The Twenty-third Psalm (Hawaiian style)

A tropical reminder of God’s guidance

The Lord is my oarsman.
He steers my canoe
and paddles me safely to shore.
He whispers aloha
and calls me by name
while pointing to what lies in store.

The palm trees that sway
and the tropical breeze
picture all that awaits when I die.
Such beauty, refreshment,
contentment and peace.
And pleasure that money can’t buy.

And though I may falter,
and fall on my face,
the Lord walks with me in the sand.
His goodness surrounds me
and steadies my step.
His mercy will help me to stand.

He bids me draw close,
drapes a lei round my neck
and tells me I’ve nothing to fear.
“I’ll never forsake you.
I’ll always provide
and I promise I’ll always be near.”

The Gospel According to Eight Ball

The key to life is found in the center of the rack

Within the middle of the rack
there is one special ball
that has a certain power all its own.
But if pocketed too early,
there’s a penalty to pay.
It’s the ball by which this billiard game is known.

The eight ball is the Lord of all
deserving of respect.
Unlike the stripes and solids, it is king.
By virtue of its right to reign,
this ball dictates the rules.
And those who follow them have right to sing.

The one who wins at last confronts
the eight ball with the cue
and makes the orb of black his final aim.
By honoring its presence,
what is last gives way to first.
Without that ball you cannot win the game.

In life, Christ is the eight ball.
He’s unique unlike the rest.
When we disregard His right to rule, we lose.
But by honoring His order,
we can make the Lord our aim.
That encounter is our purpose. It’s Good News!

A Prayer for Us

Asking God to heal our divided nation

When the innocent are slaughtered
and the rage of hate takes aim,
it’s clear to see that prejudice prevails.
Yes, our nation is divided
by deep wounds that haven’t healed.
If you listen you can hear a mother’s wail.

While it’s true that black lives matter,
we must dialogue with words
that are not as apt to trigger and incite.
We must also own our bias
and confess that we’ve been wrong.
That’s the only way our country can unite.

Please unite Your children, Father.
We’re divided, spewing hate.
As a country, we are polarized by fear.
The protests in our cities
demonstrate our need to heal
and our hopes and dreams to claim what You hold dear.

Help us live and love like Jesus
though it may mean we are shunned
by the bigots who insist that they are right.
Rid the wrong that blurs our focus
and impacts the way we see.
End the blindness of our nation’s endless night.

What’s in a Name?

How do you pronounce Amer-I-Can?

I love the name “American!”
I’m very proud of who I am.
But most folks mispronounce my name.
It is Amer-I-Can.

I can decide what I will be.
I can vote as I choose.
I can protest against a war
I’m quite convinced we’ll lose.

I can express my faith in God
without concern for jail.
I can succeed with boot-strap strength
or get up when I fail.

I can resist when terror strikes.
I can. I will. I must.
And all because I am a child
of God in whom I trust.

Amer-I-Can. That is my name.
My mother’s “Liberty.”
I can express my love for her.
I can because I’m free!

A Prayer for Uncle Sam

A Fourth of July supplication

Uncle Sam is one year older.
For his age he’s doing great.
He is free to follow where his dreams will lead.
He still stands up to the bullies
who intimidate his friends
and he’s generous to those who are in need.

Sam’s more tolerant than ever.
He’s accepting and won’t judge.
He has learned to recognize we’re all unique.
Uncle Sam is good to fam’ly.
And he’s known for being kind
to the immigrant and stranger who is weak.

Dear Old Sam is big on parties.
And he loves small town parades.
When the flag goes by,
you’ll probably see him cry.
While most birthday cakes have candles,
he’s too old for that much flame.
Still, he’s grateful for the fireworks in the sky.

God, I’m praying for my Uncle.
Bless his home and all his kids.
Give him means to be a leader in the world.
Grant him health and Your protection
from the evil plots of terror.
Help us celebrate when his flag is unfurled.