for you. But when you align your heart to God’s, through faith in Jesus, you will always return from the “store” with a smile because you will have received the desires of God’s heart, which will be your desires as well. Seek His will, not Your own, then and only then will you get want you want.
I thought I would share with you a portrait of myself drawn by my 6-year-old daughter. Notice my (out of season) Lenten stole (my daughter’s favorite color). Arms out-stretched (as I can be animated in the pulpit). And of course, “God is good“. Behind me is the cross (a very happy daddy here that my daughter included that). Apparently I am a ghost since I have no legs, but far be it from me to critique a 6-year-old’s artwork. I am not sure what the red is at the bottom. Maybe I am jumping out of the flames because the Holy Spirit is red hot that day. Who knows, but I love it. But the following is my favorite…
This one is titled (in her own words), “God’s radiance”. Yup, I like that. No further commentary needed.
During the week, I get the pleasure of waking up my children for school.
[I use the word “pleasure” very loosely here.]
Anyway, yesterday at 7 AM, I made my first attempt to wake up my 6-year-old daughter. There is usually protesting when I go in and so most mornings I end up giving her a couple extra minutes, but not yesterday. That morning was different. As I entered my daughter’s room, I noticed she was already in the process of sitting up. Maybe she heard me in the hall, I don’t know. Whatever the case, when I said, “Good morning sweetie.” She immediately reached out her arms and said, “Daddy“. I went over to her and she climbed into my waiting arms, buried her face into my chest and clung to me with everything she had. I reciprocated by wrapping my arms around her and carried her down stairs; enjoying the snuggle time. I could definitely handle that routine every morning. What a great start to the day. But regardless of the reception I get from my little girl in the morning, my love for her won’t waver.
Our heavenly Daddy also desires that routine every morning; waking up and immediately reaching out to Him in prayer saying, “Daddy“, and then falling into His loving arms. For you see, He loves you with an amazing love, even though you may protest and go to your phone first or the coffee pot or the refrigerator or whatever. Or maybe Daddy doesn’t even get a mention until later in the day. Whatever the case, His arms are waiting for you with an unconditional love that doesn’t make sense to this world.
Try it sometime. When you wake up in the morning, raise your arms and say, “Daddy” and then fall into His waiting arms. What a great way to start the day 🙂
Holy Father, Jesus said, “let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such as these belongs the Kingdom.” Oh God, may I have the child-like faith to run into Your holy arms. May I receive Your Gospel as a baby excitedly receives their milk. May I cling to Jesus as tightly as my children do to me as I try to leave for work. May I gaze upon You as a newborn does unto their parents. Holy Father, I thank You that You do not hinder me coming to You. I may stumble and fall along the way, but You are quick to scoop me up. Loving Father, here I am; hold me. My Abba. My God. Amen.