Mayah’s Poem

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.

From the Heart of a 6-Year-Old

Daddy preaching

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…

God’s Radiance

This one is titled (in her own words), “God’s radiance”. Yup, I like that. No further commentary needed.

From the heart of a 6-year-old to mine 🙂

The Pastor and His Little Girl

The heart of this pastor longs to worship and lead worship. Nothing tops praising and thanking God for the hope of the resurrection through faith in Jesus Christ. But dare I say that worshiping with my family, especially my little girl (22 months old), comes in right up there? I say that because this pastor’s heart was touched by his little girl on two occasions this morning during worship.

The first occasion of heart touching (outside of worshiping God of course) came towards the beginning of half of worship. I had just finished presiding over a baptism where I was carrying the cute little baby up and down the aisle to show her off and introduce her to the congregation. I then handed the baby off to her mother and sat down. Just then, from a couple rows back, I heard my little girl crying,

“I want my daddy! I want my daddy!”

The next thing I notice is my little girl coming up to me in my row in tears (my wife broke down and let her come to me). I picked her up and set her on my lap as we listened to scripture being read. I wiped the tears from her eyes and kissed her gently on the cheek; whispering,

“I love you, sweetie”

My little girl just sat there with me very quietly; simply wanting to be near me (my guess is that she was jealous of me carrying the newly baptized baby up and down the aisle). During the final reading I brought her back to her mother and she was fine.

The second occasion of heart touching came during the final song. My routine is to walk up to the front during the final verse (during which time my little girl runs up to join me), I pray silently and then walk out to the narthex; preparing to greet people as they leave. But this time, my little girl was in my row during the first verse so we went up front. I held her tight and said,

“Let’s pray”

She then folded her hands on mine and we prayed. When I finished she said,


So cute
So heart-warming
So wonderful

Worshiping God is great and wonderful and nothing tops that, but I am so glad I get to worship with my family (especially my little girl). And now I look forward to my son (3 1/2 months) to soon start doing the same things as his sister.

The heart of this pastor is definitely bursting, in so many ways.
Thank you, dear God. Thank you.

Praise be to God!!!

The Pastor -|—

Sunday morning prayer

I don’t know about you, but there’s something so comforting and soothing about a candle burning near by…especially when it smells like Strawberry Cream.  It almost makes me crave a Strawberries and Cream drink at Starbucks.  It’s just too bad that the Starbucks near us is being closed.  Darn it anyway.

But that aside I am enjoying a nice cool morning…with an aroma of strawberries floating in the air…giving thanks to God for another day.  And what a great day it is.  Connie and I have had a fun week with friends and a fun weekend at home with family.  My cousin and his wife renewed their vows yesterday and when we as a family get together (cousins and all) we have a great time.  I just wish I could have stayed longer last night but I had a 2 1/2 hour drive to get home.  Oh well…some time with family is better than nothing.

Anyway…last week I let my busy schedule get the best of me but not today.  I am not going to leave without praying with you this morning.  So let’s join our hearts together as fellow members of the body of Christ and offer our prayers to God.  Let us pray…

Father in heaven we praise you for your incredible love and mercy.  You offer forgiveness; you give us life; you show us your will.  But Lord God, we too often follow the ways of this world.  We too often conform to the patterns of this world.  Instead of standing up for you we take the easy way out.  Loving God, we ask for wisdom and courage to follow you so others may see our good works and give you glory.  All this dear God, we pray through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen. [ Reference:  Romans 12:1-8 ]



May God richly bless your day with His abandant love and mercy.


Take care!