Message: In the Hard Times

9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

Have hope

Be you hopeful

Have peace

Be you peaceful

(But what if

There is no hope?

What if

There is no peace?)


14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.  Do not be conceited.

Have grace

Be you graceful

Have life

Be you living to the full

(But what if

There is only anger?

What if

There is so much death?)


17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.

Have truth

Be you truthful

Have spirit

Be you full of Him

(Even when

There are lies?

Even when

Christ is despised?)

20 On the contrary:  “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.  In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”  21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Romans 12:9-21


Sermon on the Mount: Sun Shining

43“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” ~Matthew 5

Today I see sunshine

Is it shining on you?

Are we both being so perfect

That it’s shining down?

I see that sinner—

It must be raining above


And I am afraid

To say anything to him


It might start raining

It might start raining

On me


It’s storming outside

Is it storming by you?

Have we both angered God

To cause these torrents of dew?

I see that righteous one—

It must be sunny above


And I want to speak

To gain forgiveness from him


Please stop it raining

Please stop it raining

On me


Shake your head

At me

Tell me to read

God’s Word

Shake your head

At me

Please rebuke me by

God’s Word


It was shining sunlight

Over Job’s head

And yet the sky

Turned blood red

What had he done?

What could he do?

God shines on sinners

And rains on the chosen few


Did you know that?

Did I know that?


It was shining sunlight

On me, a sinner

And God in His kindness

Rained down tears

On me

I rained down tears

Of repentance

And now I am called

To shine on those all around

Just as God does on me

To be kind and graceful

Towards everyone I see


I hope the sun shines

The sun shines on you


“16Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” ~Hebrews 4

32“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” ~Luke 6

“30But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, ‘Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?’

31Jesus answered them, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 32I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.’”~ Luke 5

“1Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 2but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.” ~Psalm 1

“1In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil. 2He had seven sons and three daughters, 3and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East…

“6One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them. 7The Lord said to Satan, ‘Where have you come from?’

“Satan answered the Lord, ‘From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.’

“8Then the Lord said to Satan, ‘Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.’

9’Does Job fear God for nothing?’ Satan replied. 10’Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. 11But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.’

“12The Lord said to Satan, ‘Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.’

“Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.” ~Job 1

The Sky Grey, But God

The sky
It is grey today
The wind
It blows every which way
And I
I hear You calling my name
I want to answer
But I don’t know if I can just the same
If I speak
Speak about what burns when I wake
Will You hear
Hear my words for my sake?

Is this love
That burns inside
Just a mask
A thing of poor disguise?
The feelings that burn
When I sing
Is it foolery
Or thanksgiving I bring?

Though the sky is grey
And the wind blows
I hear You speak
And this I know
For Your sake You speak
For Your sake You listen
For Your sake there is living
In Your message of grace

The rainbow of light
The chosen do not live by sight


“6Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. 7For we live by faith, not by sight. 8We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. 10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” ~2 Corinthians 5

‘For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’

37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” ~Romans 8

“7But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.” ~Philippians 3

Holy God: My Calling

My Calling:

Purified by truth.
Purified by obedience.
One another deeply.
From the heart.

Be gone
From me.
Be gone
Ignorance from me.
Be gone
From me
Be gone.
Wickedness is no longer my master.

Is the hope to cling to.
Given through Christ.
Is the power to which we cling.
Is the promise given.

Be gone
From me malice.
Be gone
Hypocrisy and envy.
Be gone
Deceit and slander.
Be gone
From me forever.

Be Holy;
Be self controlled and active.
Be Holy;
Do not conform.
Be Holy;
Live in reverent fear.
Be Holy
For God is Holy.

(For it is written,
“Be Holy as I am Holy”
And so shall it ever be
Forbid it, LORD, forbid it
That Your people reject it
Let it never be)


“13Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. 14As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
17Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. 18For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.
22Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. 23For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 24For,

“All people are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
25but the word of the Lord endures forever.”

And this is the word that was preached to you.”
“1Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.” ~ 1 Peter 1 and 2

My Teacher

(An older poem of mine)

Where is the love we once swore to crave?

Where is the trust we once swore we would never betray?

Where is the hope that shone so bright?

Where is the righteousness we said we would continue to grow into?

I am a rebel, I have always been one.

First loyalty was to hatred and pride

And then to become beautiful in His sight.

I felt a new blossom revive in my soul

I opened my eyes and yearned to be whole.

I said, “This is love

Love I must feel for all of these people.”

So I set out to make it my zeal.

I felt a growth

A pain and yet a sweet fragrance

You cannot grow without trial

And I said, “This is trust I am learning

I will trust the Lord always.”

So I set out to make Him my stronghold.

I saw a light far away in the sky

Not a star

Not the moon

And I said, “That is Jesus holding out hope

My crown is waiting, hold onto hope.”

So I moved on to follow the light.

I came to realize something awful

That I could do nothing good at all

And I said, “I need grace,

Grace to make me righteous like Him.”

So I set out to know Him more and to let Him lead my life to righteousness.

But where has this led me?

Where has it gone?

I allowed myself some pleasures

I allowed myself to conform to the world

I looked for love when God had not ordained it

I could find nothing when I wanted and so I did not trust

The hope, the light, was so far away that I decided I did not need to follow so faithfully

I found righteousness too hard so I gave up too easily

Lord, where has this brought me?

Where have I gone?

My heart has turned to bitterness

I hate my brother

I speak with him often, but little is fixed

What bitterness is in my soul

Where has it come from?

From the world I follow in

From not loving in the correct way

From not following the Lord’s ways

From giving up on hope and righteousness

Lord, teach me to love

I feel empty inside

Lord, teach me to trust

I betrayed You long ago

Lord, teach me to follow

The light of hope burns so small

Lord, fill me with grace

Lest I fail in the quest

Teach me to forgive my neighbor

Teach me to love my brother

Teach me, Lord

Teach me 

“For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” ~ Colossians 1:13-14

“Teach me, O LORD, to follow Your decrees; then I will keep them to the end.  Give me understanding, and I will keep Your law and obey it with all my heart.  Direct me in the path of Your commands for there I find delight.  Turn my heart toward Your statutes and not toward selfish gain.  Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to Your Word.  Fulfill Your promise to Your servant so that You may be feared.  Take away the disgrace I dread, for Your laws are good.  How I long for Your precepts!  Preserve my life in Your righteousness.” ~Psalm 119:33-40

My Meditation: 1 Peter 1:1-2

To be without guilt
To be without sin
To never have killed a soul
Whether shedding blood
Or hating in the heart
To never have stolen
To never have been jealous
Of what was not yours
To never have told a single lie
White or otherwise
To never have used the holy name
The Holy Name of the LORD in vain
That is to be righteous
To be without shame
To be without sin
No one has done this
No one is good
What good I’ve thought I’ve done
All is worthless
All of it a lie
How much a idolize
The praise of men
Stealing what was only meant for the LORD
And not giving Him
What He created me for
How I deserve
Eternal Hell
Despising all that He is
Despising all that He does
I deserve not His love
I deserve not an ounce of grace
Lord God and Savior
Jesus Christ
He came down to earth
For He loved me
He became my sin
Because He loved me
He died a death I deserved
Because He loved me
He rose to life
Because He loves me
And now He is mine
And His righteousness
It has clothed me
In Him I have received faith
Faith more precious than gold
In Him I have
Abundance of grace
From God
Abundance of peace
With God
For I know Him
Through Christ
I know Him!
He is my God
My Savior
My King
My everything
He is my Righteousness
“Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours: Grace ad peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ our Lord.” ~1 Peter 1:1-2