Fearing Death

Fearing death unseen,

Just like a leper in quarantine,

He sits alone, bound in chagrin,

While his unhappy world caves in…

Due to heartache and tied to shame,

Because he can’t get past the blame.

For, unfortunately, he wandered

Which explains the way he squandered,

Due to ravenous lust driven,

All the money he was given.

Because he dreads the quarantine,

But – even more — fears death unseen,

He sits alone, bound in chagrin,

While his unhappy world caves in.

The clock’s unnerving ticks and tocks

Cause him to cry out, “Shield me, rocks!

Protect me from the sudden shocks

That come with perilous hard knocks.”

Like a leper in quarantine,

Fearing death unseen,

He sits alone, bound in chagrin,

While his unhappy world caves in.

And so he makes the rocks his god,

Escape that clamors to be shod

In his own blood. “Steal, lie and kill,

A captive to addiction’s will.”

Like a leper in quarantine,

Fearing death unseen,

He sits alone, bound in chagrin,

While his unhappy world caves in.

Why spend gold on crushed rocks

To inhale a false cloud?

“I will be what I will be,”

He declares in ecstasy.

Like a leper in quarantine,

In fear of death unseen,

He sits alone, bound in chagrin,

While his happy world caves in.

Pride borne of useless fantasy,

However, leads to poverty.

But euphoria breeds disease.

This task master he cannot please.

Like a leper in quarantine,

In fear of death unseen,

Alone he sits, bound in chagrin,

Because his world is caving in.

When the smoke lifts, though, he sees

The one to whom he bent his knees

Bowing at the feet of Jesus,

Who gave His life to save us.

Once a leper in quarantine,

Fearing death unseen,

He sits alone, bound in chagrin.

His world, you see, was caving in.

But now at last he yields his life

To the one who calms all strife

And makes his sorrows cease

By offering a sweet release.

Because no shame lurks, he can win.

Therefore, he has no more chagrin,

Because the stone rolled from Christ’s grave

Declares how He came to save

No longer bound to ticks or tocks,

The man has found a better rock

Which can protect him from the shock

Of withdrawal he must endure,

Because God’s love for him is sure.

Have You Been Overwhelmed By Bad Reports?

Have you been overwhelmed by bad reports

Or dismayed by news of horrible aborts?

If so, you’re not alone. For the Israelites couldn’t enter

The promised land. That’s because many a venter

    (i.e. “I need to vent!”),

As in “those who spied the land out”, just saw giants.

You know – gangs of fierce, un-wieldly “self-reliants”

Who, it seems, looked on them with disdain,

Prompting them to sing this sad refrain:

“We look like grasshoppers to such big guys,

To whom we can’t compare in might or size.

Though Caleb may command faith to arise,  

We cannot climb above such mighty lies.”

(Our forms, you know, they truly do despise)

“Their bad reports are too much to endure,

Bombarding us with thoughts that are impure

And that hit us in the face like pizza pie.

However, when that pizza hits your eye,

You know it’s not AMORE but Amor-ITES,

The guys that have a knack for un-sound bites.

What’s more, they proudly fuss about wrong ‘rights,’

Just like Hittites, Jebusites and Canaanites.”

(And we’re not talking “knight in shining armor” knights)

And so, the men were overwhelmed by bad reports.

Dismayed by news of possible aborts,

Which tempted them severely to give up

Because they tasted of the bitter cup

That’s mixed with too much doubt to trust God’s Word,

Despite the mighty signs they’d seen and heard –

Such as manna rained upon them from above.

And yet they dared to question God’s great love.

Because they lacked the faith to enter in

To the land God had prepared for them,

He told them not to go. And yet they went.

Sadly, Moses couldn’t get them to relent.

Thus it ended in disaster: soldiers killed

Because they did not do as God had willed

But trusted in their own strength so unjust.

In fact, God knew they lacked the needed trust

To win the battle. Guilt had such a grip

Upon their hearts, it caused their feet to slip.     

But it’s not wise on one’s own flesh to rely,

Regardless of the saying “Do or die.”

  Yet God invites the weary soul to buy. . .

  The food which we can eat and never die. . .

With songs of praise to overwhelm a bad report

So that no one in their right mind will fall short.

Therefore, thank God for His promises each day,

Because Jesus helps us listen and obey.

Due to the fact that He listened diligently,

He has the power to help us hear clearly

So that finally, we too can understand

The awesome things that God for us has planned.

(Based on the story in Numbers chapters 13 and 14)

Relevant scriptures: Isaiah 55:1-3, Deuteronomy 8:3, Matthew 4:4 (God’s Word: our food), Psalm 7:17, Psalm 8:2 (Psalm 32:7 (songs of deliverance),

Jesus Christ Will Soon Return; Let This Word Sink In

Jesus Christ will soon return.  

Let this Word now sink in.

