Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Moment

Written September 11, 2001
Posted September 11, 2010, in remembrance

In but a moment, so it seemed, in one
collisioned, crashing moment, learned we all
what is for leaping souls to blot the sun--
felt we all two symbols shake and fall.
What dawning horror shook our hearts into
the night and burned, as did the fires, filling
freedom's skies with heat.
What smoldering resolve with each review,
with every image, wills to war from spilling
souls; we will respond with marching feet.

In but a moment, so it seemed, in one
unuttered scream-like moment, papers scatter,
flutter, fall, the ashes of those gone--
A dusting of their dreams--the loss of latter
laughter, love and living, smiles and giving,
morning greetings at the entry door.
The silence settles now
While those remaining, stare, and face reliving
scene by scene the horror of before--
remembrance in a never-slowing snow.

In but a moment, so it seemed, in one
horrific, heaving moment, all we knew
of peace and past lost itself, undone,
within the blast, stormed and billowed to
the aching sky, and pillowed there the still
of those stopped voices and the choices they
would make within the day.
Remember now, America! With will
and soul, remember this! For minstrel hearts will stay
on key if tuned aright with yesterday.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


In a time long forgotten, at the birth of the world,
Before dawn, two brothers sought God in a field.
One brought the fruit of the ground he had tilled;
On offered a lamb, and together, they kneeled.
When suddenly a voice whispered through the haze,
Rebuked the sacrifice of Cain, now lost within the blaze.
But Abel's, He accepted; for someday He would raise
A sacrifice to cover for the sin of all man's ways.

There would be no wall to climb over, no altar to leap,
No penance to suffer, no stone law to keep,
No priest to confess to, no prayer to the east,
No care to lose rest to . . . For we would be RELEASED.

On the heights of a mountain, a man and his son,
Had built up an altar and laid the wood on.
'Twas then Isaac realized what had to be done;
But for trust in his father's love, the child did not run.
His son upon the altar, Abram raised his knife.
How could he kill his only son? His heritage? His life?
When a voice from the thicket said, “Abram here is your relief,
Spare your son, and kill My Lamb; Be blessed for your belief.”

He had no wall to climb over, no altar to leap,
No penance to suffer, no stone law to keep,
No priest to confess to, no prayer to the east,
No care to lose rest to . . . for he had been RELEASED!

On the first Easter morning, a woman in tears
Crept early to a garden where a stone tomb appeared.
But to her amazement, she saw as she drew near,
The stone was rolled away! Her Lord was not here!
The angel said, “Fear not! He's risen from the dead!
The matchless Lamb of Glory has died in man's stead!”
She had come to the garden to weep for her Lord,
But to discover, her hope was restored!

There would be no wall to climb over, no altar to leap,
No penance to suffer, no stone law to keep,
No priest to confess to, no prayer to the east,
No care to lose rest to . . . for we have been RELEASED!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Free Now

I didn't notice when the walls came up around me--
Too busy looking out the windows of my cell,
Shaking my head at the prodigal,
So proud of where I stood,
Thinking I deserved a madrigal
For a life of lifeless good.

I was not free yet.
I'd pushed my Lord aside.
The prison of my making,
I claimed that He assigned.
I could not see yet—
I had so much to hide—
My heart, my soul, and my mind,
All longed to be free.

I could not miss the walls now; they were everywhere.
I lived my life from deep behind the bars.
Angry—oh so angry—
That no one would give me
A happy end for my conformity.
Still I was not free.

No, still not free yet—
Jesus waited at the side—
Waiting to be the only One
I cried for when I cried.
I could not see yet
My tears could all be dried—
My heart, my soul, my mind—
Were a cry from being free.

In the darkness then I saw an apparition,
Of one Who's face was bruised—Who's hands were scarred.
He didn't fit my text book definition;
The life of faith—why should it be so hard?
But Jesus handed me a key—the key to my despair—
He said, “My child! Unlock the door! I never left you there!”

