Monday, December 31, 2012

No Words....
The voice inside my heart where all of these poems come from has been strangely silent for a while now.  It's not that God is not at work in my life, because I feel that He is doing more in this time to mold me than at any other time that I can remember.  
I had begun to wonder why there has not been a new poem, with all that is going on in my life,  since that is usually how my mind responds to things that effect my heart.  And then I began to think about all that I have to be grateful for.  All of the friends and loved ones that have given, or prayed for us, or sent a card, or just spoken a word of encouragement.  I began to realize that to properly express the fullness of all that God is doing in our lives and just how truly grateful we are, there really are.....

No Words



No words could ever fully tell
The depth of gratitude
Nor could my human tongue express
Our grateful attitude
For every prayer or thoughtful deed
For generosity bestowed
For encouragement and cards received
All mean more than anyone knows
No words will ever be enough
For all that’s in our hearts
So when we offer “thank you”
Just know you’ve played a part
In the grace that God has shown to us
Through the struggle that we face
The love of God we’ve seen in you
Has been an anchor in this place
Of testing and of trusting
And this we’re committed to
So for every kindness shown to us
Beyond words we are thankful for you

To our church family (and everyone that has
played a part in helping us through a very tough time)



Col 3:15
 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

I find it interesting that God puts such a high priority in the scriptures on being thankful.  So much so that He even lists unthankfulness right alongside blasphemers and unholy in 2Tim 3:2.  Do you think maybe that's because He knows that there is no way we can grow and mature as a Christian with an unthankful heart?  No matter what your situation, there is always something to be thankful for if you just pay attention.  An attitude of gratitude will go a long way in making even the worst circumstance easier to bare.  

Monday, September 17, 2012

Changes ...
It's been a while since my last post, but God has really been working me over and teaching me some real life lessons.  Most of you who follow this blog already know our story and so just by way of update; Karen is half way through chemotherapy and only has 7 more radiation treatments left.  All in all she is doing very well considering everything she has been through. We are thankful that she has not been sick or had any severe side effects.  She is extremely fatigued and easily worn out the last couple of weeks, but if that is the worst of it then we are grateful.
Here's the thing that God has been doing in my heart recently; He is teaching me to hold my life and plans with palms up.  In other words to hold everything dear to me with open hands.  To be ready, and even thankful when He changes things in my life because He always knows whats best even when I don't understand ... and He has never once made a mistake.  Lots of folks say they want God's will, but then get upset or even bitter when He brings uncomfortable situations in their life to mold them.  I want to be exactly where He wants me and that means trusting His plan more than my own.  So, I must make it a theme in my life to be satisfied with His sovereignty and to be flexible and even grateful when God makes....

Changes


A crisp chill in the morning air
Says autumn is almost here
Cancer stole our summer
Soon fall will disappear
Fall will fade into winter
And eventually will come the spring
Life is constantly changing
There’s no telling what it will bring
You may think you have it all figured out
With your plans all set in place
But it’s amazing how fast life can change
In a flash it can all be erased
When everything you hold dear is gone
And you’re unsure what your future will be
That’s when you find out who you really are
And what you really believe
Will you run to God when that moment comes
Or will you turn away
Will you open wide your heart to Him
Or will the trials cause your heart to stray
For trouble is simply a part of life
Sure as the seasons come and go
And how we respond in each circumstance
Determines how much we will grow
You see suffering doesn’t change who we are
It simply reveals what’s true
Just like an orange when it gets squeezed
What comes out is the real you

Pr 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
Ec 3:1  To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

Some people may think that God brings testing in our lives to find out how we will react and to see who we really are...but the truth is that He often brings the testing so that WE can find out who we really are and how we will react.  God already knows the answer.  We learn much more about ourselves in the storm than we can ever learn in the calm.  Because when the pressure is on and we are squeezed, what comes out is what was on the inside all along.  It's like the saying goes, "some get bitter and some get better"... I want to come out the other side of the trial better, not bitter.





Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Don't Ask Why...
I never cease to be amazed at how God works in our lives.  He begins preparing us for situations long before they are even a thought in our minds.  This truth that I am trying to convey in this poem is something that He has been working into my life for a very long time now.  With my own physical issues (shoulder surgery, back surgery, etc) and financial struggles; I kept hearing God say in my spirit, "do you really trust Me?"  And now facing the greatest trial of my life, and the life of my family, I can honestly say "yes Lord, I trust You!"  There is a peace and a joy that has settled over us because of that confidence that we have in Him.  So even though at times my heart is so heavy that the tears come, I just remember to ask God what it is that I need to do next and....


