Life versus Love

A Supreme Court ruling has raised the bar of civil discourse

Lord of Life, Lord of Love,
whether we’re pro-life or pro-choice,
we’re amateurs
when it comes to disagreeing agreeably.
Help us learn to love our enemies as You taught.

Regardless of our views on when life begins,
may love begin anew each day
as we voice our opinions
without malice or spite.
May we resist attempts from either side
that would seek to abort
the spirit of Christ within us.

Protect us from killing one another
with words… or worse.

May Your Kingdom come.
May Your will be done
on earth as it is in Heaven.

Graduating from the School of Hard Knocks

Chalking up the lessons of life to the experiences of daily living

The School of Hard Knocks
some have called it.
It’s graduate school to be sure.
But to pass, there is no dissertation
or patenting some cancer cure.

There’s no quitting work to take classes.
And the homework is done all at home.
The alumni of Hard Knocks are famous
for how faith-in-action is grown.

You don’t have to write research papers.
There’s no need to go into debt.
What’s unique about this school of learning
is that life’s stormy waves get you wet.

At the end of some rope you’re left clinging
with nothing to do except trust.
And by trusting in One Who’s proved faithful,
your faith muscles bulge like they’ll bust.

With Thoughts of My Dad

From the time I was three I wanted to be like my dad

When I sit at my keyboard,
the sick are consoled.
Those troubled in spirit
are suddenly whole.

The grieving, encouraged.
The worried, relieved.
When I type “in the Spirit,”
God’s will is achieved.

If I asked how I learned how
to uplift the sad,
I know what to answer.
I credit my dad.

You modeled the comfort
the Scripture affords
when you translate God’s truth
into everyday words.

I miss you, Pop!

** I wrote this wee verse (based on the accompanying photo) for my pastor-dad as my Fathers’ Day greeting in 1999. The photo pictures me as a three-year-old sitting at my dad’s manual Royal typewriter in his church office in 1955. My dad passed away on November 4, 2008 at the age of eighty-two.

Summer Sundays

Summer getaways allow for creative Sunday worship experiences

Sundays in the summer
often find us missing church.
The family cottage beckons. Grandkids, too.
We’re hiking in the mountains
or we’re camping by the beach.
Time away is what we all need to renew.

And yet we still can worship
even when we aren’t at home.
There is cause to praise God in the great outdoors.
The backdrop of creation
prompts the lyrics of our hearts
as we dodge the rain or see an eagle soar.

On each Lord’s Day, let us seek Him.
In the silence He will speak
as we hear a call to worship from a lark.
Summer Sundays can be sacred
if we praise God where we are
near a campfire at dawn or after dark.

Marking a Monarch’s Platinum Jubilee

Your Majesty, your Jubilee
now calls to mind your reign
that’s showered countless Brits with more than tea.
Your subjects curtsy and they bow
with homage in their hearts.
You represent their love of royalty.

God, Save the Queen”
they proudly sing as palace guards stand tall.
The lyrics of this anthem voice their prayer,
that God would guide your every step
and give to you long life,
that you might sense God’s presence everywhere.

Elizabeth, the world-at-large
now celebrates your rule.
Beyond your realm we recognize your face.
We are not blind to griefs you’ve known
or critics of The Crown.
But through it all, we marvel at your grace.

Your Majesty, we mark your reign
(three-score-and-ten grand years)
as flags fly high and banners are unfurled.
Your Jubilee provides a peek
at that for which we long…
real peace and oneness in our war-torn world.