For it’s been a hard time with some things,

I have taken it “on the chin.”

And yes, there have been days

When I believed I’d never win;

So many trials and tribulations

In a world that’s filled with sin.

The doubts seemed to take over,

Faith stuck in sinking sand,

Still wading through this trial,

On Christ the solid rock I stand.

The scriptures give me comfort,

They are my source of hope

Especially when I feel like I’m hanging

On the short end of a rope.

The cliff lies straight beneath me

But the Lord will lift me up.

He is my manna, my reward.

Behold the bread, the cup.

I overcome by Jesus’ blood

And by my testimony.

Trust Him to come through each time.

His words are never phony.

Though weeping may last for a night,

Joy comes after mourning.

We must prepare for Christ’s return,

Which will come without warning.

Now is the time to heed the warning.

The Heart That Won’t Pretend May Mend

The heart that won’t pretend may mend, but when will mourning end?

Everybody in the world needs a good friend.

If we want to heal, we must be real and learn to feel.

But when others cry or laugh, what message does it send?

The heart that won’t pretend may mend. Have you a hand to lend?

For reality bites, though it does produce insights,

And through pain we may be set free,

Even though we fear it may last an eternity.

A flood of emotions pours into the sea

Of this broken earth in all gravity.

Some chase after strife to give them life,

But such running ends in bitterness, distress.

“By Jesus’ stripes we are healed”

Is not a platitude or simple attitude.

Our griefs He bore, so let us not ignore.

Life in His blood has power to heal,

The question is: Can you feel?

Seeds of faith that fall on rocks

Bear no fruit in the end.

For the heart that does not pretend

Eventually may mend.

But woe to the one who rejects a true friend.

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My Husband Loves My Latest Post

My husband loves my latest post. I am so happy to hear that. He loves the rhymes, especially the part about “Mike”! Now that’s the kind of review I can always go for! Soon I think I will start writing more again.

To me this goes to show that, contrary to some writing advice, what friends and family say about a writer’s work DOES matter. When my husband likes my work, it means the world to me!

If you’ve ever done any writing – with the idea of being published – then you will quickly come to realize that writing can’t be done in a vacuum. Every writer needs support from someone, preferably those closest to them. Even non-writers need support. We like to feel like we are heard. So when someone shares an idea with you, even if it’s off the wall, taking the time to listen and encourage them can work wonders.

True, that doesn’t translate into automatic success. But it can encourage a person not to give up, that with excellent coaching and perseverance the battle can be won. If you want to do well as an author, then share your work with someone. Put it out there. See what works.

If you keep going, you will get somewhere. But don’t forget to pray, because God is our greatest source of encouragement. Jesus said in John chapter 15 that “Without Me, you can do nothing.” He also told his followers to love one another, and encouragement is a form of love.

Readers feel free to weigh in. When your spouse (or other family member) believes in your writing, does it or does it not inspire you to persevere?

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Through the Valley, Not Much to Say

I’m going through the valley now and don’t have much to say, after trying for so very long to just obey. So much I tried, but no success. I didn’t understand. Everywhere I looked I seemed to see a reprimand. The trials have been torturous, I’m trying to look up. I’ve stared death in the face now and I’ve drunk the bitter cup.

All I really want is to reconnect with God. Everything else is window dressing.

Who cares about popularity or hitting that top spot? It seems to be way overrated. So much uncertainty with the plot.

I had so much to share, but few people seemed to care. But God used my loneliness to lead me to more prayer. How hard must be this valley for people in despair! Now that I have entered it, I have found you there.

You weren’t supposed to be here, confused about your calling, wondering what you’re meant to do, feeling like you’re falling. I was the one who felt as if she had failed to connect with friends and family, but I never did suspect

What happened just this week. It came so sudden, a low blow. When you, my friend, lost everything, I knew that I must go and stay right with you where you were to share the bitter cup.  This simply wasn’t fair to you, why must you drink this up?

I’m the valley with you now and haven’t much to say. I know that we both know It wasn’t supposed to happen this way. But I’m glad I can be here for you right to the very end, because I care about you. On this earth, you’re my best friend. 

I’m in this valley with you. You don’t have to walk alone, as we both seek our Lord Jesus who sits on the throne. Though happier days lie ahead, right now we live in grief. So let’s help one another overcome our belief.


By His Stripes I’m Healed: What This Means to Me


By His Stripes I’m Healed: What This Means to Me

“By His stripes I’m healed” means so much to me, For I am the one who caused His injury, bruising Him for how I’ve hurt myself and others; Failing to do good; revenge I took on brothers; Idle words I’ve spoken, idols I have built, So easily offended, Crunched by sin and guilt. With my own needs consumed, rarely giving glory To the author of this awesome Christmas story.

By His stripes I am healed.


