Alphabet Gospel

Jesus on the Cross of Calvary

A
broken
command
divides
Eden-earth
from
God,
humanity’s
“I ate.”
Jesus — King, Lord, Master, now on earth
proclaiming,
praying,
preparing,
quoting,
quenching,
quieting,
remained
sinless,
taking
upon Himself a
vile
world —
executed,
yet, risen, brings us to
Zion

How Far Our Nation Has Turned From Thee

Jeremiah Lamenting the Destruction of Jerusalem (Rembrandt)

A villanelle inspired by the book of Jeremiah.

How far our nation has turned from Thee
To Whom we once pledged our faith and trust.
But yet You call to us, “return to Me.”

Choosing chains, yet declaring we are free
Still earth-bound to our own pleasure and lust.
How far our nation has turned from Thee!

Pursuing wisps of fame, power and prosperity
We forsake what is right and just.
But yet You call to us, “return to Me.”

Bowing to desire, but not bending our knee,
Our occasional pleas for help scatter as dust.
How far our nation has turned from Thee!

Praising the sins we ought to flee,
We claim it is Your commands that should adjust.
But yet You call to us, “return to Me.”

Worshiping all but You, why can’t we see
Your judgments upon us are discipline not disgust.
How far our nation has turned from Thee
But yet You call to us, “return to Me!”

Applies equally to Judah at the time of Jeremiah or the United States today.

Remade By Fire

The Remade Ring

Battered by the blows of life

The stone falls out of the ring of many promises

Scratched and dulled, it isn’t the gem we thought

Just man-made, weak, and without much value

The ring, once radiant and beautiful, is empty

Prongs reach for what used to be

What of the promise it once held?

 

In the hands of the master jeweler, there is hope

Strengthened with new gold,

Intricately woven designs

Showcase the glittering diamond

Remade by fire, a new ring is forged

Purer, stronger, uniquely designed,

Declaring its promise to all

 

Battered by the blows of life

The marriage falls from its many promises

Scratched and dulled, it isn’t the journey we expected

If only man-directed, it remains weak and without much value

The marriage, once radiant and joyful, is painful

Hearts reach for what used to be

What of the promises they each held?

 

In the hands of the Master Designer, there is hope

Strengthened with new purpose,

Intricately woven plans

Showcase the glittering of endurance

Remade by fire, a greater marriage is forged

Purer, stronger, uniquely designed, 

Declaring our promises restored in Him

 

With this ring, I thee wed

To have and to hold

Cherishing in joy or sorrow, want or plenty

Faithful to each other and to Him

Until death is allowed to part

 

Whom God has joined, let none separate

A poem for my wife on our 19th anniversary.

Twelve Young Men

Coach Durity Calling the Play

This year I got to serve as head coach and offensive coordinator for a 5th-6th grade boys flag football team, the Chargers. This was part of the great Upward league at First Baptist of Smyrna, GA. (They do a tremendous job with their Upward leagues!) It was my first season coaching football. As we gathered together for our team’s send-off celebration, I wanted to give them something that lasted beyond the memories of games and practices. Throughout the season, we challenged our twelve boys to become “men built for others” and to be ready for the “next play.” Here is the poem that I write and my wife framed for each player. Hopefully it is an encouragement for them (and you!) through the many “next plays” in their lives.

(I fully admit that poetry is something in which I only dabble. Constructive comments appreciated, but be kind.)

Once there were twelve young men
They walked with Jesus as He taught and served in Israel
They learned to give their best, to love each other, and to keep going when things got tough
Things did not always go as they expected
Despite times of victory, they experienced difficulty and loss
But Jesus promised to be with them, always
Even when He died, He kept His promise to return to give eternal life
Instead of defeat they found true victory in Him
After their time together He sent them out to serve others in His name
They turned the world upside down.

Once there were twelve young men
They played flag football for the Chargers in Smyrna, Georgia
They learned to give their best, to love each other, and to keep going when things got tough
Things did not always go as they expected
Despite times of victory, they experienced difficulty and loss
Still Jesus promises to be with them, always
Even though He died, He lives again offering the promise of eternal life
Instead of defeat they can choose true victory in Him
After our time together, we are sending you out to serve others in His name
Will you turn the world upside down?

Trust Jesus; live as a man for others; make a difference. Go, Chargers!