A Mighty Fortress was His God

Remembering the legacy of Martin Luther 500 years later

A mighty fortress was his God.
A big church door his desk top.
This parish priest protested greed
insisting that it must stop.

He took his cues from Holy Writ.
Not what the Pope demanded.
Faith was the key (not doing good).
But Martin soon was branded.

“A heretic!” “Let’s lock him up!”
“Let’s excommunicate him!”
“That German swine’s a priggish pig.”
“His views are toxic venom.”

But gratefully we’ve come to see
Herr Luther was a blessing.
What he espoused reformed the church.
It’s what we’re now confessing.

Yes, Martin Luther spoke his mind
and voiced his heart through singing.
Five hundred years ago this man
set village church bells ringing.

The Dilemma of Dementia

A call to compassion

When someone you love doesn’t know that it’s you,
you die just a little unsure what to do.
But as their eyes smile and twinkle with joy,
you know that you still have a bond.

When someone you love has been robbed of their mind,
they say things that hurt you. They aren’t always kind.
But then you remember their memory is shot
and actions are fueled by their fear.

When someone you love is confused and afraid,
you suffer in silence but still wouldn’t trade
the gift of their presence and all that they are
and who they have been through the years.

When someone you love has forgotten your name,
you swallow your pride and then make it your aim
to be fully present, to reach for their hand
and gently remind them they’re loved.

*This poem is dedicated to the families with whom I am privileged to minister who are impacted by dementia

Another Hurricane Named Harvey

Praying for a good outcome to a bad situation

A hurricane named Harvey
has destroyed where he has been.
This movie mogul’s damaged countless lives.
For decades he has victimized
those bruised by his abuse
(as well as his dear children and his wives).

Like storms that ravage homes and hearts
through power that they pack,
this macho hurricane has done the same.
Without regard for those he hurt,
he moved on like the wind.
But now (exposed) he deals with guilt and shame.

“Be sure your sin will find you out…”
God’s Word reminds us all.
What’s done in darkness will be brought to light.
There’s consequence to serving self.
Sins wages must be paid.
And justice will be served to make wrong right.

And yet we pray for Harvey
who has said he wants to change.
May knowledge of God’s mercy melt his heart.
May treatment and repentance
find this broken man restored
as Harvey finds (through faith) a brand new start.


What are the Odds?

Pondering the unimaginable terror in Las Vegas

Good news or bad news?
It seems the headlines
in the morning paper
are a roll of the dice.

In a city
where people have been known
to gamble their lives away,
what are the odds a lone gunman
would lock himself in a high-rise hotel room
and slaughter innocent concert-goers
hoping to hear Jason Aldean all night?

A city sarcastically nicknamed “Lost Wages,”
is now sadly known for lost lives.
How terrifying.
How traumatic.
How tragic.

This week the “Disneyland for Adults”
is anything but “the happiest place on earth.”
It’s Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride derailed.
It’s Dumbo dumbfounded.
It’s the Matterhorn dehorned.
It’s Main Street gone mad.

O God, have mercy on the victims.
Comfort the grieving.
Heal the wounded.
Calm the scared.
Protect the vulnerable.
Convince our Congress to rewrite gun laws.
Guide the authorities who seek answers.
Sustain a city and a nation riddled with questions.
Save us from ourselves, dear Lord.