Saturday, December 05, 1998

poem: Paper Swords

{Later note: For Sylvia, Bob, and Gerry. They lost their jobs for refusing to sign the "Statement of Belief." God will honor their faithfulness to their consciences and convictions.}

Paper Swords
Why do we hurt each other, why do we backstab so,
How can children of the living God decide to stoop so low?
Deprive them of their livelihood, though all good people they,
I have to wonder, if He were here--what would Jesus say?

They will know us by our love I'm told, who do we act so cold
To sisters and brothers in the Lord, to wound with a paper sword?
Yes, kill them with a paper sword.

Storms beset and fears assail, our faith is tested much.
We feel alone on a wave-filled sea, longing for a touch.
Be still and know there is a God, and wait for Him to save,
He will carry, guide, and lead, with His rod and stave.


I know you feel betrayed and hurt by your flesh and blood,
And they are His and so their sin is covered in the flood.
But for you the flood is fearful, bitter tears.
Wait on the Lord for He has shown faithfulness through the years.


Grace, oh what scandal, what a risk to take on sin!
A holy God did condescend, His Spirit dwells within,
He plays no favorites, but forgives each of us the same,
Not for us or for our sakes, but for the glory of His name.


Friday, November 27, 1998

poem: Evening Stillness

Evening Stillness
And it was all over--
I knew it.
But there were no tears to be shed,
No eulogies to be said.
No, it began in anger, but ended in a
Stifling silence.
There was nothing left to say.
Like a snake we shouldn't have played with
It wrapped itself around our bellies,
Our hearts,
Our eyes,
Our ears,
Our lives.
We died so slowly that we did not know we were dead.
It blinded, deafened, hardened.
Why do we fight?
Dead people lie still.

Tuesday, August 11, 1998

poem: Out of the Darkness

Out of the Darkness
In the shadow of the past, oh, that dark and dreary place!
Jesus' blood pled o'er me, He my righteous case.
Here's where darkness overcame, this place is the start,
Where demons came and won a battle for this human heart.

So far was I from the Son that day, so far and yet so near,
But Satan came, pulled me away, so I would not even hear.
He took me to a place of his, a place bereft of light,
He thought the vict'ry won, he did; I lived years within the night.

First Chorus:

For shadows of the past there is but one remedy,
Only Christ can come, enlighten, and cause the blind to see.

Christ came and chased me as a hound after the prey,
Intent on chasing from the dark into the light of day.
And so He came, nipped at my heels, and put me on the run,
But you can't outrun the Hound of Heaven, you can't outrun the Son.

Second Chorus:

Please don't shut Him out, oh no, don't turn from light of day,
He is our Hope, Creator, Friend, the Life, the Truth, the Way.

And so I gave my heart to Him; He heard and did draw near,
And in that place of holy light, the shadows disappear.
The darkness lost the war for me, though winning at the start,
I am His and He is mine, He owns this human heart.
Yes, I am His and He is mine, he owns my human heart.

Thursday, July 23, 1998

poem: Dancing With the Devil

Dancing With the Devil
I cannot do it on my own, I cannot see the way,
I cannot walk the path alone and hope to find the day.
Rebelliousness resides in me, a heart of stone have I,
I cannot change it on my own, and to my old self die.

A part of me loves the night, shrinks away from holy Light,
Intent on living for itself, it gives up eternal wealth.
I hate the darkness in my heart, the sin that keeps and holds apart
Me from all Your grace and love, showered on me from above.

Lord, You know what I have done, worshipped Satan, just for fun!
Spurned Your love and spurned Your care, listened to the devil's dare--
A dare to live just for myself, and put my God up on the shelf,
Then take Him down once a week and for His face halfheartedly seek.

Dancing darkness, devil's lies, not You, Lord, but "me" and "I,"
Putting self in center true, is Satan's want and leaves out You.
Overcome this stubborn heart, heart of stone to break apart,
Putting flesh within its place, and filling me with holy grace.

Wednesday, June 24, 1998

poem: Someday

Someday the pain and tears will be over,
Someday the work will be done, the harvest in,
Someday, yes someday, the faith will be sight,
Glad faces turned upward in joy of hope fulfilled.
Then our final good-byes will become hellos -
The grave has not triumphed,
Death has itself had death imposed -
Then we who toiled in the heat of the day,
Side by side or miles apart,
Will rest together in the shade of our Lord's presence.
I have many people I will look for.
Some will be surprised I am there.
I can't wait to see their faces -
"You? You made it here? Oh, God is so good!"
Yes. Oh, yes. Our Lord is wonderful.
And we will rejoice.
Others will be friends I have not seen in years.
I will find the lovely man who led me to Christ.
There, at the foot of our Savior
We will do together what in life we had always done apart.
In that great someday the only tears shed will be of
Joy, the only worship will be of
Christ, the only life will be
Someday, my friend, we will meet and greet,
Live and love,
Joy and delight,
At the foot of
Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Thursday, April 09, 1998

poem: Thorns and Scarlet

Thorns and Scarlet

Out of slavery, out of sin, out of Egypt, enter in.
You our God and You our stay, You our Savior light the way.
Blood of lambs upon our door, that the wrath of God won't pour
On our homes, but rather save, redeem us when we were a slave.

