Heartless Solutions Can Lead to Isolation

Heartless solutions can lead to isolation.

Why then do we tend to have so little hesitation

In offering our best advice without reaching the heart.

Is it all about our pride, about how great “we art”?

“We gave her some solutions that we knew were a sure bet.

So, why is she depressed, they wondered? Why is she upset?

We want to solve her problems, help her turn her life around,

But she shunned our great ideas and called our advice unsound.”

Perhaps they didn’t understand her need for real compassion,

That no heartless solutions could bring her true satisfaction

Because they never spoke to issues that concerned her heart.

All they seemed to want was, their opinions to impart

But she grew weary of their heartless views and sayings trite,

Possessing no desire for yet one more unsound sound bite.

Before she dared accept their great advice, she had to know

That these folks cared about her heart – not just where she should go.

“Just listen to me,” she would plead. But no one wanted to.

That left her feeling isolated, nothing more to do.

Their inability to hear her voice made her withdraw,

Because they seemed so set on pointing out her every flaw

Instead of showing thankfulness for good things she had done.

How hard was it for them to see the victories she’d won?

Most of us can use at least a little validation,

Because without such cheer we can remain in isolation.

The point is that heartless solutions don’t do anybody any good

Even though our best intentions tell us that they should.

Yet without love, I’m just a clashing cymbal, clanging gong.

I do believe I’m doing right when I’m entirely wrong.

“Love one another” Jesus told his disciples. So maybe we should pray more before offering solutions, because only God has the perfect love we need to give to others.

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),

Christ’s Eyes Were Blindfolded That We Might See


A foolish man has eyes that remain blind to truth that frees.

He can’t fulfill his calling, for it’s based on what he sees.

But Jesus taught us we must live by faith and not by sight,

Because appearances deceive. They do not always show what’s right.

Samson, for example, had a destiny from God.

The Holy Spirit worked through him although the man was flawed.

He helped deliver Israel from the Philistine’s evil rule.

Because Philistines had giants and ran an iron-fisted school.

Through this man, Samson, however, God brought great victory.

He gave the man great strength. Yet Samson acted foolishly,

By allowing his own eyes’ lust to lead him into temptation.

In falling for Delilah, it seems he had no hesitation.

Because she ruled his life by nagging every single day,

So that the source of his great strength eventually gave way.

Thus the man who once was Spirit-empowered became blind-sided,

Because no one could heal his vision once he had been blinded.

The one he lusted after ended up betraying him.

That’s how he got attacked, and his vision became dim.

Oh, how the enemy works to blind the vessels God does choose

To free His captive people and to offer them good news!

Unfortunately, everyone in this world is born blind,

Yet there is hope for us because we have a God that’s kind.

He sent His Son, far greater than Samson, to bring us liberty.

Despite our own eyes’ lust. Jesus came to set us free.

For on the night of His betrayal, Jesus was denied,

And not a single follower of His stood at His side.

They found a dirty cloth and wound it tightly around his eyes,

Like a stripe to blind the one whose words they did despise

This man did nothing wrong, yet he was buffeted and bruised,

In darkness told to prophesy. “A liar!” they accused.

To say He felt the pain of our shame is to put it lightly,

As He, God-in-the-flesh, atoned for our sins so unsightly,

So that when we feel the mockery that springs from our own sin,

We might be healed by every insult that was placed on him

And see how much the Father loves us, healing each delusion

Can Jesus heal blind eyes? Of course! For He felt our confusion!  

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























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.

Going on a Short Writing Sabbatical

I’m going on a short writing sabbatical,

Even though I know it may sound radical.

But I’ve got stuff to deal with and if I do not,

Then all it will do is stir up the pot

Of things I must juggle. For me, it’s too much,

And though writing can help me, it’s not the best crutch.

So, please understand if I’m not here as often,

My website is not going into a coffin.

But I cannot be here as much as I’d like.

So please understand. This is not about “Mike.”

And I will be back here as much as I can,

Though for now I’ve my hands full, I’ve too much to plan.



Starve Out the Spirit of Death

Starve out the spirit of death.

Don’t give it any glory.

Focus not on tragedy

But on the gospel story.

Easier said than done sometimes,

But joy comes after mourning,

Although we know it takes a while

When grief strikes without warning.

Because so many questions: “Why?”

Wage war against belief,

And when folks offer platitudes

It magnifies the grief.

However, when Jesus was born,

Angels proclaimed His glory.

They starved the spirit of death

By dwelling on the gospel story.

“Joy to the world” they sang,

Prompting the shepherds to rejoice.

Then later in the temple,

There were just two who raised their voice.

Two prophets, Simeon and Anna,

Recognized and spoke of Him

Right under Herod’s nose

When Christ was in Jerusalem.

Then wise men came and brought their gifts,

But Herod was distressed.

His life was soaked in tragedy.

He wanted to be blessed.

No king would rule over him.

This babe was going down!

God warned Joseph, who fled with him,

Escaping his hometown.

But Bethlehem knew tragedy.

It was a sorry day:

Rachel weeping for her children,

Grief that wouldn’t go away.

And yes, there is a time to mourn,

As when Jesus died,

Our sins to nail upon a cross.

Behold His bleeding side!  

He died to set us free,

But He was also resurrected.

For joy He did endure the cross

Though nobody suspected

That he could really do that.

Yet it happened. Can you see?

Amid your tragedy, can you

Behold His victory?

Though you might have to sing through tears,

Just aching to survive,

By praising Him you give the

spirit of death No room to thrive.

Consider Him who reigns on high

And wields the two-edged sword,

Proclaiming “Starve the spirit of death

And magnify the Lord!”

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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Act With Tact to Bring Things Back Intact, Part I

To act with tact can certainly help bring things back intact.

The prophet Daniel knew this. Therefore he did not react

When King Nebuchadnezzar sent his hatchet man to him

With news that did not bode well and in fact was very grim.

“All wise guys in this entire kingdom will be cut to pieces,”

Warned the executioner. “Because they do not please us.”

“I’ll turn their homes to rubble to atone for their abuses,

Because this king has had it with their miserable excuses.”

Now, Daniel could have gotten worried, thrown a great big fit,

Torn out his hair and hopped inside a pit party pit.

However, he refused to stew but acted with great tact,

Asking why the king had been so hasty to react.

“They said they didn’t know his dream but gladly would lay bare

Their own interpretation of it if he cared to share

A clue or two about whatever thoughts had filled his head

While he lay sleeping peacefully upon his comfy bed.”

“Well, don’t blame me,” is how I’d probably answer in that case.

“You never asked what I thought. How ‘bout giving me some grace?”

“If the king does not control his temper, he may go insane.

Sometimes that happens to a guy with vengeance on the brain.”

Despite the sudden notice, though, he didn’t get offended.

Nor did he panic like a guy who’s suddenly rear ended.

Instead of claiming ignorance, he went straight unto the king,

Not waving crazy protest signs but with an “offering.”

“If you will give me time, I soon will have an answer for you,”

He told the king of Babylon. “I surely won’t ignore you.”

Then he went home and told his friends that it was time to pray.

God answered him and he went to the palace the next day.

He had an answer for the king, but first, “Please act with tact.

Don’t shoot the men who let you down. The Lord will pay you back

For pain they caused by failing you, and He will not be slow.

So, please forgive their ignorance. Your dream I’ve come to show.”