Archive for the ‘Free Verse / Poetry’ Category

We speak against hate, yet slander and mock anyone who disagrees with us

We advocate for the idea of unity, but unfriend anyone who doesn’t share our worldview

We petulantly rationalize our own acts of rebellion, while incredulously condemning the anarchy incited by others

We bemoan that no one has walked in our shoes, but then presume to know what other people think

We invest trust in people who don’t really care about us, while distrusting the neighbor, who’s never betrayed us

We convince ourselves that the problem is “Them”But this is “Us”

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Never really felt like I fit in

until I climbed into Your arms

Never really feel like myself

except when I’m with You


There are so many loves that I have known

but only One that can sustain me

There are so many seats that I could sit in

but only one reserved by You

There are so many songs that I could sing

but only one that makes You smile

There are so many things that I could be

but only one that fits Your hand


I know I could make them cheer

but it’s Your heart I want to touch

Not looking for the road less traveled

I want to go where no one’s ever been


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Now that I am on the other side

And the relentless pain is gone
Now that I am free of that broken body
And my tormented thoughts have been stilled
Now that my hope has become my reality
And I can view it from above
I can see the times it was difficult
And you responded with patience
I can see the times you were exhausted
And you found another bit of strength
I can see the times it was hurting you
And you refused to leave my side
In a season when my world got small
You chose to be a part of it
On the days I couldn’t remember who you were
You simply served in anonymity
During the most difficult miles of my journey
You decided to carry my pack


There are no words to do it justice
But there is a special gift waiting here for you

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Denial refuses to acknowledge that there is a problem

Wisdom endeavors to see a problem for what it is

Fear magnifies and exaggerates a problem


Denial rationalizes inaction

Wisdom pursues prudent action

Fear produces over-reaction


Denial breeds apathy

Wisdom breeds contemplation

Fear breeds panic


Denial fights to maintain the status quo

Wisdom seeks a measured response

Fear makes a bad situation worse


Denial is emboldened by a stubborn will

Wisdom is empowered by a peaceful mind

Fear is fueled by a fruitful imagination


Denial results in complacency

Wisdom looks toward hope

Fear leads to desperation


God grant us the strength & wisdom to grab ahold

of the things you’ve placed in our hands

And grant us the faith & hope to trust You

for the things that are beyond our reach

And Lord, please give us the discernment to

recognize the difference between the two

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Beware of those who come with complicated, layered theologies, which require all kinds of specialized skills and knowledge in order to gain access to the things of the kingdom.  This is a predictable tact that men take to elevate themselves in the eyes of others.  Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”  He then added, “whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”  Hear your Father bid to you, “come up here”.  


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It is a blindness to the beauty, with a clarity on the flaws 

It is the impulse to manipulate for what’s already been freely given


It is the urge to compete with those who are dearest to us

It is the voice that taunts us from behind the mirror


It is the compulsion to tear people down to what we unconsciously perceive to be our level

It is the willingness to trade our values for the approval of others


It is the frequency that muffles every compliment, while amplifying the slightest criticism

It is the apprehension to speak for fear of sounding stupid


It is the drive to control what was never ours to govern

It is the tendency to exaggerate our accomplishments, while denying our weaknesses


It is the fear that if they really knew us, they wouldn’t love us

It is the unspoken sense that it would be better if we were someone else


It is ultimately an identity thief


Its name is insecurity


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In the deepest part of our hearts – we all yearn to be loved, and each of us comes with the capacity to give love in return. We instinctually draw together in relationship with each other, and gather ourselves into communities.


And yet somehow we struggle to believe that we come from a God who embodies love, and who yearns to be in relationship with us.


In the deepest part of our hearts – we all yearn for justice, and each of us comes with an inherent sense of when that justice has been violated. Even as small children, no one has to teach us to cry out, “It’s not fair!”


And yet somehow we struggle to believe that we come from a God who embodies justice, and who would demand a price for sin.


In the deepest part of our hearts – we all yearn for shelter from the storm, and comfort in times of trouble. Something within us inherently knows to run for cover, and to seek a place of refuge.


And yet somehow we struggle to partake of God’s Spirit, who stands ready to manifest Himself as the “Comforter”, and who offers a peace that surpasses our understanding.


In the deepest part of our hearts – we all yearn for a sense of significance, and of belonging. It is within our very nature to fight wars, to fly banners, and to adorn ourselves in accolades, in order to establish our place in this world.


And yet somehow we struggle to believe that we were created in the image of God, and that we were meant to be the heirs of His Kingdom.


In the deepest part of our hearts – we all yearn to believe in something that is bigger than ourselves, and that is beyond what we can understand. From the beginning we are drawn to fairy tales, magic, legends, the depths of the ocean, heroes, outer space, Sci-Fi… or anything else that might carry us beyond the boundaries of what we have known.


And yet somehow we struggle to accept a God whose ways are much higher than ours and who can do abundantly more than we could ever ask for, or imagine.

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The day after your child is born

You realize that pain and discomfort can be worthwhile


The day after you utter piercing words

You realize that hurt cannot be taken back


The day after you are swindled

You recognize all the signs you should have noticed


The day after you receive that “thing” you thought would change everything

You recognize that no “thing” has the ability to do that


The day after you enact revenge on someone

You realize there is no satisfaction in it


The day after you lose someone you love

You recognize the void they filled in your life


The day after a “One Night Stand”

You find the emptiness within you


The day after you forgive someone

You realize that it is you who have been set free


The day after the “Dark Night of the Soul”

You find that God’s mercies are new every morning


The day after a tragedy

You realize how blessed you were two days ago


The day after you see one of your children step into their destiny

You find yourself being thankful for the sacrifices you made for them


The day after you compromise on the things you truly believe

You realize the power of shame


The day after you die

You’ll realize that how you lived really mattered


The day after Jesus comes back

You’ll realize that the truth was never really negotiable


(Proverbs 14:12)

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I could speak of the place that the Lord first found me

& of the great saints who have gone before


I could tell of the mighty battles that have been fought

& of the miraculous deeds that have been done


I could sing a hymn of God’s great holiness

& of the wonders of His ways


I could paint a portrait of the splendor of the heavenly city

& of the angelic host that await us there


But in truth

it is only the


& hope

& love

that I carry within my heart today

that has the potential to change anything

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Last night, our daughter spent hours trying to convince one of her classmates not to end their life.  I wish I could say that this is a first, but all of our kids have been pulled into this sort of thing before.  It was late, and the situation was far from settled when I finally forced her off the phone.  This morning, she woke up troubled and exhausted.  As I sensed her emotional state, I was impressed to write it down.  Please pray for our young people, these are difficult times and their struggles are real.


Are You Still Here?


As my eyes reluctantly crack open, I can see that it’s still dark

And I wonder whether you’re still here


It was another night of tears and prayers

And words that seemed to fall to the ground


I tried everything I could think of

But eventually, I ran out of things to say


You seemed to have a counterpoint for every encouragement

And ultimately I could not carry you to a place you refused to go


When we hung up the phone, I cried out to God

But I knew that He wouldn’t force Himself on you


I know that you’re looking for someone who will take away the pain

But you’ve grown immune to the love that’s already around you


No one has the strength to pry the hurt from your clinched fists

No one else can provide you with the desire to go on


Hope can be an elusive thing

But it’s not because it’s complicated


You don’t necessarily need to believe that things will get better

But you have to be open to the possibility that they could


For whatever it’s worth, I really do love you

And it’s hard not to feel as though I’ve let you down


I keep searching for a remedy

But the shelves of the medicine chest look empty


So I lay here in the pre-dawn hours of the morning

And I wonder whether you’re still here

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