Without Ceasing

Holy God,
my prayer rises to You in the morning,
and at the noontide.
My prayer rises to you in the evening,
and as my eyes close to hide.
I can come to You in any moment.
though I am thoroughly unclean.
I need to come you in Jesus,
for my sin is not unseen.

You have commanded me to pray without ceasing,
You have commanded me to run to You.
You have commanded me raise my petitions.
All glory to you is due.

And You command me so because,
well,
You love me.
You want fellowship with me.
You want me to draw closer to You.
You desire me – a sinner.

Through Jesus I am forgiven.
Through Jesus I am Yours.
Through Jesus I have hope.
Through Jesus Your love ensures.

Father Almighty and Holy God,
draw me closer for I want more of
You.
In Jesus holy and awesome name I pray –
continually,
Amen.

I Am Yours

I am Yours and not my own.
I am Yours and not alone.
I am Yours and not exposed.
I am Yours and not opposed.

I belong to You,
A tender, little child.
I belong to You,
On me You have smiled.
The world trips me up,
Trying to hold me back.
But I am Yours,
Thus they'll always attack.

But I shall not fear,
Nor will I fret,
For I am Yours,
thus I am set.

I am Yours and not my own.
I am Yours and fully known.
Through Jesus Christ Your dear Son,
I am Yours and I have won.

Good News Haiku

R.C Sproul has said, “The gospel is only good news when we understand the bad news.”
What does this mean? Great question, I am so glad you asked. Here’s another Haiku for you.


Newborn baby bird
To the ground fast – plummeting.
Hopeless? No! Jesus.


Who, in your sphere of influence, needs to hear the Good News? Make sure you explain the “bad news” first and then — Give them Jesus.

Christian Haiku

Many of you know that I like dabbling in poetry. It has been an enriching spiritual discipline for my heart as it forces me to think carefully about my faith, scripture, God, Jesus, my salvation, etc. Recently, I have become fascinated with Haiku. This is Japanese poetry which has a particular format: Three lines with syllables 5-7-5, and generally focuses on the natural world. I have been doing some reading recently and thus I have been trying my hand at it. Below is my first attempt at what I am calling “Christian Haiku”. I know that this may not be in the spirit of the Haiku, but I pray that this new fascination drives me deeper into my faith with God through Jesus Christ. So here you go…

Once dead in my sins –
Jesus was crucified – dead
Life! Now I’m redeemed!

To God be the glory.

My Amazing God

Your eye is upon me O God
As You reign on high.
Never distant
Never silent
On You I can always rely.

You hear my cries all day and night
Not turning a deaf ear.
Always listening
Always caring
I love that You are always near.

Your grace receives this sin-filled life
Washing me white as snow.
Always forgiving
Always restoring
Through Jesus You’ll never let me go.

Praise will always be lifted high
Raising my hands to You.
Always worshipping
Always glorifying
For to You all honor is due.

Sacrifice

Freedom, grace, mercy, peace.
They are not free.
They are costly.
Many have given their lives.
Many have sacrificed much.
Oh so much.
But too many forget –
taking for granted,
simply enjoying a “long weekend”,
a peaceful life.
But what is peace?
Are you really at peace?
Many have died that we my ask this question.
One has died that true peace may be had.
Let us not forget the many,
and do not forget the One.
Freedom, grace, mercy, peace.
Given through the sacrifice of many – For now.
Given through the grace of One – Forever.
Remember now
Know forever.

Read

O God, You are not silent, for You speak through Your Word.
Open my ears to hear.
Open my heart to receive.
Transform me and remake me that I may better glorify You.

[From my prayer journal]

I wrote that above prayer because of a quote that came to mind. I forget the source and the exact quotation, but the spirit of it was that if you think God is silent or does not speak to you, then open your Bible and read. The Bible is God’s inspired, infallible, inerrant Word.
Read and hear, for His voice is speaking to you.
Read and listen.
Read and obey.
Read and remember.
Read and be excited, for our creator God is speaking.
Read and wonder.
Read and read some more.
The Bible is timeless and relevant. As Dr Steven Lawson has said, “The Bible is more relevant than tomorrow’s news.” And it will always be relevant. It will never go out of style for it is the Word of Life, Jesus Christ, crucified for your sins and raised for your salvation. Everything of this world will eventually fail and fall away, but the Word of God is FOREVER.