And I am free now!
Walking by His side—
The prison of my making,
All but left behind.
I can see now
With nothing to hide—
My heart, my soul, my mind—
And I am free!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I Hold a Dear Hand

When I was quite young
There's a time I recall,
When a hand that I loved
Held my hand still so small.
I remember that hand,
So affected by time--
Softened by age,
And wrinkled and lined.
Grandma, how do you manage?
Your hands are so old!
Then she told me the best thing
I've ever been told.

Today my dear son
Took his very first step;
His father was proud,
And I nearly wept.
This small letting go
Is the first of its kind;
Time passes like water--
He will leave home behind.
Son, how will you manage?
There's so much to know?
As my God is good,
He will answer me so.

So friend, if this life-light
Leaves you sorely dismayed,
And the pennies are gone
Before they've been paid;
Just look to His face,
And reach for His hand--
The best treasure you have
Is the warmth of His hand!
His promise is sure,
And your pathway He knows;
May this be the song
Of your heart as you go!

I hold a dear hand
Stretched from heaven above;
To the old and the young,
Jesus reaches in love;
And that same dear hand--
Once pierced cruelly through--
Is the same hand I'm holding,
Guiding me through.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Lord, Let Me Love

Lord, let me love in fashion
That is like the Savior's love
May eyes transmit compassion
That transcends from Thee above.
For hearing our entreaty,
Christ—not daunted by our need--
Extended love completely,
Making searching hearts

Lord, in my least expression,
Let love be laced among,
And may no situation
Find me without my song;
For songs among our sorrows
And hopes shared in the dark;
Bespeak the Savior's image,
Though the world denies His mark.

Lord, shaken by redemption
And covered by your care
And strengthened by salvation
May others follow there!
For how can they resist
If there shines, and shines, and SHINES,
Consistent and persistent,
The God that I call mine!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Alone in the Dark

Do you feel alone in the dark?
No one knew . . . no one knew.
Making sense of the dark
What is not--what is true.
So many hands reaching out for a sign--
Who the heart asks, can it trust this time?
People are frail; they are made out of dust;
There is just one set of Hands to trust . . .

You were not alone in the dark;
Oh, He knew--yes, He knew.
Once He hung alone in the dark;
Loving you--all for you.
He knew your pain, and He bottled your tears;
Now when dark closes in, He hears every fear.
Deep in the night when you're chasing down sleep,
Yours is the soul He's still longing to keep.

He said, “Let there be light!” He took the dark from the night;
He gave the blind man his sight--He reaches out for you.
He'll clear the dark from your room, like He cleared out the tomb;
No, you are never alone . . . You are His precious YOU!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

Now I lay me down to sleep
The dishes in the sink will keep
The overflowing trash will wait
The laundry never will out-date;
For more important than the stack
Are those who ate and did not lack
And those who knew the covering
Of clothes, and more, of Christ the King.

Now I lay me down quite spent,
The dust bunnies are all content
To wait until tomorrow, so,
I'll close my eyes and let them go.
For more important than the dirt
Was time to stop and heal a hurt
To listen to a heart in pain
And help it start anew again.

Now I lay me down to rest
Lord, you know that I did my best
Though sleepy now, I must confess
Beneath this darkness, lies a mess;
But Jesus loves a disarray
If that is how he plans a day
He doesn't see a bed unmade
But only how He's been obeyed.

Now I lay me down to snore
I didn't make “to love” a chore
I rocked, and read, and vanquished fears
I played, and fed, and dried small tears
I built up hopes while dusting fans
I colored sunsets in with crayons
So now, dear Lord, if you see fit
Let me rest myself a bit.

Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord my mess to keep
Still my mind and calm my heart
And bless me with new strength to start.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

For what, my Christ?

For what, my Christ,
Was Godhead rent?
You--one of three--
His own blood spent
On Calvary.
What paradox!
Most glorious made
When by One owed
A debt was paid
And life endowed.
Such satisfaction,
Dearly bought--
Oh may my erring heart
Be taught a more
Obedient part.
For not a lifetime
Could have earned--
No, not ten lifetimes
Could have learned--
Yet you, dear Christ,
In moments knew
My total shame;
The nails passed through
My debt by name.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Timeless Prayer

Oh Father God, which ever art in Heaven,
Today I kneel and marvel at your name.
I am so glad your love is set upon me,
Through endless ages, evermore the same.
Thy kingdom come, in time that you deem perfect;
Thy Will be done, though I don't see the end;
So now, my burdens, take here at Your Footstool;
I trust them ever to my God, my Friend.

