Friday, December 05, 1997

poem: Yesterday's Wine

{Later note: Coming down from the high of the Billy Graham Crusade, I found myself in much the same place spiritually as before, yet with a love for God in my heart I had not known before.}

Yesterday's Wine
I tasted tomorrow,
The food of heaven, the wine of the Lord.
I woke up, gazing anew in Your eyes,
Seeing You for the millionth time, yet the first.
Waking from the dream of my own desires,
To who I am in You, who I can be with Your help.

Lord, why have You given me this,
Blessed me with these gifts?
I who profane Your name with my disobedience,
Spurn Your love with my self-sufficiency.
How can You love when I return hate?
How can You, why do You, love me?

Like Camelot, the gift fell through my fingers like sand,
Fading as reality fades into a dream, like falling back asleep.
But there is a new purpose in my heart, a love not beating there before because
I tasted tomorrow.
Yet now I find myself empty,
Drinking the bitter dregs of the wine of yesterday.

Monday, August 25, 1997

poem: Heartsong - For My Dad

Heartsong--For My Dad
This book of fairy tales to you, a book of truth to me,
Full of hopeful promises of all that I can be.
Promises, yes promises, this thing, yes it is sure,
His aspirations and His love are beautiful and pure.


Lord God draw him near to You, as You did so with me,
Open his eyes, open his heart, and cause him now to see
That there is life after death, for salvation only one Name,
Jesus, yes Jesus, our only Redeemer, now and forever the same.

Yes, Dad, this "pack of lies" to you, is truth to friends and I,
Calling me out from myself, and calling self to die.
This book was written by "ignorant men"--that's what you have said,
There is no truth contained within; God's Word, yes, it is dead.


The prophets, kings, and heroes, looked forward to the One,
They prophesied and promised a time that was to come
When truth and fiction would collide--all people then would know
Whose word would stand in this land, and death would be laid low.


Daddy, I can't make you know, or force you now to see
That God's Word lives on within my heart--it's at the core of me.
I wait in living hope for you; I wait in living fear
That you would come to know the One, and He would draw you near.

Final Chorus:

Lord God draw him near to You, as You did so with me,
Open his eyes, open his heart, and cause him now to see
That there is life after death, for salvation only one Name,
Jesus, yes Jesus, our only Redeemer, now and forever the same.
Jesus, yes Jesus, our only Redeemer, now and forever the same.

Wednesday, July 09, 1997

poem: Story

He let me go, gave freely o'er, to the one who could devour
All I am and was, could be, sinking soul, endless sea.
Despair and darkness close around, hearing darkness, seeing sound.
It was then they thought they'd won, this little one would see no Son.

It must have been a great surprise the day that I suspected lies.
The day I prayed and asked for light, and He began to give me sight.
Though consciously I didn't know why, I knew through prayer that I must try
To ask Him who He is and more--to know Him through the open door.

Though I deserved to be reprimanded, He through music apprehended,
Made me question, made me doubt, all my knowledge sure and stout.
Came after me when I ran, chasing me--the Son of Man!
God of hatred, so I thought; now God of love--He has sought.

Fateful night, through confession, in Him I have found remission.
He has sought and bought me from the one who'd keep me from the Son.
Mortal lips, simple words, yet He came as He heard
Me speak and say I wanted Him in my heart to save from sin.

Monday, June 02, 1997

poem: To See With New Eyes

To See With New Eyes
To know the dark truth, to see with new eyes,
Once swimming in darkness, 'midst islands of lies.
What once seemed light, now seen in truth,
Dawning in old age, setting in youth.
Shutting my eyes against God's truthful plan,
Self-imposed darkness, the death of a man.
I lived in that darkness! I think in disgust,
I loved it and lived it to satiate lust
For things so much lower; I couldn't conceive,
Of His love and plan, yet He did not leave.
Running at night till the darkness seemed day,
Will He yet love me, and will He remain?
New eyes and spirit, new truth to see,
Unrighteousness, sinfulness, is the old me.
Anger and shame, I can't lose myself,
Truth in the darkness, recover my health.
Swimming in silence and dancing in rain,
Squirming in pleasure, exulting in pain.

Tuesday, April 01, 1997

Come In From the Cold

I wrote this for a writing contest for a now-defunct devotional for high school and college students called Campus Journal. What has replaced it is Our Journey, a devotional available by paid subscription only. It was put out by RBC Ministries, and is now published by Walk in the Word.

This was written sometime in the Spring of 1997, so I'm sticking it here as a rough guess.

Here's the other contest entry I wrote.


Read: Hosea 14:1-4

Have you ever run away from home? Have you felt like your parents just didn't understand and you wanted to leave? I tried once, but when it started getting dark I got scared and returned. The fear of the approaching darkness and cold was more than I could take.

While few of us have ever run away from our earthly parents, all of us have run from God our Father at one time or another. Sin and shame have kept us from coming to God and calling Him Abba - Daddy.

God is our Father and He has adopted us into His family. Adoption=redemption. In the New Testament this is even more vividly illustrated. Through Jesus the way has been opened for us to return and stand directly before God.

