I Smile

My eyes are closed yet the sun is shining through;
My fleshly barrier cannot hold back the light.
This reality proclaims the truth of the Light – and I smile.
As I smile, I listen.
I listen to the nature chorus.
Birds of all kinds contribute.
A dog barks wanting to join the chorus.
Soon an insect offers their voice and the chorus grows.
The music is unique – nothing like it will ever be heard.
The music is rhythmic – no practice was required.
The music is lively – singing praises to the Creator.
Oh God, You have ordained praise and nature sings.
You have given me Life, and my heart rejoices.
The Light shines in the darkness and the darkness will never overcome.
I listen
I rejoice
I smile

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

I have been praying a certain prayer recently. It’s a prayer that God has been faithful to answer not because I am saying the “right” words. It’s been the Holy Spirit slapping me up across the head in the midst of worry and anxiety – refocusing my attention…

I’ve got this.

…I have prayed these words and have felt the peace of God – my sovereign Lord, Father and Creator. Therefore, it is a prayer that I will continue today and in all my tomorrows. Will you pray with me?


Sovereign God, You were faithful yesterday as You took my tomorrow. Receive my today all for Your glory. Take my tomorrow that I may rest in Your peace this day. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Listening

Been up since 4 AM,
Listening to the silence of a sleeping house.
Listening for the still, quiet voice of You.
Listening with expectant ears.
Listening with a hopeful heart.
Listening
This world is noisy and my ears are tired.
Too many voices.
Too many sounds.
But now the silence, oh the silence.

[Tick, tock]
[Distant car engine outside]
[House creaking]

Even those small noises are loud.
Longing for silence, if just for a moment.
No distractions.
Just You.
I need Your voice.
I’m here,
Listening,
For You.

Love Not Hate

There are many people with whom I disagree, but it doesn’t mean I hate them. Even if they hate what I stand for and call me names, I do not hate them. Satan would like it if I were to hate them but I will not. I confess that it is hard at times but that’s why I commend this to God and ask Him for help. Only God can give me the strength and fortitude to stand strong in the face of opposition. Only God can love me with a love that spills out for others to see that glorifies Him.

In the past, I didn’t always think this way (not that I am perfect now) and for that I confess my sins and repent of my behavior. Not that I necessarily hated the people with whom I was disagreeing, but I can see now how some of my statements would come off that way. You see, I have often taken to social media to express my beliefs and run to the defense of like-minded people/organizations. As if those who oppose them are going to be swayed by anything I say or write. At times, I have been downright feisty – sometimes to the point of my heart racing with emotions and crossing the line at times. Once again, I repent.

As Christians, we are never going to lead people to the Truth – Jesus Christ – through hatred, but only through love. You can’t hate someone and then proclaim Christ to them. It’s as it says in James 3:10-12…

10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.

I regret the bridges that I have burned through hasty speech on social media and through other mediums. God forgive me. Brothers and sisters, let us bridle our tongues/words as we engage those with whom we disagree. Don’t come off as arrogant, morally self-righteous, or anything of the sort. Humbly approach each and every person and situation with the love of Christ – genuinely wanting people to come to the knowledge of the Truth. Pray for your heart. Pray for those who oppose you. Pray for your words. May blessings flow and not curses, that God may be glorified.

Holy God, bless the fountain that is my mouth and have holy dominion over my tongue. May the words that enter the arena for others to see/hear be holy words that glorify You. May disagreements be seen as mission fields and not battle grounds – opportunities to witness to the Truth. May my words be Your Words. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Morning Gaze

To God be the glory, to Him alone.
To God be the glory for He’s enthroned.
Reigning on high and yet close to me.
Reigning on high and always near me.
You are my God,
My Lord,
And my King.
You are my Rock my praise I will bring.
In the morning I lift up my voice,
At the noontide I will still rejoice.
For you are mighty and full of grace.
You are love, i’ll will never be displaced.
Through Jesus Your Son I confess my sins.
Through Jesus Your Son, my new life begins.
To You be all glory,
all honor
and all praise.
To you be all worship on You i’ll set my gaze.

