Words

The following is the article I submitted for the church page in The News Tribune (Tacoma, WA) for today, October 19. So here you go…


Words matter and therefore it behooves us to think about them carefully. They carry various meanings and paint descriptive pictures. And those meanings can change in a heartbeat depending on the context and whatever situation in which a person finds themselves. I think that is one of the reasons why I have developed a love for writing. I may not be the best at it, and it is definitely difficult at times, but I still enjoy it. And it is supposed to be hard because words are so complex. Thus, it is always wise to consider your words before speaking or writing. Sometimes the situation calls for immediate words, but when necessary, consider them carefully before letting them flow out.

Over the last couple years, I have developed a passion for writing poetry. The poems may not be the kind you would find in a best-selling poetry book, but I still enjoy it. I am not sure how I got started. Maybe a limerick came to mind and I started playing with it. Whatever the case, I enjoy wrestling with words and crafting them together, like an artist choosing colors and shades to unveil a scene that captures the attention of a person. I have also learned new words along the way that convey a meaning better than words I have normally used – just one of the fun side-effects to writing. But there is another fun side-effect – one that has led me to write this article.

When I write, I am usually writing about my relationship with God through Jesus Christ. The side-effect is that as I am contemplating word choices, I am thinking more deeply about my relationship with God, what that means and how to better paint that picture. I find myself swimming in a sea of words and searching for the right ones to share. No word is random but purposely chosen – guided by the Holy Spirit – for the glory of God.

That’s great, pastor, but why do I care about this? That’s a great question, I thought you might ask that 😊

You see, writing has become a lost art. How many times have you sent an email that you wished you could unsend? How about social media? How many posts and/or tweets have you published out of frustration and/or anger. Maybe the words sounded good in your head, but you failed to consider the other person or the context. As a Christian, have your words glorified God? We often write and speak without thinking about our words and how people are receiving them. I encourage you to think deeply about your words. Engage in the discipline of writing when it comes to your prayer life. Write your prayers out and think about the words, but more importantly, what it means that, through faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection, you have eternal life. The depth of God’s grace is so massive that a myriad of word combinations would fail to scratch the surface of God’s magnificence, but wow, how fun it is try. Let us consider our words – carefully- not just with God, but with one another. To God be the glory. Amen.

Morning Glory

I wrote the last stanza of this poem yesterday morning as a short prayer as I prepared for worship. This morning, I share it with you – with a couple more stanzas. To God be the glory!


Hold me with Your grace.
Bring me from disgrace.
My sins please erase.
For Your glory!
For Your glory!

Hear me when I pray.
Each and every day.
With You I want to stay.
In Your glory!
In Your glory!

Jesus is my King.
What an awesome ring.
My heart will loudly sing.
Your great glory!
Your great glory!

Bless me as I preach.
Guide me as I teach.
Many souls may I reach.
To Your glory!
To Your glory!

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.

The Path

Creator God, awesome and mighty,
You burst forth in the morning,
holding nothing back.
You make a grand entrance,
announcing Your presence.
Oh Lord, there You are.
But how, oh Lord, can anyone possibly say this isn’t from You? How could they even think such things?
I am perplexed by that thought.
For there is nothing random here. Only Your masterful hand lovely painting every stroke of color; each one planned and purposefully presented that all glory may be Yours.
Every hue.
Every ray of light.
Every beautiful detail.
Everything! – emanates from You.
Oh Lord my God, You blessed me this morning with this beautiful tapestry; for to see it was a pathway to Your glory – knowing that something even greater than this awaits me because of Jesus.
Oh God, I am in awe.
Wow!
Thank You for this morning artwork, but even more than that, thank You for this path to remember Your grace through Jesus Christ. I can hardly wait to see what awaits me.
To You be all glory, honor, praise and worship, through Christ Jesus my Lord.
Amen.

The Lake

Peaceful and quiet,
your waters are serene.
Gentle and tranquil,
Oh, how I love this scene.

The sun’s rising slow.
The colors of the morn.
You help set the stage.
This day will be adorned.

The loons sing their song.
My children laugh and play.
The sounds of the lake,
I could listen all day.

Time is so slow here,
Just inching right along.
Oh so refreshing,
I wish I could prolong.

But sadly we’ll leave,
And have to say goodbye.
God, thanks for this lake,
Its You I glorify.

In the Morning

In the morning You treat me to You glory.
In the morning You shine Your love on me.
In the morning Your mercies blaze anew.
In the morning Your radiance lights up my life.
May the light of Your love fill me and direct me; leading me in the ways of righteousness that brings You glory.
May I see people with Your eyes and treat them thus; as beloved children in Your care.
May I show grace and mercy; for the grace and mercy You have shown me is beyond comprehension.
May I shine bright this day; leading people to see Your radiance.
Oh God, this day You created for me is for You and thus I worship You.
You are awesome!
To You be all glory.
In Jesus name I pray,
Amen.

Father’s Day Prayer

Happy Father’s Day to all the men out there. You are being honored today for showing godly love to others and for living out your calling to reflect God’s glory. The following is a prayer that I have adapted from a Mother’s Day prayer that I came across years ago.

Have a great day, guys, and to God be the glory.

God our Father, in your wisdom and love you made all things. Bless those fathers, who have been called and accepted the responsibility of parenting and/or showing fatherly love to others.
Bless those who have lost a spouse to death or divorce.
Bless those who, through various circumstances, find themselves parenting their children alone.
Bless those men who have been called to parent children through adoption or the foster care system.
Bless grandfathers who share their wisdom and love with multiple generations.
Bless those fathers who have had to bear the grief of mourning the death of a child.
We give thanks for uncles and godfathers and neighbors, who share fatherly love with so many children; and for far too often overlooked stepfathers.
We give thanks for those who choose to remain without biological children, sharing love with the world in many ways.
We pray for those who struggle with infertility, whose desire for a child is met with frustration.
We pray for the fathers of children with special needs and chronic illness, who know anxiety and exhaustion better than most.
We pray for those who were given abuse and heartbreak by the ones called to love them.
We pray for fathers who have made the difficult and loving decision to entrust a child to adoptive parents.
Strengthen all these men by your love that they may become the loving, caring persons they are called and meant to be; reflecting Your love and glory. Grant this through Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.