Don’t Ask Why


When bad things happen
Or so it seems
And suddenly there’s a threat
To our hopes and our dreams
We must remember
All we’ve still got
And don’t ask God why
But ask what
Why is a big question
Though a very small word
To think we might understand
Is simply absurd
He has all under control
Of what is and is not
So don’t ask God why
But ask what
Leave the reasons to Him
And just seek direction
What’s the next step Lord
And where’s the connection
To what we should learn
From all you have wrought
Don’t insult God with why
But ask what
The why is far reaching
In God’s grand design
And it’s simply too much
For our human mind
To ask why lacks faith
And faith means a lot
So don’t ask God why
But ask what
Why seems so demanding
While what shows submission
Trusting His will
In every condition
Moment by moment
Connecting each dot
Don’t ask God why
But ask what
Our curiosity can wait
Till heaven we reach
But here humbly waiting
For the Lord to teach
Show me with patience
And I’ll give my best shot
And try not to ask why
But ask what

Pr 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Ps 119:165  Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. 

These are two verses that over the years have become a  part of the bedrock of my faith.  The passage in Psalms 119, in the original language, where our text says "nothing shall offend them", actually gives the idea that no stumbling block will trip them up or cause them to fall in their spiritual walk.  I am so thankful for the Living Word of God that can speak directly to our hearts at the time we need it most.  Verses that I have known for years, now have new and fresh meaning for me.  Thank you Lord!

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Hardest Prayer...
What do you do when you are faced with something that you would have never imagined in your darkest dreams?  Is God still God to you when everything you know to be your life hangs in the balance?  I sat and watched yesterday as my best friend, my sweetheart, my wife, lay in a hospital bed fighting back from a major brain tumor surgery; and what now appears to be a subsequent stroke, and tried to figure out what it is that I am supposed to do next.  The mind wants to think that this can't really be happening to us, but it is.  The husband and dad inside me wants to figure out a way to fix it, but I can't.  The emotions just want things back the way they were, but they're not.  But in my spirit I desperately want my God to be glorified and I want our family to be a good commercial for Him; and that we can do if we will learn to pray...

The Hardest Prayer



We pray dear Lord for healing
We need your grace and peace
We plead for things that we think best
We petition for release
From the trouble and the burden
And the pressures that they bring
Crying out for mercy
When we’ve lost the will to sing
Our prayers can be so limited
By the circumstance we face
Teach us Father to lift our eyes
And bring us to the place
Where we learn to pray the hardest prayer
When the trials and struggles come
Beyond these things that we request
Not my will but thine be done


Lu 22:42-41  And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.


How often do we, as Christians, talk about wanting to be more like Christ...But then, how many of us shrink and complain when the struggle or trials come.  I don't want to be that guy.  We serve the same good God in the trial that we serve in the blessing.  My savior finished the course that the Father had set for him, and because of that the whole earth has been impacted by the gospel.  I want to finish the course the Father has set for me and pray that someone else will be impacted for the kingdom by my life.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Next Step...
Although this site was never intended to just be a personal journal,  the poems that come to my heart are almost always a result of what God is doing in my own life.  We learned the full diagnosis for my wife Karen last Friday and it came as no surprise.  Just as the doctors had thought, it is a late stage, high grade cancer in her brain, and so now the real fight begins.  The thing that God is doing in the heart of my wife and myself is this; that no matter what comes, He is in control and we can trust Him to always and only do what is best, even when we don't understand.  If we keep our focus on Him, He may not show us the entire journey but he will surely show us...

The Next Step


Life can change in an instant
In a moment all your plans could be gone
We may think it could never happen to us
But the trials come to everyone
The truth is this that only God knows
If we will take the very next breath
And the only life that makes any sense
Is to find our peace and our rest
In the creator and sustainer of life
Walking daily in His grace
Fully committing our lives to Him
Pressing onward in the race
Making the most of each moment
Living with an eternal view
Submitting to his sovereign care
Trusting His mercies each morning are new
So no matter what you are facing
Make no room for worry or fear
And trust the heart of the Father
He will make the next step of the way clear

Pr 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
2Ti 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
La 3:22-24 It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.  The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.

For those of you who are following the story, last night we called for the elders of our church and asked to have Karen anointed with oil according to James chapter 5.  It was the most precious time I have ever been a part of in my 40 years as a Christian.  It was as if we were actually sitting in the throne room of the Father as the men prayed for my wife and family.  
We are obviously praying for a complete healing, but more than that, we are praying for God's perfect will to be accomplished and for Him to get the glory.  No matter what the outcome, we firmly believe that people all over the country are being impacted by what we are going through and we want to be a good commercial for our Awesome God!