So…

Read, read, read…

God is speaking.
God is speaking — TO YOU.

Connected

Good morning! This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it 🙂

Below is the article I wrote for The News Tribune (Tacoma) for this morning. To God be the glory!


What is your typical impulse when you see a pretty flower? The impulse for some is to either smell it or pick the flower. The reason behind this impulse is generally because of the beauty of the flower and the desire to maintain closeness with that beauty. My children, my daughter especially, loves to pick flowers (weeds) and give them to Mommy. Every once in a while I will get some but Mommy gets more because she usually responds better than I do. That aside, when you pick flowers (weeds), if you want to preserve them you must put them in water relatively soon, and so that is what Mommy does. Rarely a day goes by that we do not have a Dixie cup of dandelions or some other “flower” in our kitchen. And we all know what will eventually happen, right? In a day or so the “flower” begins to wilt and eventually dies. Actually, the dying process began as soon as the flower was picked. But the one who disconnects the flower from the vine does not or refuses to see this because it is the beauty, now, that they want.

In the Gospel text for today from John 15:1-8, Jesus reveals himself to be the “true vine”. He goes on to proclaim that to abide in the vine is something that happens through the spoken word. It is all grace. He follows this with a call to continue to abide in him that you may bear fruit that glorifies God. All of this to say: Stay connected to Jesus. It is one thing to say, “I am a Christian” but a completely different thing to live a Christian life day in and day out. But living a Christian life is not just doing “Christian things” and saying, “Christian stuff”. Living a Christian life is living a life worthy of the Gospel (Philippians 1:27). You do this by staying connected to Jesus. But pastor, what does “staying connected to Jesus” look like? [That is a great question. I am so glad you asked.] Staying connected to Jesus is living in an active relationship with him. It is staying in constant prayer. It is living with his words in your heart. Not just memorizing scripture but knowing it and what it means for your salvation. Living a life worthy of the Gospel is living in union with Jesus, a life given, empowered and sustained by God Himself.

Living a life worthy of the Gospel – staying connected to the true vine – is a gift of God. Without God’s grace and His strength, we would, no doubt, pluck ourselves from the vine and try to water our own so-called beauty. And without Jesus, you will die in your sins. Without Jesus you cannot glorify God. Outside the vine, any so-called beauty will die. It is only in Jesus that you are, and will be, sustained forever.

So, abide in Jesus, now and always. Abide in him and give glory to God. Abide in Jesus and live. To God be the glory, always and forever, Amen.

Morning Prayer ~ Turning My Eyes

Father God,
I turn my eyes upon You this morning;
seeking You.
I long to see Your face that I may not sin –
defiling this temple,
this jar of clay.
I long to know You better that I may not stray –
seeking after other gods,
placing my hope in them.
I long to be held by You and feel Your embrace –
knowing I am secure,
being at total peace.

O God,
Surround me.
Hem me in.
Guard me.
Protect me.
The Evil One seeks my demise and I am weary of fighting.
Fight for me.
Strike him with a devastating blow.
Glorify Your name in victory.

O God,
I praise You that the ultimate battle has been won –
the battle over sin and death,
the battle for me.
I praise You that Jesus is Lord, my Savior –
that he took my sins to the grave
and You forgive me.
I praise You that through him I will wear the crown of life.
O God,
You are mighty –
mighty in love,
might in mercy,
mighty to save.

Father God,
I turn my eyes to You this morning
and always.
In Jesus name I pray,
Amen.

Worship Prayers ~ Redeemed

Father God,
You have redeemed me through the blood of the Lamb,
Jesus Christ Your dear Son.
You have set me free from the grip of sin and death.
You have given me the hope of the resurrection unto eternal life.
And thus,
You have given me a new story.
The old one has been done away with – crucified with the old Adam.
I have much in which to be thankful.
May this story be the one I joyfully live and share.
May it radiate from my very pores.
May it ooze out of every nook and cranny of my life,
so much so,
that people may see You in my good works, words and deeds
and give glory to You through Christ Jesus my Lord.
May the hope You have given me continue to draw me closer and closer to You;
transforming me more and more
into the likeness of Your dear Son;
my Savior.
O God,
hear my prayer in the name of Jesus,
Amen.