O Say Can’t You Stand?

Questioning Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the national anthem

O say can’t you stand
when our flag is unfurled
though our nation is fraught
with both bias and hatred?
Don’t you owe some respect
though you have some regrets
for the rights you enjoy
and the blessings you cherish?

Colin, aren’t you aware
disrespect breeds despair
and the choices you make
may soon come back to haunt you?
O say does that Star-Spangled Banner yet wave
o’er the land of the free
and the home of the brave!

*with apologies to Francis Scott Key

The Olympics of Daily Life

What it takes to go for the gold every day

The Olympics of life are a constant affair.
There’s the balance beam of work and play.
There’s wrestling worries and hurdling fear
while pole vaulting problems each day.

There’s swimming upstream ‘gainst the current of wrong.
There’s diving into what needs done.
There’s dashing from breakfast to rush-hour grid.
It’s a mind-numbing race that we run.

There’s the relay of faith where we pass the baton
to both children and grandkids alike.
Yes, we need to be fit as we all exercise
and then trust God with all of our might.

So, Lord, won’t you coach us to do what it takes
to finish while doing our best?
Please give us endurance for what comes our way
and then help us to face every test.

Mining for Gold

What we can learn from Olympic athletes

Those athletes who mine for gold
are born quite gifted (so I’m told).
But skill alone is not enough.
It’s discipline that counts.

You gotta work to win the prize.
A high IQ won’t make you wise.
An inbred talent is a gift,
but practice mines its worth.

You’re musical? Well, that’s a start.
But to achieve a work of art,
you must invest what friends may waste
and spend much time alone.

The same is true in terms of grace.
When we (by faith) the Lord embrace,
we’re gifted and at one with Him
but have a ways to go.

A life of disciplined resolve
is that to which we have been called.
Much time alone with God Himself
fine-tunes a life of faith.

Christ the Redeemer

A means of grace overshadowing Rio

Christ the Redeemer
overshadows Rio
arms outstretched enfolding all
who welcome his embrace.

Christ the Redeemer
speaks (although he’s silent)
timeless words that comfort all
who long to know they’re loved.

Christ the Redeemer
is more than just a symbol.
This stately soapstone sculpture
offers all a means of grace.


Rio Olympics Reflections

A picture of world peace

In the city where the World Cup
found us watching gifted feet,
athletes from many nations test their skill.
Down in Rio de Janeiro
the Olympic torch burns bright
as the hopes and dreams of hundreds are fulfilled.

There’ll be track and field and swimming,
wrestling, basketball and more.
In the shadow of that giant Christ, they’ll strive
to win the gold or silver
(and if bronze they won’t complain).
Each is grateful that this moment they’re alive.

The eyes of all are focused
on the Summer Games this week.
In a world of terror, such events bring peace.
They find us as one family,
diverse yet fully one.
May the unity of Rio never cease.