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Storm...
Some of you already know about the trial that our family is facing.  We learned last week that my wife, Karen, has a rather large mass on the left side of her brain that has been causing increased weakness on her right side.  We go in today for more testing, and by the end of the week we will know just what it is and what we will face in the days ahead.  But here's the thing ... whatever it is, God already knows and it comes from His hand.  The grace that He has given and the peace that we are experiencing are truly amazing.  We are certainly not the first to go through something like this, and we surely won't be the last,  But we are determined to give God the glory in everything and we are grateful that we have been counted worthy to ride...

The Storm


Counted worthy
To ride the storm
The trials that come
Take many forms
Life doesn't always
Turn out like we planned
But one thing is certain
It's in God's hand
Some may grow bitter
But we will praise
Our Loving God 
In all His ways
And when in heaven
The battle finally won
Our reward will be
His words "well done"

Isa 26:3-4 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength: 

We have been blessed so far with some really great doctors and nurses.  It has been interesting to see the looks on some of their faces, when they see the peace in our eyes, they must think that we don't understand the seriousness of the situation.  But I look at them and think, they don't understand the greatness of our God.  The bottom line is this...it's a sovereignty issue!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What's Really Real? ...
Ok, so I am not an existentialist, and it's not a trick question.  There is a reality beyond what we can see with our eyes.  The reality of eternity and the world beyond our senses is as real and even more permanent than anything we can touch or feel.  The bible makes it clear that as a believer we are to be focused on the Kingdom of God more than the Kingdom of Man.  But what does that really mean?  I heard a term once that I think gives some clarity to the concept....having "Eternal Eyes", means to see things from the perspective that everything we do ultimately has eternal consequences.  It means seeing things from God's point of view.  Are we living for the material, in bondage to the things that will certainly perish?... Or are we consistently living for Christ and drawing people closer to Him?  That is where the richest blessings are for the Christian.  So the question is...
What's Really Real? 


 What is seen cannot be trusted
It’s the unseen that’s really real
The truth is in what God says
Not in what we think or feel
Reality is what’s eternal
Not this earthly walk of life
Yet we focus on the temporal
Both the glory and the strife
Our feelings are deceptive
The world around will lie straight faced
And if we listen to these voices
Then we miss out on God’s grace
Eyes of faith are what’s required
An eternal mindset is what we need
Looking past the physical
To the lasting reality
There is a joy that is eternal
And a peace that comes with truth
There is freedom found in God himself
From earthly chains we can be loosed
It’s a choice we make each moment
Whether temporal or eternal view
No matter what circumstances come
How you see it is up to you


 John 20:29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

2Co 5:4-8 For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.  Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.  Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:  (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)  We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."
Jim Elliot

 I want to thank Dr Matt Olsen, President of Northland International University, for the message that he preached on the life of Joseph that prompted this poem.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Mom...
There is probably not a sweeter name this side of heaven than Mom.  She means more than she probably ever realizes, and gives so unselfishly of herself to serve those she loves.  When I think of the type of love that we are to have as Christians, that agape, self sacrificing type of love...Mom is my earthly role model.  There can never be enough thanks or accolades given for Mom.  She really is my hero and the reason that I turned out to love the Lord and want to do right with my life.  This was originally written for her birthday a few years ago, but with Mother's Day coming up, it seem appropriate.  I will be forever grateful for ...

 Mom


What makes a mom so special
What’s so important about her task
Just listen to her children
And the questions that they ask
Like why is the sky blue
What makes the grass turn green
How do lightning bugs do that
When their tail lights can be seen
What makes the stars so shiny
And does God really live above
But the one thing that you rarely hear
Is “Mommy what is love”
For that question can be answered
Just by living in her care
The tenderness a mother shows
Is in all the world most rare
For she gives without reservation
Of her energy and time
From kissing every boo boo
To reciting each nursery rhyme
You can hear it in her voice
You can see it in her eyes
You can feel it in the pride she shows
In her children’s lives
It’s no wonder she’s their hero
And they understand once they’re grown
What makes a mom so special

When they have children of their own


Pr 31:28  Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her

(For my Mom on her 72nd birthday)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Forgiveness...
I heard a great message this past Sunday on forgiveness and it reminded me of this poem.  I realize it is part of our human nature to harbor hurts and hold grudges.  But the thing is, if you are going to truly live the Christian life, our human nature is the thing we should trust the least.  I have been on both sides of the equation and I can tell you from experience that there is a freedom of spirit that is a natural byproduct on both sides, whether you are the forgiver or the forgiven.  The key, at least for me, to be able to make forgiving an immediate response, is to keep in mind all that Jesus suffered in order to offer me....