And then You came and taught in love, the glories of the One above.
You came rebuked, reproved, and taught, and wept with sorrow as You sought
All the lost, too numb too feel; show them love that You may heal
Their hurts and failings of the past, as You put death to death at last.

So thorns and scarlet wrap around, You let Your hands and wrists be bound,
Beaten, spat on, mocked that day, the Son of God our crimes did pay.
I cannot fathom love that fierce, love that would His own hands pierce.
God let His anger fall on His Son, until He cried out, "It is done!"

All glory to God and God alone, the God who loved and did atone
For things that we should have to pay, but for us in love did lay
Down His life that we may live, through the Son He did forgive
All we've caused, pain and strife, and gave instead eternal life!

(With thanks to Shantyman magazine for the title.)

Wednesday, April 01, 1998

Lessons of the Labyrinth

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 1998, so I'm sticking it here as a rough guess.

Here's the other contest entry I wrote.


Read: Psalm 46
Verse: "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding." --Proverbs 3:5

In Vacaville, California there is a huge maze called the Wooz. The point is to get through it, hitting each of the four towers, in a certain amount of time. It's tricky because it's so easy to get lost, backtrack the wrong direction, or otherwise wander aimlessly.

Sometimes our lives seem like a maze, and at those times it can be difficult to trust God. Your boyfriend breaks up with you, you don't get the classes you want, you're turned down for the perfect job. The medieval symbol of the labyrinth offers insight into these contemporary problems.

I walked a labyrinth once. It showed me things about life and trusting God.
  • The labyrinth I walked had no dead ends, no way to get lost. In this way, it differed from the Wooz. Christ at the center was the only and inevitable conclusion. Once Christ finds us we can't be lost again (John 10:28).
  • The room was dark and votive candles let the path. Sometimes our lives seem dark, but when we trust God we are given enough light to know the next step, and the next.
  • When life's pathways twist and turn and we can't see very far ahead, we need to remember that God is with us in our struggles. He cares. He can see the big picture. He has plans for our lives (Jeremiah 29:11).
We must choose to trust Him, even when all evidence says He can't be trusted. Proverbs 3:5 says "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding."

It might seem that, like the Wooz, your life is a maze right now, but rest assured that if you are a Christian you are on a journey that ends at only one place - Jesus. Will you take the challenge and trust Him in the storms of your life today?


Do I feel lost in a maze, or safely on the labyrinth's path with Christ?

How has God showed His love for me? Is that a love I can trust with my life?

In what areas of my life am I having difficulty trusting God? How can I begin to trust Him today?

Friday, March 27, 1998

Hired at Family Radio

I'm writing this way after the fact, but this is just a "placeholder" post so that I know what day I was hired at Family Radio. I talked to Louise downstairs and she said it was March 27, 1998. :)

Saturday, March 07, 1998

poem: Evangelism

Lives of quiet desperation, crying for a sure salvation.
Darkened hearts and darkened thoughts, knowing not what should be sought.
They stumble in an aimless maze, afraid to peer through holy haze.
They live and work and die in vain, never knowing One who came
To save from sin and pain and woe, defeating Satan's final blow.

Surely I am not this bad, surely my state not so sad!
But at the cross I kneel and see, any sin's too much for Thee.
I have hurt and sinned and lied; You have loved so You have died
For everyone upon this earth, offering a second birth.
Touch me, Lord, and heal my sin; bow my heart and enter in.

Wednesday, February 11, 1998

poem: Psalm

{Later note: I wrote this after being laid off from my job at the college bookstore, a job I actually liked. It was a temporary job, but everyone knew that a few lucky people would get to stay, and I prayed that I'd be one of them. Instead, after making it through the first round of layoffs, I was caught in the second, and had to go back to my old job at McDonald's, which I hated.

What I didn't know at the time--had no way of knowing--was that if I had gotten a permanent position at the bookstore, it would have been very difficult, if not impossible, to transition into my job at Family Radio. They would have fired me. McDonald's, desperate as they are for help, would not fire me, and put up with all of my "I can't come to work tomorrow because my other job wants me" shenanigans. It was only with hindsight that I could see it was God's goodness that I was laid off from the bookstore. However, I wrote this before I knew all that.}

Yet I will praise Him...

Though my life changes
And hope is crushed,
Though He gives only to take,
Though dreams are shattered
By nightmare's dark ride,
Yet I will praise Him.

Though darkness' flood overwhelms
And I drown in despair,
Though God's gentle hand becomes rough
And I am crushed under the weight,
Though only starlight lights the path
And the sun has fled,
Yet I will praise Him.

Though friends be far and will not talk
So that I must cry alone,
Though my thoughts tell me all is lost
And dark voices assail my ears,
Though God's hand seems to be against me
And trust is tested,
Yet I will praise Him.

For this I call to mind:
His mighty deeds for my ancestors,
His past mercies toward me,
And most of all, His grace revealed in
For though even life has lost its appeal,
I will rejoice in my salvation
Which cannot be lost like a job,
Or trampled underfoot like hope,
But shall remain.
So, though all seems lost,
Yet I will praise Him
For my redemption through Christ's blood.

Yes, I will praise Him.