Oh Father God, which rules in earth and heaven,
Give us this day Thy Strength and Daily Bread
And needed grace to offer up forgiveness
As You graced us when once for all you bled.
The tempter lurks, but love lights up the pathway,
Though shadows fall, Your Spirit shines a light--
Lord, You are with me; I will fear no evil,
Thy Staff of Presence comforts through the night.

It may not be the answer I expected;
It may not be the end I had in mind,
But God—my Help, my Strength, and my Director--
Sees to the end, when I am poor and blind.
Though He race in with “Yea” and quick relieve me,
Though He in perfect wisdom answer “Nay,”
Or in foresight lift me up while waiting,
I'm trusting Him in every prayer today.

Surely my days, shall Thy blessed mercy follow,
Thy goodness glow, without and from within,
And I shall dwell within Thy house forever--
Oh Father hear my prayer. Amen . . . Amen.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Presence of Peace

When for the darkness
The way is not clear;
When footholds are few,
When rest is not near;
I have a dear Shepherd
Who certainly leads
Beside the still waters,
The rest, and the reeds.
In the absence of knowing
Is life with new lease;
In the absence of answers
Is presence of peace.
When wolves fill the shadows
With uncertain fright;
When the way to the sheepfold
Is covered by night;
I have a dear Shepherd
Who certainly leads,
Beside the still waters
The rest, and the reeds.
In the absence of sunlight
Is Jesus who sees;
In the absence of moonlight
Is presence of peace.
When the way is too steep,
And the sun is too hot;
When those we love sleep,
When we have—but have not;
I have a dear Shepherd
Who certainly leads,
Beside the still waters
The rest, and the reeds.
In the absence of dry eyes
Is deepest release,
In the absence of quiet
Is presence of peace.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

To What Effect the Empty Tomb?

To what effect the empty tomb?
The fallen shroud that made Christ room?
Rejoice, oh resurrected soul!
For by Him risen, we are whole--
Sweet guarantee—diverted doom
To that effect, the empty tomb!
To what effect the empty tomb?
What parted hopes are there exhumed!
For though a death must change for life--
To live again hence dulls the knife--
As flowers on a deathbed bloom
To that effect the empty tomb!

To what effect the empty tomb?
A bride now waits upon her groom,
Now may she bide in pleasing grace,
Transfixed in loving on His face—
Christ will return; His reign resume—
To that effect the empty tomb!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Maggie's Lullaby

If I had a lullaby
Sent from heaven to my arms,
Guilded soft with angel's songs
That could still the heart's alarms,
I would sing it every night;
I would rock so patiently,
So the everlasting arms
Could be felt by you through me.

If I had a lullaby
You could take with you in part,
I would whisper it in prayers
While I held you near my heart,
"Jesus is my lullaby,
Peace and solace in the night--
Take His lullaby, my child,
You will never lack a light!"

Child lay down in peace and sleep,
Leave your troubles for His mind,
For His thoughts are greater far
Than the thoughts you leave behind.
Rest in safety, for the day,
And the past, and what's to come,
All lay settled past the dawn
Near the heart of Christ the Son!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Believing Draught

I cannot cease;
I cannot halt;
Upon my knees
My every fault
I offer up.
And then for blessing
God, I plead—
My griefs, my heart’s
Most minute need—
My dearest hopes.
For at thy throne
And near thy feet
Are wells untapped
And seas replete
For thirsty souls.
Don’t seek out men
And fools be-robed—
But seek the truth
That has un-globed
Their little roles.
I speak, O self-
Encumbered heart
Of living water
That restarts
A life at One
Believing draught.
This living water
Dearly bought,
Cost unstopped slaughter
Of a Father’s Son.
And with that Holy
Breath unspent,
All hell was crushed
The veil was rent—
The heart that stopped
But for a time
Was Deity,
And Blood Divine—
And hope from sin.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Be Still and Know

