Alphabet Gospel

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

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Remade By Fire

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

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!

Why is Good Friday Good?

On the surface, it seems strange to celebrate the death of Jesus. But that is not the end of the story. This poem is about the seeming paradox of Good Friday:

We Call it Good?

Questioning, it is the Friday my Lord dies
and we call it “good?”

Conspiring, the religious leaders pay for His betrayal
and we call it “good?”

Betraying with a kiss, one of His own accepts their offer
and we call it “good?”

Scattering fearfully, the rest of his followers desert Him
and we call it “good?”

Dragging Him from trial to trial, the religious leaders break their own laws
and we call it “good?”

Accusing, false witnesses speak against Him
and we call it “good?”

Accepting, He stands silent
and we call it “good?”

Asking, the crowd chooses a murderer to be freed in His place
and we call it “good?”

Washing his hands of it, the governor sentences the Healer to death
and we call it “good?”

Mocking, spitting, and scourging, the soldiers delight to abuse
and we call it “good?”

Struggling, He carries the plank of His execution until exhausted
and we call it “good?”

Numbering Him among the worst of criminals, He is taken outside the city
and we call it “good?”

Nailing Him to a cross, the soldiers hoist Him high
and we call it “good?”

Scoffing, “Come down, and we will believe!” shouts the crowd
and we call it “good?”

Agonizing on the cross, He is thirsty, torn, and bleeding
and we call it “good?”

Crying out, He is forsaken by God
and we call it “good?”

Breathing His last is the One who breathed life
and we call it “good?”

Darkening, the sky turns black at noon
and we call it “good?”

Loving, He was mocked, forsaken and executed – just for me
and for you
and for all

Forgiving those who executed Him
Taking the wrath which I am rightly due
Declaring, “it is finished!”
Dying willingly as a man, yet He is God
Rising so that I might have life

Living for Him is my choice now.
And yours.
Answering, it is Good Friday!