Forgiveness


   Forgiveness is a choice we make
        A decision to release
        The hurts and disappointments
        And lay them at Jesus feet
        We have no right to hold them
        Or the bitterness they breed
        After all that Christ has done for us
        It’s His mercy that we need
        To show to those around us
        No matter what they’ve done
        A tender and a loving heart
        As seen in God the Son
        Father, help me to remember
        All you’ve done for me
        Forgiving my transgressions
        Please help me to clearly see
        With all that my soul owes
        The least that I can do
        Is to be kind, forgiving others
        And in me let them see You

Eph. 4:32  And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

How often do we allow our pride to convince us that we are entitled to our hurts and bitternesses over something someone else has done?  Yet if we will only take a moment and honestly reflect on all that God has forgiven us of, including every wrong thought or motive and every hurtful word or wicked deed, then I believe it becomes much easier for us to forgive others and to release the bitterness that will only harm ourselves.     


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Day by Day...
It is so easy for me to get distracted...I'm sure you are not that way, but for me, the everyday details of life get in the way of doing and being all that I want to for the Lord.  If I allow myself to listen to old thoughts or revisit old habits, it's for sure that it will not be a good day.  One of the advantages of getting older is that I am beginning to recognize spiritual pitfalls and understand with more clarity the importance of a daily walk with the Lord and a consistent yielding to His spirit.  I am certainly not where I want to be in that regard, not by a long shot.  But at least if I recognize the need, I think I am on the right track.  The Christian life is not a destination but a journey.  And we have no choice but to take it ...

Day by Day


Sometimes in the day to day of life
It seems that we let things slip
Things that are most important
Yet somehow we lose our grip
We sacrifice the eternal prize
On the altar of right now
And lose our focus in the fray
We must find a way somehow
To fix our gaze upon Jesus
When struggles crowd our way
Making our minds to think like His
Forbidding our steps to stray
Because our hearts will tend to deceive us
And our flesh will tell us lies
Some days the battle overwhelms us
No matter how hard we try
Wrestling with our own demons
That haunt us now and then
Past regrets and broken dreams
Potential spoiled by sin
Still we strive to live in the moment
Seeing the future as an open door
Leaning on God’s forgiveness
Knowing what’s best He holds in store
For if there’s one thing that’s unchanging
And for all of time that’s true
Our Father never falters
And He cares for me and you

Heb 2:1
Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip
Jer 17:9
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
I Pet 5:7
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

It has been said that “it is not hard to live the Christian life, it is impossible”.  The only way it becomes possible is to keep our focus on the God of the impossible and allow Him to live the Christian life through us.  It is not a onetime decision but a moment by moment yielding to the Spirit of the living God.




Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Hour ... &, Pondering the Resurrection ...
It is interesting to me how God uses people to stir and encourage other people.  Especially believers with each other.  Once again someone has encouraged me to keep posting to this site and with Good Friday and Easter upon us, it was easy to choose what to post this week.  Today is a 2 for 1 ... the second is actually quite different than what I normally write because it is an abstract poem. However, it is, I believe, the most profound (even if it is the shortest) poem I have ever written.  But before the glory of the resurrection our Savior had to come to.....

The Hour


All of time eternal
        Without beginning and without end
        Hinges on the hour 
        When broken fellowship Christ would mend
        The Creator of the universe
        King and Lord of time and space
        Became a lowly servant
        To rescue Adam’s race
        From His birth in the manger
        To the Garden of Gethsemane
        All in preparation for the hour
        When He would hang upon that tree
        God Himself in human flesh
        All the miracles and love
        If He had stopped short of that hour
        Would not be enough
        But in complete surrender
        To His Father's plan
        He suffered and cried “it’s finished”
        And gave eternal life to man
        In all of time eternal
        That one hour saves the lost
        For the destiny of all man kind
        Hinges on the cross

John 17:1  These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:

This thought never ceases to amaze me.  I am in awe and wonder at the very idea that the God of all creation would come in the form of the created so that He could buy back what He had made in the first place.  And to think that all of His interaction with mankind and all that He accomplished between the manger and the cross was done in preparation for that one moment in time when He could say “IT IS FINISHED” and our debt could be paid in full!