Be still and know your Elohim,
Creator of the bright and dim--
Who, to make light His first surprise
Canvased darkness on the skies.
Be still and know your Elohim,
Not diety of fate or whim,
But knowing what our choice would be
Gave us choice to choose Him free.
Be still and know the great I AM
Who bought the souls of every man,
And purchased with His blood our fears
Of sin compounded through long years.
Be still and know the great I AM--
The visage of the offered Lamb--
He read the scroll of tainted time
And then Golgotha He did climb.
Be still and know Christ Yeshua,
The promised one, Messiah come;
Who at the first made company,
Of us, His image, fallen away,
Be still and know Jehovah God,
To want us back—-Oh what a God!
To love us and perfection lend,
Unworthiness made right again.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


How often when You whisper "wait,"
Do we, Your children, concentrate
On what for us, seems Promised Land,
Instead of what You give at hand.
We hope in futures--busy years--
And seek out such with bitter tears
So constantly, we miss the way
The Lord works beauty in TODAY.

Friday, July 23, 2010


Lord, please consecrate my hands--
Fortify for those demands
That oft, so all consume my day.
Lord, direct them to the right
Reflections of a heart, contrite,
Comitted to the living way.
Lord, though hands rejected be
As were Thy hands on Calvary,
May yet these hands Thy love relay.

Lord, please consecrate my feet;
Fit them, bind them, find them meet
For every race sojouning brings.
Lord, direct my every step--
Keep from wrong and make adept
My stumbling feet that I may sing.
Keep me from the wayward climb,
Rebellious shoes and wasted time,
That journeys all be offerings.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Who is This God?

Who is this God?
Who when I cannot speak
Translates my heart
Into a language not of earth--
And thus, He understands the weak.

Who is this God?
Who when I fail AGAIN
With one repentant breath
As if the fault had never been.

Who is this God?
That men place in a box--
Explain Him there and think to comprehend
The One--who in the end--
Holds keys to all their locks.

Who is this God?
If ALL had been just ME
Alone in sin--
His love for me as one
Had spread him still the same upon that tree.

Who is this God?
Who takes my little fears
And treasures them alongside offered prayers,
Midnight condensations--
And bottled tears.

Who is this God?
Eternity will spell but the first thought
Of what all time and more
Will sketch in galaxies
But not begin to tell.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Never Doubt in the Darkness

Never doubt in the darkness what's known in the light;
God's pillar of cloud is a fire by night;
What you know about God in the day to be true--
Never doubt that in darkness, He'll prove it to you.

If you know that He's Savior while in a pure way,
Never doubt when you've fallen to cares of the day.
If you know that He's Holy with heaven in view,
Never doubt when the world numbers you with the few.

If you know that He's just when all men judge you fair,
Never doubt when you haven't a friend anywhere.
If you know that He's faithful in no sign of storm,
Never doubt when the western tempest would form.

If you know that He's loving when spectrum's appear,
Never doubt--when for clouds--you don't feel Him so near.
If you know that He's Counselor, Shepherd, and Guide,
Never doubt in obstruction, He stands by your side.

If you know in bright season He's Father and Friend,
Never doubt that he'll claim you as His 'til the end.
If you know at the sunrise, your needs will be met,
Never doubt His provision at evening's onset.

If you know that He's gentle and good in repose,
Never doubt when your heart doesn't feel what it knows.
If you know of no circumstance past His command,
Never doubt that you're held in the Palm of His Hand.

What freedoms are foundling! What passions ignite!--
If we doubt not in darkness, what's known in the light.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Presence of God

Oh the presence of God
Precious place of relief
Where a child joys His Father
With simple belief--
Where even pragmatic
And common sense things
Do not the child hinder,
Who happily sings.

Oh the presence of God
Where the Savior resides,
Where the ransomed can stand
With nothing to hide;
There, motionless, motionless,
Standing in Him,
The things of this world,
Grow all passing dim.