Morning Son

The rainy season seems to have arrived in Western Washington (and no, it does not rain here every single day like my mother-in-law thinks). The summers are beautiful and therefore it is a very sad thing when the sun seems to go into hibernation. The gloom yesterday started to catch my imagination and I started to contemplate (as I like to do). This morning as I was praying, I started writing this prayer but had no idea it would take this poetic turn – weaving the outside gloominess with the Son. As I know that another beautiful spring and summer are coming to Western Washington next year, so I know that Jesus reigns, always and forever. I just love how the Spirit captured this one. To God be the glory.


Bright and shining is the day,
despite the gloom in the air.
The rains are falling and the sun is hiding,
but You reign here and there.
I can’t see the sun, but I know the Son sees me.
I can’t feel it’s heat but the Son’s love is all around me.
The clouds and gloom seem to rule the day,
but it’s not the final word.
Jesus my Lord is King forever,
and he is the only Word.
So may I enter this new day,
with hope and a smile that is bright.
The gloom is in the air but Jesus is everywhere,
so Satan can just give up the fight.

Holy God, may I shine with the radiance of the Son that others may see Your light and come to know the Truth. Amen.

Ready for the Day

Oh God,
i am up and ready.
My coffee is in hand.
My busy schedule is before me.
There is much to be accomplished.
So there is part of me that selfishly asks that all may go well for me and my family, but,
oh God,
i ask even more than that – that i would glorify You in my busyness.
As i go on my way this day may the busyness not distract me from You.
May i not forget to glorify You through my words and deeds.
May i not forget to receive people as i would receive Jesus.
May i not become overcome by my schedule, so much so, that i forget to show the love of Christ to others, including to my own family.
May i not get caught up with thinking that this is MY schedule, but rather it is YOUR schedule.
May i go through this day with the peace of Christ in my heart.
May i go through this day in patience – looking for mission opportunities that You create for me.
Oh God, may i not let Satan make this day just about me.
This day and every day is about You, and so here i go.
I am up and ready – with coffee in hand.
To You be the glory, this day, and always.
Amen.

Open

Open the eyes of my heart that I may see and respond.
Open the eyes of my heart to see the hurts of others.
Open the eyes of my heart that I may join You in mission.
Open the eyes of my heart that I may bring You glory.
All that You want me to do is clear – if only I would see.
All that I am to say is clear – if only I would listen to Your Spirit.
Opportunities abound.
Hurts are all around.
People are lost.
People are searching.
Open my eyes that I may lead them to know they are found.
May I not stall.
May I not turn away.
May I not give excuses.
May I not seek my own way.
Open the eyes of my heart that I may see You and follow You –
Anywhere and everywhere.
Open, oh Lord, open.
Open the eyes of my heart.
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!

Abundant Wisdom

1 Timothy 2:1–4 (ESV) ~ First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

James 1:5 (ESV) ~ If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

Oh God of all wisdom,
Wisdom seems to be in short supply,
But people stepping up to the microphone are abundant.
People raise themselves up to be leaders.
People raise others up to be leaders.
But rarely is it considered: Are they wise?
Rather, what is considered are qualities that are flawed and fleeting:
Appearance
Power
Money
Intelligence
Ability to make people feel certain things
Ability to manipulate words.

But wisdom, oh wisdom, is in short supply.
Without wisdom, we can not lead Your people to fear you – to live peacefully.

Oh God, You give generously to those who ask for wisdom.
Oh God, I now ask that you may give wisdom generously to:
Our president
Lawmakers on every level
Judges
Lobbyists
Teachers
Law enforcement
Media professionals
And so on and on…

And, oh God, I ask for wisdom for myself.
May I be a wise leader:
in my family
in my church
in my community
May I strive to glorify you and be obedient.

Oh God, wisdom is indeed in short supply, but not with You. So please give generously out of Your infinite supply that we may lead peaceful lives glorifying You. I don’t ask for my glory or for my comfort but for Your glory.

Oh God of wisdom, please give generously – please give generously.

Through Jesus Christ my Lord I pray,
Amen.