Do not be too discouraged about your faults, even those that come up repeatedly. Of course, strive to overcome them, but don’t be depressed by them. Instead, let them lead you to humility and dependence on God’s grace.
“I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)
Freedom is the grace to make good decisions, the power to do good. Freedom is being able to express your beliefs, while respecting others beliefs. Freedom is to receive forgiveness, to be released by the grace of God from the guilt of my wrongdoing, and to offer forgiveness to others. Freedom is receiving the grace to forgive my enemies, instead of living a life of resentment and blame. Freedom is letting go of the past, and having hope for the future. Freedom is appreciating those who have helped you have freedom. Gratitude increases freedom. Freedom is a great gift, and a great responsibility. Thank you, God, for the great gift of freedom.
Written July 3, 2021
The air —
Laden with care —
With guilts, not graces,
With long-gone places,
With regrets, what-ifs,
With laundry lists.
And then —
A gust of wind —
The Spirit comes
And speaks in tongues,
The lightning strikes —
And thunder rumbles —
The tension crumbles.
Then sweet release
Of pent-up rain —
God comes again.
His tender care
Dispels all fear.
All will be well,
All will be well.
You woo me in the quiet places;
It’s there you fill me with Your graces.
I long for silence, to still the voices
That tempt me onto errant courses.
The noise of living makes me weary
(Though noise of loved ones can be cheery!).
The “noise” of nature, by contrast,
Brings calm and peace, or makes us wary.
When list’ning for Your mighty plan,
I calmly sit, or kneel, or stand,
Or even on a quiet walk –
By grace, or chance, I’ll hear You talk.
Grant me, O Lord, that blesséd grace –
No matter what the time or place –
In noise or quiet, at work or rest,
By Your sweet voice to then be blessed.
You feel a feeling,
You think it’s true,
But maybe it’s
You think a thought;
It seems so right,
But thoughts can come
From faulty sight.
You’re in a rut
You must step back —
A thought vacation.
You need a standard
Of what is true.
Can’t be your feelings —
Truly, you’re loved —
At least from above.
If others mistreat you,
Don’t let them deceive you
About your worth,
About your value.
You’re precious, you’re fine;
Your worth is sublime.
You are enough —
A diamond in the rough.
Quit being a victim;
Let God’s loving grace in.
God comes to me in my grumbling
(Though surely I do not deserve),
Comes to offer His faithful love,
And for His love I have no words.
Nothing I do (or do not do)
Has bearing on His gracious love.
I’m helpless, hopeless, to be sure;
Still He pours down grace from above.
How can I learn to just let go,
And let the Lord God have His way?
Learn how to love, from what He does,
And be underneath His sway?
When will I learn that He controls,
No matter what things may portend?
Then I can be a little child —
Trust, peace, and His joy be my end.
The fruit and vegetable lady
Sells amaranth leaves,
Plums and lemons,
And other things.
She smiles when I ask her name.
“I have lemons for you,” she says.
She sits or stands in the shade,
Her garden must be quite a thing.
Daily, abundant things she brings.
But always, the amaranth leaves.
(She calls them spinach.)
“Hot peppers today,”
She says with a grin,
Bringing them from
A bag within.
I hope she is making
By grace of God,
In the neighborhood.
If only I could speak —
To tear down strongholds,
To shatter darkness,
To shred the webs of dread deceit.
God’s words alone have this power.
His power brings His blinding light,
His breath — it scours away our sin,
And shatters clever, insidious lies,
Enlight’ning places dark within.
If only I had the power, but —
Surrend’ring humbly to His grace,
Letting my weakness gain His strength,
Perhaps I help the human race.
Can you hear the moon at night?
Its bright beams crashing in noisy light?
When sleepless eyelids long to rest,
With jangled thoughts – unwelcome guests.
Can you feel the soft night air,
The gentle breeze upon your hair?
At least in restless night you feel
Some hint of comfort, the air surreal.
And then beyond the restless fears,
Or aching leg, or head, or ear,
You find inside a solid place
That lets you sleep, with God’s good grace.
Ridin’ on the wave of God’s love —
It can be precarious,
It’s sometimes hilarious,
But don’t be nefarious —
Just ride it, ride on.
As we ride the wave of God’s love —
Our balance let’s keep,
His truth and love seek,
Be humble and meek —
Keep ridin’, keep on.
To ride on the wave of God’s love —
Let go and surrender,
Receive His love tender,
His grace do not hinder —
Let go and ride on.
… And if you should fall —
Attend to His call;
Get up and stand tall …