Oh the presence of God
Where the Spirit inspires
To light up the world
In infinite fires--
All founded in Christ
And grounded in love,
Astounded indeed
By the presence of God.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Hope Infinite

To those who follow straightly
And those who lose the way;
To those who walk uprightly
And those who slip or stray;
God's love extends extremely
Each flawed one feels His care
For God's heart loves supremely
What to men, seems past repair.

From time of void and nothing,
To times beyond our reach,
To tangents past our thinking,
And knowings none can teach,
Here even love's extension
Exists in newborn light
For our God's intervention
Is such that all seek sight!

In pictures drawn of lifelines
And paintings born of years
There caught in history's confines
Are murals made of tears.
Mankind continues searching--
Oh look! Upon the hill!
The one who once hung dying--
Oh glory! Living still!

Infrequently Sought

Oh life with attentions all focused on me,
Oh life with intentions spent all selfishly,
Oh life with possessions so needlessly bought
Then Savior--my Savior--infrequently sought!

Oh life with philosophies grand in the mind
With esteem of the self leading multitudes blind,
Oh life with the right of each man's own heart taught
Oh Savior--my Savior--infrequently sought!

Oh life with it's searching the skies for a sign;
With babes, if they live, taught they have no design;
Oh life with its millions in vain searchings caught
Oh Savior--my Savior--infrequently sought!

Oh life with its starving for natural food
Oh life with those largely too full of good
Oh world overcome with your houses of draught
Oh Savior--my Savior--infrequently sought!

Oh Savior who from the beginning has loved,
Oh Savior who with our Redemption has moved--
Who whispers in whirlwinds, "Here Me as you ought!
Oh mankind! My mankind! Eternally sought!"

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Prostrate Now

Prostrate now, here at Your feet,
Failures all around me;
Humbled You would even meet
A man like me in mercy.
You alone know my true fall,
And love me where I've fallen;
Pick me up, my All in All,
And grant me Thy restoring!

Prostrate now, I feel Your hand
On my fallen figure.
I begin to understand,
You speak when we've no stature.
"Fear not! Now go forth in My Name!
Make Me your expectation;
For I am every day the same,
Your daily restoration!"

Prostrate still, but now my eyes,
Are fixed on a foundation,
And firmly fastened to the skies
Where lies my destination.
May my prayers 'til then not cease,
Rejoicing, thankful, ever!
For here, I find God's will, and peace
Shall follow me forever!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

We'll Leave It All Behind Us

Nation against nation
And kingdoms set apart,
And pestilence and famine--
Do you quake within your heart?--
Wars and rumors!--Are you troubled
And stirred up within your mind?
Oh friend in Christ, be not afraid,
We'll leave it all behind!

As lightning threaded over
The canvas of the sky
And striking through the storm clouds
With heaven's battle cray,
So comes the Son of Heaven,
His enemies to bind--
The days of darkness over--
Praise His Name!--Now left behind!

We'll leave it when the trumpet
Tramples oe'r the eastern sky,
When the saved surpass the summits
Of the mountains as they fly!
And Satan's final plummet
From his lie will be drawn nigh--
Yes, we'll leave it all behind us
When Christ calls us by and by.

Friday, June 11, 2010

I Shall Not Want

I shall not want for safety
While Jesus makes remark;
The shadows have no power
To move me in the dark;--
My Rock, and my Salvation,
Defense, and Covert Wing--
My Shield and Sun and Glory--
The Strength with which I sing!

I shall not want for peace
Within the pasture of my soul,
For naught shall move the grass there
While He is in control.
The winds that storm the body
For a mastery of the will,
Beyond all comprehension
Cannot conquer "Peace, be still!"

I shall not want for future,
A horizon ever nears,
Where peace shall dwell by safety
And rest resides past tears.
New eyes shall open slowly
To a light before not borne--
The light of Christ Eternal
Burst upon eternal morn!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Fit Praise

A new song sings my stammering heart
To shake from its malaise;
How many ways can words combine
To aptly sing Thy praise?
So may I trust praise-worthiness
To Him who made my tongue--
Who knows not just the song I sing
But heartsongs strewn among!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Bird's Song

A lesson, Lord, to me
May this tiny bird be--
For though the lightless world
Has yet to spring a day,
It's morn enough for her
To sing and say
Her God is good.

