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.

We All Prefer Addiction to Affliction

Nobody likes affliction, we all prefer addiction.

But in the end, who wins? We end up paying for our sins.

The constant dereliction that oozes from addiction

Exacts a terrible toll on the afflicted soul.

Addiction injures others too – and more than just a few,

Although we claim it isn’t true. And yet the guilt we rue.

We don’t wish to confess lest people in our lives think less

Of us and trample our self-worth so that we rue our day of birth.

You say you can’t take any more because you’re tired of the war,

Temptation you could not ignore has left you feeling battle-sore.

But entering God’s rest requires heeding His behest

To run to Jesus when you’re tired because HE knows how you’re wired.

He felt the thorns of your affliction as he paid for your addiction,

And knows the mind games in your head that have been filling you with dread.

Upon his back he bore the weight of your unwieldy staggering gait

For like a sheep you’ve gone astray. He felt your sin in every way

And He has paid the penalty with grace poured out so full and free,

Redeeming you from your addiction. Although withdrawal brings affliction,

With humility comes grace as Jesus takes His rightful place.

Humbly admit you have a need for which your Savior dared to bleed.

Let others love you through the pain that you’re too battered to explain,

Because in Jesus there’s no shame. Believe the power of His name

To rescue you from your addiction which seems more fun than affliction,

But in the end it bites much worse. Let Jesus free you from that curse!

No matter how great the extent of your “unsolvable” addiction,

It can be cured through Christ who understands all your affliction.


Success Amid Stress Comes From Knowing You’re Blessed























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


The Gifts God Gives to us are Excellent

God’s gifts to us are excellent, absolutely excellent!

The gifts that we receive from Him are glorious to behold.

He spoke to what He made and called it good – yes, very good.

And when we trust in Him, we have good reason to be bold.

 

Those who believe in Christ will do the same works He has done,

Because His gifts are excellent, and giving them is fun.

Such gifts, which God dispenses, can result in signs and wonders,

Because, though man may fail you, our Lord Jesus makes no blunders.

 

He never doubted who He was but spoke with clarity.

The teachings that he fed the crowds rang with authority.

“For if you who are evil know to give your kids good stuff,

Your Father who’s in heaven will supply more than enough

 

Of what you need to live a joyful life upon the earth.

The love He lavishes is of immeasurable worth.”

In order to accept it, though, you need to know it’s real,

That using spiritual gifts does not depend on how you feel.

 

They are not based what you feel or think that you deserve.

The strength you need to offer them does not require raw nerve,

But a love for excellence you know can only come from God.

So, let that be the shoe with which your gospel feet are shod,

 

With praise poured through an earthen vessel resting on His Word,

And acts of faith well-grounded in the truths that you have heard.

For healing comes by being fortified in His great might,

So, take the time to edify yourself before you fight

 

By knowing that’s He’s excellent. His gifts to your are excellent.

The gifts that you receive from Him are glorious to behold.

He spoke to what He made and called it good – yes, very good.

And when you trust in Him, you have good reason to be bold.

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When Parents Don’t Understand a Child’s Promised Land

Those who didn’t understand the Promised Land report

By Joshua and Caleb somehow managed to abort

God’s destiny for them which was an awesome property.

Big guys had done the work and now this land was theirs for free.

 

(see the book of Numbers chapters 13 and 14)

 

But most folks didn’t “get” these guys who spied out God’s good land.

All they saw were giants and they didn’t understand

What the Lord was doing and the great things He had planned,

The gifts He’d placed within their children, like flames to be fanned.

 

Instead, they saw their families as weak – “They won’t survive,

Let alone by some miraculous intervention thrive.” (Numbers 14:3)

“Those who KNOW God will do exploits” was a verse they didn’t know (Daniel 11:32),

And for their children, I believe, it was an awesome blow.

 

Imagine dreaming “milk and honey,” only to be told

It’s not within your grasp. “Don’t try it. All you’ll get is old.”

“You’ll die before you touch the grapes that WE could not obtain.

Best not to tackle it, my dear. You’ll never stand the strain.”

