Prodigal

Have you been wandering? Do you feel you’ve lost your way?
Does the night seem to overcome the brightness of the day?
Are you afraid that you’re too far gone yet still sinking deeper?
Does your mind sometimes fantasize about meeting the grim reaper?

Take heart, oh weary prodigal soul, I know that place.
And I also know that you are not a hopeless case.
You may have wandered and squandered all on your own,
But you need not now starve in the desert alone.

I don’t know what you’ve done or what’s been done to you,
But I do know that none of those things disqualify you.
No brokenness is beyond His ability to restore,
And where sin abounds, grace still abounds more!

While we were enemies, Christ died so we could be reconciled,
And the Father is not ashamed to call a prodigal His child.
He is running with arms to rescue and embrace,
To bestow on you a celebration of amazing grace!

How do I know that these words are true?
Well, I’ve been the running prodigal more times than a few.
Yet, He has been faithful to me through all my years,
And He has called me back, delivering me from all my fears.

I speak these words today because of His grace alone,
And I do not speak them by any strength of my own.
God is faithful, steadfast, patient, generous, and true;
And His grace is for people like me and like you.

Grace Upon Grace

Grace will meet you in the most unexpected ways,
And shine ever bright on even the darkest days.

Creative hands bestow it to fragile jars of clay,
In abundance each and every single day.

Sometimes it will take the form of a tightly closed door,
And other times an open one you weren’t looking for.

Sometimes it will take the form of difficult words,
And other times in the gentle ones often preferred.

Sometimes it will take the form of a rainbow after a storm is done stirring,
And other times it will be a peace that enters in during.

It is sufficient, even on the days we feel so weak,
And shines brightest on the days that seem so bleak.

Each little sign of His grace is also accompanied by a multitude more,
For He knows what we need when we don’t see or ask Him for.

The love of the Lord never ceases, nor do His mercies ever end,
Grace upon grace, so generously supplied we cannot comprehend!

What is Home?

What is home, but a cover from the weather,
A place where people can gather safely together,
A place where a table is set with today’s daily bread,
A place to nightly lay one’s head?

Surely there is more to ‘home’ than these physical necessities,
For there are other places to find such basic amenities.

What is home, then, but a refuge to run to,
A place of security when all is askew,
A place with peace and comfort confined inside,
A place where loved ones are at one’s side?

Still, these words describe only an idealized view,
And no place here fits that definition all the way through.

What is home, but a place to belong,
A place where we don’t need to pretend we are strong,
A place one knows and is known as well,
A place where the heart can openly dwell?

We’re getting closer, but even with all these answers combined,
There is something more to “home” left undefined!

Perhaps, when we feel most at home then, we are experiencing a preview,
Of something more than any place we have ever been to.
And maybe what we desire in our dwellings here is a reflection in the mirror,
While all our striving is an attempt to make the image clearer.

What if ‘home’ is not something we build but something drawing near?
Now the definition is growing increasingly clear!

For, no matter how secure we feel in what we call our abode,
We are still just sojourners out on the narrow road.
‘Home’ cannot be confined to words, time, or space,
But so I’ve learned, only in the arms of our Creator’s embrace!

We are strangers here, living in a foreign land,
Building tents for our days that He long ago planned.

What is home, but all the ways described before,
And more than we have ever imagined or hoped for?
Oh, how I long for it, though I’ve never seen it on my own!
What is home, where is home, who is home, but God alone?

Into an Ocean of Grief

My dad passed away fairly suddenly on Valentine’s Day. I wrote these words a few days after, in a state of shock, haze, and grief. May this be a reminder of the fragility of life and of a hope that stands even when life is hard.


In the rapid falling of dominos in motion,
A whirlwind came and dropped me in the ocean.
Days drenched in hope quickly became days of despair,
With no sight of familiar shores anywhere.

His mortal shell could take no more of the domino toll,
For it was weary from all that cancer gave and stole.
Once so strong he quickly grew so weak,
And his spirit knew that the situation was bleak.

I’ll never forget those boney limbs and yellow skin,
Screaming of the multitude of cancer’s assaults within.
Nor will I forget eyes half-open yet seemingly unaware,
And arms that kept moving until our embrace found them there.

Twenty-seven years were not enough, no number ever would be,
But I didn’t expect to find myself so soon in this uncharted sea.
Normal will never return because he is not here,
Only days in and that truth is crystal clear.

Today the ocean feels so deep and vast,
Though I may see beauty too once time has passed.
For I know that the waters will someday turn tranquil,
When I look back on memories for which I am thankful.

Planes, trains, and grins that made me smile too,
And a special sense of humor that always shone through.
The smell of hazelnut coffee reminding me of my childhood,
And all the little things he did that made that time good.

