The Director’s Chorus

Carbon River in Orting, WA

The chorus of creation makes the most beautiful music
under the direction of
the Director;
perfect music for a weary soul.

I sit down and the concert begins;
shielding me from the noise out there,
giving peace to my noisy heart.
I sigh a happy smile,
and enjoy.

The Director leads the way,
cueing every sound.
Soon I’m lost in perfect harmonies,
the world out there is forgotten.
But soon a person jogs by
and startles me away from the creation chorus,
my heart races,
but I quickly reengage the concert.
Again I am lost,
and my heart is calm.

Birds sing their melodies.
The wind adds its part.
The trees applaud with joy.
The flow of the river keeps everything together.

The Director’s composition is perfect.
Nothing did He miss.

As I stand to reenter the world;
I applaud, praising the Director.
I am ready now,
ready to reenter the world,
with a heart that is at peace.

Sinking

A little while ago a series of events unfolded, leading me to reflect on the sum of those events taking place all in one day: Wildfire smoke from eastern WA; wildfires around us in western WA; a power outage (that ended up lasting 40 hours); poor air quality means we should not open windows; and the First day of school was postponed. And all of this in the midst of a pandemic. I posted my list on Facebook and concluded my list with a funny movie reference and then asked, “It cannot possibly get any worse, right?” My intention was to be funny, but many people did not see it that way. Some people concluded I was struggling, maybe even depressed. They offered words and prayers of support. A congregation member asked me later if I was doing better. Even though I was trying to be funny, I think my heart was trying to show me something I was forgetting. Soon after I posted my list on Facebook, a seminary classmate commented: “Pandemic, civil unrest, and the heat wave coming tomorrow. Yet Christ’s promises to you remain unchanged.” YES! Christ’s promises to me remain unchanged. A couple days later my morning devotion was about Peter walking on the water with Jesus. When Peter looked at the raging storm around him, he began to sink. I had taken my eyes off Jesus and I was sinking along with Peter.

O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” [Matthew 14:31]

I do not know, but what I do know is that my faithful Lord and Savior reached out to me as my heart cried out. He sent people into my life to proclaim the Truth. He clung to me with those nail-pierced hands and carried me safely to shore. When Jesus died on the cross for the forgiveness of sins, he declared those whom he saved – saved. He declared that Satan no more has a hold on you. Jesus defeated hopelessness and fear. Jesus reigns on high now, and forever more.

And so, instead of a list of woes and other negatives going on, I am focusing on the blessings in my life: two beautiful children excited for school, a healthy family, less arthritic back pain, the wildfires did not touch my home or church. So much for which to thank and praise God, and when I do, my heart is led to worship. Look to your blessings and not the challenges of this year. Below is a poem I wrote in June 2015 that speaks of my heart today. To God be the glory, always and forever, Amen.

I love You in the morning,
I love You in the eve;
for You are always with me,
and ever will You be.

I thank You with my whole heart,
I thank You all my life;
for You are holy awesome,
and ever be my Light.

Jesus is my Lord and Life,
for his life did he give.
You are always faithful, God,
and ever will I Live.

For Me

Oh God, You’ve done so much for me.
Once dead but now I am free.
Eternal life You did decree.
Now to You I bend my knee.

Oh God, You’ve done so much for me.
To me You showed great mercy.
To Your arms I’ll always flee.
Through Christ I abide in Thee.

Oh God, You’ve done so much for me.
Your love is to the Nth degree.
My heart is full of so much glee.
It’s Your face that I long to see.

Oh God, You’ve done so much for me.

I Do Not Know

I do not know about today.
I do not know about the way.
I do not know about tomorrow.
I do not know how to handle this sorrow.
I do not know what’s around the bend.
I do not know why this will not end.
I do not know which way to go.
I do not know,
I do not know.
But You, oh God, know,
and thus it is Your way I will go.
There is much out of my control,
as this year has definitely taken its toll.
Guide me,
Guide me,
and lead along the way.
May Your glory be revealed in me this day.
I do not know,
I do not know,
But thank You, God, it is You that I know.

Trust

The following is my Sunday article for The News Tribune (Tacoma). It is based on a poem I wrote and published on my blog last week titled, “The Forest”. To God be the glory.


I remember the good ole days when I would turn on the evening news and get informed on what was going on in the world, this nation and the community around me. I even looked forward to it as those behind-the-desk personalities connected with me personally – like they were family. Their insight into the events helped me understand better what was going on and I trusted them. Each night I would turn on my television and wait. When my “family” appeared, they seemed happy to see me and thus I gave them my undivided attention. But gone are those days. Actually, I cannot remember the last time I anxiously turned on the evening news or even reluctantly turned it on. Those days are gone because my so-called “family” has made it easy for me to let go. It is hard to know what or who to trust anymore and thus I have stopped showing up to those evening “family reunions”. Events are still happening in the world, but now I am forced to be more careful of what I read, watch and believe.