 

These men wanted to help their kids survive the wilderness

Instead of taking foolish risks while trying to impress

The God they THOUGHT they’d heard from, but their parents didn’t know.

For, some who tried to take the land received a heavy blow.

 

God told them not to do it when He saw their unbelief.

Instead they acted out of guilt, which caused the camp much grief. (Numbers 14:39-45)

By trusting their own wisdom to make up for wrongs they’d done,

They acted foolishly. The battle, lost, could not be won.

 

And so, their children suffered. In the wilderness they wandered,

For forty years unable to regain what doubt had squandered.

How do you talk to parents when you know they don’t believe?

They’re just too stressed to listen. Your ideas they can’t receive.

 

It helps to understand that parents don’t always feel blessed

When you share bold ideas with them. For they know that success

Does not come instantly. It has to stand the test of time.

They want you to prove faithful, adding reason to your “rhyme.”

 

Recall: The men who got frustrated missed the Promised Land,

Rebelling against knowledge that they didn’t understand.

They tried to prove themselves to God. “We’ll take the land, we will!”

But what they needed most to do was to relax and “chill.”

 

For faith cannot be conjured up, and though conveyed through speech,

It’s not just about changing things. But what did Jesus teach?

The Father desires worship both in truth and in spirit. (John 4:23)

Before trying to do His Word, you must take time to hear it.

 

To enter in your “Promised Land” requires that you rest (Hebrews 4:9-10),

So that when you bring up “those grapes” your dad does not feel stressed.

You do not want to tempt the man to go off on his own

And try to conquer FOR you what you need to do alone.

 

But yet, you’re not alone, for Jesus walks that road with you.

He’ll never will forsake you and His promises ring true.

The spiritual Rock that followed Israel in the desert knows your name (I Corinthians 10:4),

And when you choose to follow Him, you’ll never be the same.

 

 

Every child has a “Promised Land,” a dream meant just for them, a destiny only they can fulfill. A child that believes in Jesus and commits his/her life to Him may be inspired with a dream that adults don’t see. His/her parents may not understand or promote the dream – perhaps because they themselves have a Promised Land worth of dreams that remain unfulfilled. Perhaps they  tried to take that land before being properly equipped, and it resulted in disaster.

 

For whatever reason, it may be hard for them to fathom how the child’s dream could possibly succeed. If that’s the case, how can a child get the support he or she needs to fulfill that dream?

 

I. See Victory Over Rebellion as a Step Toward the Promised Land

 

Rebelling against parents and/or demanding one’s own way is like the men who tried to take the Promised Land after proving themselves unfaithful – unfaithful as in “they were not full of faith” and therefore could not receive Joshua and Caleb’s good report. Rather than promote rebellion, God’s word teaches children to honor their parents (Ephesians 6:2). Though honoring (respecting) them may be your greatest fight, through Jesus you can do it (if in Him you delight).

 

Victory over rebellion is an exploit that takes you closer to the Promised Land

 

II. Draw Near to God

 

The key to getting favor from parents and/or other adults is to draw close to God and find rest in Him. This involves prayer. You can talk to God about anything, but it really helps to praise Him and to pray for understanding while reading His Word (the Bible). Focus on His promises of who you are in Him, such as “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things have passed away. All things have become new.” (II Corinthians 5:17)

 

Drawing near to these truths will enable you to draw near to Him. It also helps to remember that Jesus will never leave or forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6). His name Emmanuel means “God with us.” Before ascending into heaven, He empowered his disciples with the knowledge that “I am with you always.” (Matthew 28:20). With that knowledge they were able to reach the world for Him.

 

III. Spy Out Your Own Particular Promised Land

 

The one who can best understand his/her particular “promised land” is the person to whom it belongs. Caleb, for example, spied out the mountain he wanted before asking Joshua for permission to take it. But Promised Land decisions should not be made alone. Solomon declared in Proverbs 15:22 that with many counselors there is wisdom. Godly people can help guide you to your Promised Land.

 

The best plan is to believe. It may take time, but it’s well worth the wait.

 

Ripping up Bad Report Cards: a Freeing Experience