The author of Hebrews wrote, "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:16).

There are two things to remember. One, God is our Father. We have done nothing to earn His love, and we can do nothing to lose it.

Two, when we mess up, all we must do is come to God humbly, and with confidence that He will forgive.

Make time for God is your life, time for prayer and Bible study. God likes being with us, and wants you to get to know Him better. Talk to Him, and listen to Him through His word.

Have you run away from God? Living with sin is like the darkness and cold of night. If you are tired of running, God Himself extends an invitation to you: Come home. God is extending His hand, waiting to warm you in His arms. Won't you come in from the cold?


Am I running from God? Do I think there is any place I can hide from Him?

What other gods (work, friends, school) are distracting me from taking time for God? Where is God calling me to a closer relationship with Him?

Sunday, March 30, 1997

poem: Easter

Easter Sunday


E very "god" that's ever been wants our worship and our love, but
A t the sunrise of this day, only Christ shows God above.
S unrise, daybreak, reassurance of completed sacrifice,
T riumpth over grave and Satan, this atonement shall suffice.
E arly on this happy morning, all their mourning turned around,
R isen! Alleluia! Risen! Let reconciliation sound.

Thursday, March 27, 1997

poem: Staying the Course: A Poem for Maundy Thursday

Maundy Thursday

Staying the Course: A Poem for Maundy Thursday
You gave us gifts that we misused, You gave us gifts, Your name to praise,
And yet we turned, misused your gifts, and grieve You so all of our days.
In You is hope and happiness, in You made, in You must be,
In You our only hope salvation, laying Your body on the tree.
In grieving You we grieve ourselves, You are our sustenance and love,
You come to us in condescension; glory to the God above!

On the night of Your betrayal, You could have left and run away,
Instead You prayed, stayed in the garden, willing that our sins be laid
On You instead of those deserving - us, the wretched and the lost,
You did the Father's will and bidding - came as man and paid the cost.
They came and took You from the garden to trial, cross, and finally grave,
You bore our sins and our transgressions, in Your love You came to save.

Love like this beyond my grasping, love this strong, and love this fierce,
Love that loves us as we're sinning, Love that shall His own hands pierce.
Love that long to reconcile, even as we turn from light,
It's never too late to re-embrace Him, turn from darkness and the night.
His cup of suffering now becomes the cup of our salvation through
Him who loves us and redeemed us - there's nothing more that's left to do!

Friday, March 14, 1997

poem: When I Can't Seek You

When I Can't Seek You
Burning, burning in the night; crying embers, dying light.
Burning passion in my soul; longing, yearning, make me whole.
Father, Spirit, through your Son, render sinless little one.
I am needful, weak with pride, unmindful of the One who died.

I don't pray and so I fear, that You in anger won't draw near:
I don't talk, I don't ask, that in Your Presence may I bask.
I don't intercede or pray, asking for a better day.
I don't act as Your child; I am yet untamed and wild.

I don't love You so I fear that You in anger won't draw near.
How can You love, how can You lead, so slowly; I am not Your speed.
How can You reach into the dark, illuminate with holy spark?
How can You love one such as me; how can You hear, how can You see?

Father, fill me, lift me up, and I shall take and drink the cup.
Sweet grapes, bitter wine, cup of suffering now is mine.
Oh to run and hide my eyes; oh to listen to the lies!
But He loves me, I must return; let His love within me burn.

Burning, burning in the night; crying embers, dying light.
Burning passion in my soul; longing, yearning, make me whole.
Father, Spirit, through your Son, render sinless little one.
I am needful, weak with pride; do not let me longer hide.

Saturday, February 22, 1997

poem: The Touch

The Touch
Sonshine breaks over an icy heart,
As when first frozen, the Sonlight now hurts.
Inside is stone, the result of many years of pain.
She did it, and I let her.
I gave myself to her, to her who could love naught
But power.
So I am afraid, I cannot trust.
He says the pain is necessary.
Yet I fear.

"But the Sonlight cannot melt the stone," I think.
I hide in the rock of my heart,
Never seeing the true Rock.
A form emerges from the Light.
I cannot see Him, but I see His chisel.
He has come to break me.
"I will break, but then remake," He says.
I do not trust.
Why should I, after how she hurt me?

Then I feel it,
The feeling that cannot be explained away, or
The feeling so overpowering that I let Him move toward me
With the chisel. The feeling
Beyond words. The feeling
Beyond fear. The feeling
Beyond feeling to
The truth of love.

Saturday, January 18, 1997

poem: David, Why?

For David Nadel, who was shot and killed outside Ashkenaz, the dance club he owned.

David, Why?
What, oh what, your lot in life?
Why was it so filled with strife?
Why must the meek die by the knife?
And why did you have to go?

The good die young they say to me,
But I don't know why it had to be
That you wing you way o'er the crystal sea,
And why did you have to go?

In its season violence gains,
Until the Lord of all shall tame,
But until that time we have the pain.
Oh, why did you have to go?

You fought for the Park through thick and thin,
You fought and swore you'd never give in,
You fought for the way it had always been
Oh, why did you have to go?
David, why did you have to go?