A lesson, Lord, to me
May this tiny bird be--
She sings without behest
Though her little nest
Is shivered by a mist;
Her God is praised in blindness--
With no questioning fist.

A lesson, Lord, to me
May this tiny bird be--
Her song lights so cheerful
Into the unknown--
While fearful me steps cautiously
Along--forgetting both my song
And Thy sufficiency.

Monday, May 24, 2010


Resilient Lord? I cry to Thee--
The storm has seemed so long;
The wind out-blasts my little strengths
And carries off my song.
The rain falls steady--ever on--
To rival but my tears;
Joy cometh in the morning?
Not until this midnight clears.

Resilient Lord? I lift for strength
These feeble arms of mine,
For every weight too weighty seems
And yet more come with time.
My clothes soaked through with showers;
My mind without its muse,
And I bruised, all from falling
Over rock encumbered shoes.

Resilient Lord? My stooping form
Is not an Atlas frame!
And yet this pile of burdens
Weighs global just the same
Father, mother, brother, friend--
All in a heap on me,
And some days my own heart
Departs to the periphery.

Resilient Lord? I hear your voice
Now telling me, "Be still."
You speak to me in quiet
You whisper soft until
I understand your meaning,
Or else but know you near--
And find new strength for leaning
Though the answer's not yet clear.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Poured Out For Me

Oh come alive my soul again!
The light has near gone out--
The valley of the shadow
Has left my heart in drought.
Can anyone, O anyone,
Conceive how dry I'm poured?
Oh yes! The One poured out for me,
My Savior and my Lord!

Oh come alive my soul again!
May light shine through the dark--
For darkness has no power
Where Christ has left His Mark!
Oh gladly now I take His cross--
With joy, I'll be poured out;
No more to mourn the marching,
But marching on, to shout!

Poured out for me! Poured out for me!
And knowing my infirmity
My Great High Priest knows well my plight
For He was once poured out for me!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Quiet Place

Lord, keep me in the quiet place,
Restore the still within;
For I can hardly keep apace
With life--and my own sin.
But Lord, your yoke is easy;
Your burden--it is light--
Oh, draw me back to quiet,
To holiness and right.

Lord, keep me in the quiet place;
The noises take their toll--
And spent, my rent serenity
Evades my scattered soul.
Oh, let me hear the still small voice
Past earthquake, wind, and rain
And hearing, hear the Prince of Peace--
The Peace who bore my pain.

Lord, keep me in the quiet place
While quiet is Your Will--
Then leaving placid fellowship,
Cause me be quiet still.
For I am poor and needy,
And my own strength dwindles fast;
Oh Jesus, Peaceful Savior,
Keep me quiet to the last.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Infant Expectations

In infancy, we trust to God those blessings given us,
But as fruition finds them grown, have we still heart to trust?
For infancy knows many dreams of height and voice and climb,
But trust we still the Savior, with growth not matched by time?
Full maturation is His boon--a boon in His own way--
His thoughts match not our thoughts, oft times; His ways match not our ways.

He uses for an orator, the one who cannot speak;
He chooses not the mighty to confound, but calls the weak.
To suit the battle beyond odds, he takes the trembling hand,
Empowers it to act, and thus, He takes the land.
Anointed to be king?--The youngest and the least.
After God's own heart?--The one caught in a tryst.
Mother of the wisest?--A woman fallen low.
Mother of the Highest?--She who said, "Lord, be it so."

So let us trust in infancy, the plan that's gone awry,
The child who's gone astray, the dream that's passed us by;
And do not think the one who's small, cannot be nobly borne,
Nor think the servant who is mute, may not announce the morn,
For what is done is not about perfection, rank, or trade;
But rather, it has all to do, with God, by whom we're made.

For He who authored infancy sees best around the bend
And knowing all, He rightly joins--the past, and now, and then.