Sin parted me from God, for I was so hateful, At war with my own self, rarely acting grateful. But the Father sent His only Son for me. Men jabbed His head with thorns, whipped His back savagely. Nails pierced His hands and feet. That’s how He broke the wall Of hostility dividing me from God. Blood poured from His wounds to give me liberty. As I drink it in, He enables me to see

In those blessed stripes, God reveals His will for me.


My life is in His blood, which shields me from God’s wrath, For, like a sheep I’ve strayed but He makes straight my path. Abel’s blood cried “Vengeance. Justice must be done.” But Jesus’ blood declares “The battle has been won.” He bore my punishment to bring me victory. So now, when anger comes, it needn’t rest on me. No longer must I eat the fruit of misery, For His blood gives me hope and immortality.


By His stripes, my fate is sealed. 



His righteousness is mine. For shame I have relief, Because He bore my sorrows to blot out my grief. His love drives out the fear that used to cleave to me. The Father has accepted me. I have security, With hugs that say I’m His, and in His house I’ll dine, For He Himself provides both the bread and wine. Fruits of the Holy Spirit make His presence real, Because it is His nature to save, restore and heal.





Feasting on His goodness, resting in His joy. The heavy yoke has lifted, no longer to annoy. All bitterness gives way to blessings that sustain,  Love beyond all reason, peace I can’t explain. To make me rich in faith, my Jesus became poor, And those who trust in Him He saves forevermore. His grace has set me free to dance, rejoice, and sing, And with cheerfulness to give an offering.

  

His stripes reverse the curse as if it never came to be.  Joy to all the world, for He brings us liberty.



Because I have the mindset of my sovereign Lord, And as I lean on Him, my vision is restored. Nobody can condemn me; no weapon can succeed Against me because I am following His lead. In Jesus I have access to every miracle Because in Him all of God’s promises are possible.  In boldness I can speak and know they will come true, Because the things He’s spoken He will surely do.


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Once Upon a Rooftop: Four Men and a Mat

Once upon a rooftop

Four men came with a mat

To lay a man at Jesus’ feet.

But what is up with that?

 

What do these rooftop men stand for,

Who lowered him on down?

Because God always has a plan,

But not for man’s renown.

 

Perhaps the first man’s like the Father,

God of light and love,

Who sent His only Son to earth

From heaven’s throne above.

 

Who knows the heartache He endured

To see Christ on the cross

Partaking of such guilt and shame?

Just think how much it cost!

 

Our burdens Jesus gladly bore,

Though He endured much pain.

For our own sins He suffered loss.

Through Him we’ve much to gain

 

Because the Father gave Him

As a sacrifice for sin.

He let His back be mocked and whipped,

Our victory to win.

 

Therefore His wounds bring us true peace.

Our burdens He did bear

Through the power of the Spirit

Who this truth does share.

 

The Father, Spirit, Son, you see,

That blessed Trinity,

Are like an awesome triangle

That brings us liberty.

 

But one more rooftop man gives you

A brand new faith dimension.

For God’s right arm did all the work,

But we are His extension,

 

The reason for the rectangle

We’re privileged to help carry,

A corner of the sinner’s mat

Which once appeared so scary.

 

But Jesus tore apart the roof

That wouldn’t let us near

To come into God’s presence,

And He says, “Be of good cheer!”

 

To Jesus’ left the Father stands.

They each hold up an end.

The Spirit, also, hovering near,

To God’s Word does attend.

 

Invisibly they wait for us

To take the final part,

Because He’s given us a choice:

“Ignore” or “take to heart.”

 

The Father, Spirit, and Son do long

To help us in our task.

They’re always there to meet our needs,

If only we will ask.

 

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Like Pulling a Pet From a Pit: Healing

I. Healing: Like Pulling a Pet From a Pit

 

Have you fallen in a pit?

Well, God wants you out of it!

It’s an awful place to sit.

So, if you’ve taken a hit,

Read the gospels and you’ll see:

It is God’s will to make you free.

He wants you to be whole

(In spirit, body and soul).

Jesus compares healing to saving a life and to pulling a pet from a pit. See the following examples:

I. The Man With the Withered Hand

One time in a synagogue He saw a man with a withered hand. The Pharisees asked him if it was lawful to heal on the sabbath. They wanted to accuse him. (see Matthew 12:10.

Jesus answered by asking what they’d do if their sheep fell into a pit on the sabbath. Wouldn’t he lift it out? He then adds (in verse 12) that a man is better than a sheep and that it is lawful to do well on the sabbath. Jesus then had the man stretch his hand out and it was made whole.

(In Mark 3:4 Jesus knows their thoughts and equates healing with doing good and saving lives.