Yet even in time, I know the waves will still sometimes churn,
For mourning has no timeline and tends to repeat and return.
Now and then, I will be tossed to and fro like I am today,
For that is grief’s cruel and callous way.

Yet whether now or then, I do not dwell in stormy seas alone,
For many others have been tossed into similar oceans of their own.
And even though the sea seems too deep to chart,
There is One who knows its every single part.

When the waves roar and I find myself flailing about,
He walks on water, reaching His hand out.
Though the Great High Priest and Lord of lords,
He doesn’t hide from the hurting, but instead moves towards.

I need not hide my tears or messy feelings away,
For they do not have the power to make Love sway.
Jesus Himself knows what it means to weep,
And He is present now as I swim in emotions deep.

He gives me relief in ways I would not have asked for,
Yet still it comes, in ways I cannot ignore.
He loves us both more than I can understand,
And in that hope, I now choose to stand.

The Good Shepherd

The Lord is my shepherd and He knows my name,
And He spoke it to lead me out of my shame.
He found me when I was the sheep that had gone astray,
And brought me back to the flock where I now long to stay.

He is the good Shepherd, not merely a hired hand –
The one who cares so deeply, more than I can understand!
He laid down His life for me on His own accord,
And paid a ransom I could never afford.

Each day He leads me to green pastures full of provision,
Where life and restoration are freely and fully given.
There, I walk near streams of living water,
Not as a slave but as the Father’s daughter.

As I learn to recognize His voice, I learn more of His ways too,
And He guides me to do what is righteous and true.
Sometimes I try my own way but find His rod is there,
Not to harm but to keep me from a deadly snare.

Some days I also find myself in the valley for a duration,
But He leads me through it for it is not my final destination.
I have no need to fear, for even then He is near,
And though I cling to Him, He holds me more dear.

He invites me to a table where my enemies can clearly see,
That the one who is His will always His be.
They cannot prevail or snatch me from His hand,
For in His presence, they are too weak to even stand!

Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me all my days,
And I will dwell with Him both now and always.
The Lord is my shepherd and He knows my name,
And because of that – I will never be the same.

God with Us

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,
And man dwelled in the garden without façade.
But sin shattered communion like glass beyond repair,
And sorrow became our inherited share.

Yet even on that day when all was made broken,
A promise of hope was firmly spoken.
For Love would not abandon His creation,
And so, He planned a way for salvation.

His promise was passed down through prophets of old,
Yet in time, the hope of many grew cold.
It seemed as if God were no longer there,
And if He was, perhaps He didn’t care.

Yet when God seemed silent and far away,
He sent messengers into the world to pave the way.
Emmanuel was coming into our mess!
Light would shine again in the deep darkness.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among the broken,
Fulfilling what God Himself had long ago spoken.
But He came in what many deemed a pitiful sight,
Not robed in royal splendor nor with weapons to fight.

Indeed, He entered in one of the most vulnerable states!
For He came to draw near to those in desperate, dire straits.
Grief and affliction were His chosen lot.
And He carried our sorrows though we esteemed him not.

By His presence, grace was made known,
And by His blood, God’s mercy shown.
On Him, our transgressions and iniquity were laid,
So our insurmountable debt could be finally paid.

Communion was restored for all who would believe,
And a promise was given that He would not leave.
Emmanuel, God with us, to the age’s end!
Our Savior, brother, and truest friend.

Centuries have passed, yet His promise and presence remain,
And He is still with us through every sorrow and pain.
God has not left us nor will He go away,
Emmanuel who was is still Emmanuel today.

Simply Come

Simply Come |  "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28–30)

“Come to me” is the invitation spoken,
From the heart of Christ to all who are broken.
No test to pass, no need to clean up first,
Just come to Him, all you who hunger and thirst.

Come, taste, and see that He is good,
For He is now doing all He said He would.
Seek the Lord and take refuge in His loving embrace,
And live each day in the light of His redeeming grace.

His gifts of grace and mercy are abundant and true,
And I promise they are for people even like you.
No sin is too great, no burden is too heavy,
No person is too lost, and no life is too messy.

You may be a prodigal soul out on the roam,
But celebration still awaits when you come home.
You may be heavily laden and at the end of your rope,
But I promise you, friend, there is still blessed hope.

He knows your story, He knows your name.
He knows your sin, and He knows your shame.
He knows your struggles, He knows your pain,
And He knows how to break every kind of chain.

A bruised reed He shall not break,
Nor a smoldering wick will He forsake.
A broken and contrite heart He won’t turn away.
He is present now and He chooses to stay.

He is gentle and humble in heart,
Beckoning you to a daily fresh start.
I know it is sometimes hard to believe,
But this love is not earned, it is a gift to receive.

You can wrestle, you can be confused,
But His love will not be moved.
You can argue, you can hide in fear,
But even then, Hope remains near.