*********************************************************************


Pondering the Resurrection


If not for the resurrection...
The church is no more than a social club…
Believers no different than the atheists…
and Christians no better or worse off than the rest of a dying race...
BUT GOD raised HIM from the dead,
And that changes everything!


Acts 13:28-30
And though they found no cause of death in him, yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain.
And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre.
But God raised him from the dead:

I love the holidays, all the holidays.  The magic of Christmas time, the great family time spent at Thanksgiving, even the patriotism of the 4th of July.  But Easter, at least for me, is on a different level than the rest.  I wake up nearly every Easter morning with a deep sense of appreciation and wonder at what was accomplished that first Easter morning.  The power of the resurrection is the difference between Christianity and every other belief system in the world because the author and finisher of our faith IS ALIVE!



Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Who You Are...
A dear friend encouraged me to not give up on this blog and so I want to post a couple of poems for today...One for circumspection and one just to remind us to be grateful.  This first one calls us to keep in mind that we have the power over the kind of person that we become.  Our mind as well as our character, is molded by what we ourselves allow inside.  So it's really up to you to decide...


Who You Are


Who you are
Is who you know
The things that you read
And the places you go
We become what we think
And we think what we see
It's a universal law
That affects you and me
We just can't escape it 
Or turn it about 
When it comes to a life
Garbage in garbage out
So it's easy to choose
Who you are in the end
It's all in what you think
And your companions and friends

I Cor. 15:33    Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.

It is true that who you really are is who God knows you to be and not who others think you are.  The bible makes it clear that “as a man thinks in his heart, so is he”.   That is why it is so important that a Christian must protect his thoughts and thereby guard his heart.




Check out Springtime in the Rockies on the next page




Monday, March 26, 2012


Springtime in the Rockies...
No matter where you live there is something special about the creation around you.  You may have to look past some concrete and steel to find it, but if you really look you will see the hand of God.  I just happen to be fortunate enough to live in a place where I don't have to look very far.  And it is never more evident than...

Springtime in the Rockies


Waking up this morning
Looking to the west
The view never gets old to me
A scene so picturesque
It’s springtime in the Rockies
And it’s glorious and grand
The beauty of creation
The work of God’s own hand
From the snow capped peaks above
To the columbine in bloom
Flowers and trees so varied
It’s nature’s own perfume
Then when the sun begins to set
The blues and orange cascade
Into wonders that I can’t quite express
It’s twilight on parade
They say that if God doesn’t live here
He surely spends lots of His time
Right here in Colorado
That’s why this little rhyme
That I may never take for granted
And with grateful praises sing
For the gifts my Father’s given
And for the Rocky Mountain spring

Ps 19:1
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.

I will never understand how anyone can look at all of the intricacies of creation, from the grand scale of the universe to the smallest scale of the sub-cellular, and say there is no God.  No one would ever look at a Rolex watch and assume that it somehow just appeared or evolved out of a pile of metal and plastic.  Yet there are those who will examine the world around them and not see that there must be a Creator.  I am thankful to live in Colorado where some of God’s most beautiful scenery is so readily available. 




Thursday, January 26, 2012

In His Hands...
This poem has been on my mind the past few days.  I have a friend who's 18 year old son left home for the first time this week to follow their chosen life path.  Although it's been several years since I first wrote this one, that feeling of watching one of your own move away is still fresh in my heart.  I have gone through it twice now and still have one more to go, and I can tell you that it doesn't get easier...But as Christians, we raise our children to love the Lord and to grow up to have an impact for Christ in the world.  That only happens as we give them the freedom to follow the path that God has called them to.  To be sure, there is a peace in that confidence but it still leaves a void in the heart and in the home.  The key, like so many things that we encounter in life, is that we must learn to simply leave it...

In His Hands


She left for college recently
My first born flown from the nest
And a piece of my heart is gone with her
Like it was pulled right from my chest
I know she is where she’s supposed to be
Of that I have no doubt
But how to deal with this hole inside
I’ll just have to figure out
I miss the hugs and kisses
And our private little talks
But through the wonder of what lies ahead
I feel like something has been lost
You see I loved her before I knew her
From the first heartbeat on the ultrasound
And with every “first” I watched her grow
Knowing that this was where she was bound
So even though life won’t be the same
I know God has a plan
And He loves her more than I ever could
So I’ll just leave it in His hands
And someday many years from now
When her own child moves away
She’ll understand with certainty
The way I feel today


Ps 127:4  As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.

We raise them to one day leave the nest, but I think sometimes we underestimate just how hard it will be to let them fly.