 

II. The Man With Dropsy (Edema)

The second time where Jesus compares healing a man to pulling an animal from a pit is in Luke 14:1-5

In this case, a chief Pharisee had invited him to his house to eat bread on the sabbath day. There was a man there who had  “the dropsy” (edema). In this case, Jesus asked the lawyers and Pharisees if it was lawful to heal on the Sabbath. They didn’t say anything. Jesus healed the man and let him go. Then he answered his own question concerning the healing by asking what they’d do if their ass or ox fell into a pit on the Sabbath day. Wouldn’t they pull it out right away?

(Methinks the answer be “yes”)

 

So, we see that healing is compared to pulling an animal out of a pit. It is also compared to saving a life, rather than killing it. Jesus is all about saving lives, not killing them.

Do you find yourself in a pit,

(And you know it doesn’t fit)?

Despair may be its name.

Getting out is no game.

But there are steps you can take

To get a faster “break.”

 

To get out of the pit, you must know God wants you out of it. He doesn’t want you depressed, defeated, or gripped with despair. Take a look around and see:

 

I. Recognize That This Pit Does Not Define You

Not much light gets down into the bottom of a pit. You can’t really see much of anything down there. Any reflection bouncing off those bumpy walls is bound to be distorted. This pit is not a magic mirror. It can’t show you who you are. Anything you see in there is bound in misery: a mind set on the flesh and all its failings.

For to be carnally minded (focused on the flesh) is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace (Romans 8:6).

When you focus on yourself, you tend to see the bad stuff. And focusing on the bad just leads you deeper into that pit. How can you climb out if you’re focused on how bad you are?

That attitude, I believe, is what causes talents to get buried. That’s what happens when you let your pit define you. But Jesus wants you out of that pit, which brings us to the next step:

 

II. Know You Can’t Get Out the Same Way You Got In

People fall and/or get thrown into pits. I doubt that few decide to jump in, but those that do cannot get out that way. The force of gravity makes it easy to slide, fall or leap into a pit. Doubt and discouragement do the pushing. Gravity does the pulling. To get out of the pit requires that you resist all those things. Resistance involves work, a true fight of faith. Are you up for the challenge?

The faith you need to wage that sort of resistance comes from God’s promises, as written in His Word. This brings us to the next step:

 

III. Get a Vision for Overcoming

Proverbs 29:18 tells us that “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” The best vision we can have, of course, is that of Jesus. Hebrews 12:2 instructs us to keep our eyes on Him who is the author and finisher of our faith.

“For God so loved the world, He gave His only Son (Jesus), that whosoever believes in him (Jesus) should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).

I John 5:4-5 For whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world, but he that believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

Our faith in Jesus is the vision that enables us to overcomes the world!

When King Jesus Swoops In

Surprise: When Jesus Sneaks up on You

When Jesus sneaks up on you, what a surprise!

Death is upended, with all of its lies.

When He takes the worst of your fears by surprise.

Discouragement shatters, and all compromise.

 

God’s elect have been crying out all through the night,

Longing to see dreams and visions take flight,

The things they’ve been hoping for so many years.

“Lord, save us from bondage. We’ve so many fears.”

 

Prayer warriors knocking upon heaven’s door

Cry, “God, grant us justice we’ve not seen before.

The enemy’s raging. We cannot hold back

These poisonous darts of his latest attack.

 

“We stick to your Word and your promises claim,

Yet satan’s been getting the glory and fame.

We’re weary of battling the spirit of death.

Silence rules while we fight with our last dying breath.”

 

Then, behold! Jesus enters the temple: Surprise!

He conquers all fear with one look from His eyes.

“Treason!” shouts Athaliah, the wicked old queen,

As the brightness of His sudden coming is seen.

 

The thief sent the whirlwind that shattered Job’s house,

And made the poor sufferer feel like a louse.

His heart had been broken, success stripped away,

Disease gripped his body, he cursed his birthday.

 

His friends sought for reasons. Why did this occur?

But their words held no comfort. Their words could not cure.

Then, surprise! God showed up. Through a whirlwind He spoke,

And by His appearing, fresh faith He awoke

 

Restoring the joy that those old guys had lost

(And reminding a few of the lines they had crossed,

In not speaking right of the life-giving One

Who endured greater loss but the victory has won.

 

For, many years later, upon a long road

That led to Emmaus, two sad people strode.

Then a stranger snuck up, someone they did not know.

Where did this man come from and where would he go?

 

They spoke of their sorrow and all of their strife.

“We’re so disappointed right now with this life.

We thought we had found our Messiah at last.

But now He has died and our hopes are all past.”

 

 

Then, how their hearts burned as he opened God’s Word

To understand scriptures they knew they had heard.

They begged him to stay, and with them he shared bread

Which opened their eyes to great truths they had read.

 

 

When Jesus sneaks up on you, what a surprise!

Death is upended, and all of its lies.

Watch HIM take the worst of your fears by surprise

Revealing the truth behind your greatest “why’s.”

 

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