You may know a thousand reasons for condemnation,
But for those who come to Christ, there is salvation.
Those who come shall not be cast out from His sight,
But instead, be drawn nearer to live in His light.

So come, confess, and lay your burdens on the ground.
See, how His grace indeed does abound!
Unfailing Love is here to support and console,
So come and find rest, rest for your weary soul.

Mountain Perspective

An obstacle to overcome, a problem too great to bear,
Or an opportunity for a view to which none can compare.

What you call a mountain depends on your attitude,
And how you see it depends on your altitude.

If you want the majesty you’ll have to venture out,
And leave behind the baggage of comfortable doubt.

Then, once you’ve chosen to take the climb,
You must then take action one step at a time.

One step may seem small, but if you keep going you will see progress,
And you may even see beauty in the long climbing process.

For life springs forth from the decay and dirt on the ground,
Sometimes you just need to pause for a moment and look around.

So, embrace the journey as you continue the climb,
One step, one moment, one breath at a time.

The journey may get tiring, and your muscles will grow sore,
But in the pain is a lesson you cannot ignore.

Though your pride will likely protest,
Even the most athletic must come to a rest.

So, remember to rest, and to refuel too,
You must take care if you want to reach the top with its view.

After some time of rest and recuperation,
You can once more give the climb your full concentration.

Put one foot in front of the other once more and keep repeating,
Approaching the top and the promised view you are seeking.

In time and in steps, you will reach your destination,
With a combination of exhaustion and unprecedented elation.

And, if you look at the view of the mountains that now surround you,
You’ll feel so small but you’ll overflow with gratefulness too.

Mere words cannot articulate the beauty of what the eyes behold,
Some things must be experienced and not simply told.

As you take in the view so simply breathtaking,
Know that both the journey and this destination were of His making.

Keep your heart as open as your eyes and you’ll see,
That God was with you all along the journey.

He provided air in your lungs and reminders to rest,
And let you see hope and beauty in the quest.

He sustained you even when you did not notice His attention,
And He worked in ways beyond mortal comprehension.

He had every step of the way fully charted,
And was present in the valley before you even started.

A glimpse of what He is doing and what His hands have done,
Truly, there is no view that can be compared to this one.

Tossed at Sea

Tossed by every problem, and every word with its tone,
Anxiety has set deeply into every single bone.
My stomach is seasick, my body is tense,
And my mind is jaded from all this violent turbulence

The waves of circumstance and others’ opinions rage,
And I find myself drowning in fear’s cruel cage.
I cannot hold my pride-fueled façade much longer.
For these waves are many and all of them stronger.

My energy is finite and fading fast,
By my own power alone I cannot last.
I cannot help but fear that I will perish in these waves,
To be buried alive among the watery graves.

Yet in this desperate predicament, I’m learning I’m not alone,
There is One who has been with me for longer than I’ve known.
He is the one who even the wind and waves obey,
Who came to me though I’ve tried to sail away.

To Him, the deep waters are thoroughly charted,
And He knew my life’s journey before it had started.
He is good and His love will never fail,
So here I am now, with a white flag as my sail.

In this storm, like every other, He chooses to stay,
He will not abandon, give up, or betray.
He leads me and helps me navigate the ocean by His grace,
And in time, I forget all about my attempts of saving face.

He sometimes even calls me walk on the waves that should swallow,
To do what I thought was impossible before I began to follow.
He calls me His daughter and tells me I am now free,
I no longer need bow to the whim of the fickle sea,

The sea around still seems so deep and vast,
But only when I take my eyes off of Him who is steadfast.
Storms will still rage and my mind will still sometimes tire,
But He is with me now, no matter what may transpire.

A peace I do not understand descends,
As I grow in the One on whom my soul depends.
Slowly, I know it will set deeply into every single bone,
I will not be tossed by every problem and word with its tone.

Threadbare

I am weary, faded, and worn,
Like a threadbare cloth almost fully torn.
The threads of the warp and woof lay bare,
From the friction of the world and inner despair.

My heart is heavy from all that I see,
And the voices that scream so loudly within me.
Some days I feel so anxious and frail,
And overwhelmed by suffering’s massive scale.

How many times can a garment be repaired?
Is there hope that a worn one might still be spared?
Sometimes I feel like I’m just too far gone,
And I forget the promised hope of dawn.

My words are feeble, and I fear to speak.
But Lord, help me believe even when things look so bleak!
Don’t let me settle for mismatched, unshrunk patches,
Nor abandon myself to destructive fire and ashes.

Please don’t let these fragile threads break,
But oh, if they do, surely You can still make.
For, in Your skilled hands, nothing goes to waste,
Even holes and stubborn stains can be wholly erased.

You promised to finish every good work You ever began,
So help me to trust that You still have a plan.
You are still working, making like only You can do,
Making even seemingly hopeless things new.