And I am thankful, because it has redirected and reinforced in me whom I ultimately should be trusting: Jesus. I used to find peace in knowing what was going on in the world; now I find peace in God knowing me in Jesus Christ. I used to find peace in a “family” who never truly knew me; and now I am at peace in the family of God. I used to find peace in being able to discuss and even debate the events of the day; now I find peace in proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.
In the end it is about whom you trust and whom you will follow. Following Jesus is not always easy, but it is always right, for he is always faithful and true. Following Jesus may seem scary and confusing at times, but he IS the Way, the Truth and the Life. Oh sinner, trust and follow Jesus, and be at peace now and with God forever through the forgiveness of your sins.
The following poem is something I wrote as I reflected on following Jesus – anywhere – trusting him with my life.


Following Jesus is one of trust,
like walking through a
forest
and not knowing the way.
Trees –
all looking the same.
Paths –
some looking safe
some looking scary.
Eyes –
watching and judging and waiting.
Noises –
a jumbled mess.
Some days I feel
lost,
but then his gentle hand
reassures.
And just when I think that I am through the
forest,
there is a

cliff.
And Jesus says jump.


Will you jump with me and be at peace? To God be the glory, always and forever, Amen

Free

When I gaze at You,
oh God,
everything else seems to
fade away.
The noise
The hate
The chaos
The conflict
It all fades away, for You claim my
attention – You have claimed my heart.
Nothing disappears or is magically solved.
It just does not claim
me.
When I gaze at You, I am
rescued –
I am rescued from the
quicksand.
When I gaze at You, I am
convicted –
why would I ever give myself to lifeless pursuits.
So whenever I feel myself being pulled into the
quicksand,
I gaze at You and I am
rescued.
Oh my Father God, through Christ Jesus my Lord,
I – am – FREE.

The Forest

Following Jesus is one of trust,
like walking through a
forest
and not knowing the way.
Trees –
all looking the same.
Paths –
some looking safe
some looking scary.
Eyes –
watching and judging and waiting.
Noises –
a jumbled mess.
Some days I feel
lost,
but then his gentle hand
reassures.
And just when I think that I am through the
forest,
there is a
cliff.
And Jesus says jump.

Protect

God has given us life so that we may glorify Him. Yet, all too often we get sidetracked with worldly desires and temptations that do anything and everything but glorify God. My prayer is that God would protect my senses and my body that they may be used for Him. This poem grew out of my prayer time this morning asking for that protection. May God protect and guard you as well that you may live for Him – in the name of Jesus, Amen.


Protect my heart
And teach my mind,
That to Your ways
I won’t be blind.

Protect my tongue,
That I may shine,
Your love and grace,
All of the time.

Protect my eyes,
That I may see,
Nothing but You,
And how I’m free.

Protect my hands,
That all my deeds,
May strive to serve,
My neighbor’s needs.

Protect my feet,
And lead them straight,
In Jesus’ name
To Your estate.

My Shepherd

The following poem was birthed this past week through a devotion I recorded on YouTube. It was part of a larger series called, The Wednesday Word that I do every Wednesday at 6:45 AM (PST). I was talking about the word “meditate” — more specifically, meditating on God’s Word. I led people through a meditation exercise on Psalm 23:1 and encouraged them to spend some time in that verse. As I followed my own advice that day, the Spirit started to bring this poem to life. It now breathes and thus I present it to you now. To God be the glory!


The Lord is my Shepherd,
I shall not want.
So why shall I worry?
For I am in His flock.

He leads me in green places,
And by waters still.
So why shall I worry?
He is always my fill.

He doth restore my soul,
in righteousness.
So why shall I worry?
My life is not a mess.

Dark valleys I walk in,
evil around.
But I will not worry.
In Him I’m safe and sound.

My table is prepared,
with enemies near,
But I will not worry.
My anointing is clear.

His goodness and mercy,
will follow me,
all the days of my life,
and with Him I will be.

Prayer for Peace

P – God of POWER and might,
break through hardened hearts,
and chase away all the hate.

E – EVERLASTING Father,
open wide Your gentle arms,
and heal all our hurts.

A – ALL knowing and holy God,
teach us to love one another,
so the heart is what we will cherish.

C – CREATOR God,
restore broken relationships,
and rebuild communities now torn apart.

E – Giver of ETERNAL life,
may the love of Jesus shine brightly in us,
and may hope calm our restless hearts.

AMEN