Apr 23, 2009


You don’t allow me to stay stuck very long
Tears stream down my face when I realize
How hard I am just trying to hold in all together
For the benefit of everyone else.

And then I sit here in the dark
In the silence
And feel your presence
Enveloping my soul.

Always in your presence
But especially in pain
I feel the gateway to comfort
Slowly, quietly like a whisper, You come.

No matter the circumstance
I feel your love covering me
With an intensity that won’t let me go.

Sometimes I can only whisper the prayers
And sometimes they don’t come at all
But still, I come, because I know I’ll find you
I seek, because I know I find
All that I need

I am certain through this life of faith
That through perseverance
I have more of an ability to endure

Because you never leave.

Whether I am tasting a cup of sorrow
Or drinking with vitality your joy
You have taught me so well
To remain in you.

Through every assurance and failure
Through every sin and triumph
Through every twist in the road
Through every straight highway

All of it ends at the same place
All of it, every moment, every breath
Leads me back to you.

I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5

Apr 14, 2009

Wounded Souls

This morning my ex-father-in-law went home to be with the Lord. Finally, he will be in peace and reunited with his wife and other family members.

The first poem I ever had published was based on an experience with him. Before he died, he agreed to have me post the poem here.

Rest in peace, I'll see you again!


I wonder how long we walk through life

Until we understand that everyone has a story?

So quick to judge when someone hurts us--

When someone lashes out, we struggle with our reactions

A friend told me once that, "Hurt people, hurt people"

And I know this to be true.

I guess until we examine the wound

Within every soul, we really don't know.

Those who suffer abuse or live with pain

Those who are belittled and humiliated

Those who are bullied and broken

All because a wounded soul, wounded them.

But how long must the cycle continue?

Someone is hurt, so they have the right to hurt you?

There are so many people that suffer

Abandonment and rejection and shame

Wounded souls crying out in the night

So I think we have an obligation, really

To learn about each other's stories

To be patient with each other's pain

My wound is not your wound

But because I have suffered wounds of my own

I need to understand what lies deep within you

May not be so different from what I have felt

Never, ever having to accept abuse or injustice

Rather, standing up with courage in the face of wrong

But still, keeping compassion within my own heart

To understand your story that unfolds bit by bit before me

To understand that your dreams may be long gone

That tragedy may have affected you or someone you love

Or maybe you didn't have the privilege of knowing real love

And disappointment and hurt have followed your heart around

I suppose we can all take part in wounding each other's fragile souls

Of feeding the darkness and the pain--

But it seems if we are called to walk in the light

To offer signs of hope and love and forgiveness

We need to find a way to be the instrument of peace

And help to heal each wounded soul.

Apr 13, 2009

He Is Not Here!

He Is Not Here!
He Was Raised,
Just as He Said.

From darkness and pain
To the brilliance of resurrection
Despair to triumphant hope!

The tomb is empty
Christ Has Risen!
What glory there is in this message.

There is depth and beauty
To this unfathomable mystery
By grace, God still blesses this world
Making us new creations every day.

He enters our lives again and again
Sometimes in the most unlikely of circumstances
Sometimes in the most unusual ways.

Jesus is seeking us
Desiring to quench our thirst 
Longing to fill our hunger
And draw us closely to Him
In the most intimate of relationships.

Life-Giving Savior
Dying to see me free
Rising to conquer death
And to live inside of me joyously.

The Easter message leaves me with incredible joy
And renews a jubilant hope that transform my life
Through suffering, pain, difficulty I have pondered the cross
And I know I am forever changed.  

The beauty of the cross
The realization of the great pain endured
The deep measure of the sacrifice given
And the glory of the empty tomb
Leaves me with hope that is unmeasurable.

All is well.
Jesus is risen.
Love is victorious.

Apr 10, 2009

The Cross Changes Everything

When my son was in middle school, one of the many angels God brought in our life was Mr. B.  He connected in a way with Kevin, that he still remembers now.  Mr. B (or Tom) could relate to Kevin, because he saw himself in Kevin when he was growing up.  I am so grateful, even now, because Mr. B (Tom) was such an incredible example of Christ and he reached out to my son, spending time with him, listening to him and building him up in a beautiful way.  He lived (and still lives) his faith and his character shines through.  He would show up for his baseball games, and later in high school, his football games.  He was an encourager of Kevin's life, and of His faith.  During Lent one year, they spent time at Tom's together building a cross used for a Lenten program we were having at church.  Everyone at the program took a nail and drove it into the cross, signifying our own part in nailing Jesus to the cross.  That cross still sits in the boys' bedroom, and is a strong remembrance and a central point of our understanding and center of our Christian faith.  And a personal reminder of indescribable love.

A favorite hymn of mine is "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross"...the music and words so speak so strongly and are such a clear reminder of the center of my faith...Jesus Christ.


by Isaac Watts

When I survey the wondrous cross

On which the prince of glory died

My richest gain I count but loss

And pour contempt on all my pride

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast

Save in the death of Christ my God

All the vain things that charm me most

I sacrifice them to his blood

See from his head, his hands, his feet

Sorrow and love flow mingled down

Did ever such love and sorrow meet

Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Were the whole realm of nature mine

That were a present far too small

Love so amazing, so divine

Demands my soul, my life, my all 

I have always loved the words of this precious hymn of my faith..."sorrow and love flow mingled down"...and "Love so amazing, so diviine, Demands my soul, my life, my all."  Speaking of His impending death on that cross, Jesus says:  "I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself."  (John 12:32).  The central core of our faith--the only Son of God allowing Himself to be tortured on a cross for us.  For you.  For me.   For all.  

Christ died for our sins--all of our sons...no matter how great, or how small.  This love is so deep, so beyond anything I can comprehend, so much deeper than any other love I can ever receive.  When I think of the cross...that all ground is equal at the foot of the cross or that the only way to respond to my trials is to leave them there...at the foot of the cross, I am overwhelmed.   The knowledge that all of my faith, all of my life is centered there...at the cross of Jesus Christ.

There is no way, when I truly understand that kind of love and forgiveness that was given so that I may be free, that I can mutter anything but:  I need you Jesus.

Apr 9, 2009


The night of darkness

Washing the disciples’ feet

With total humility and love--

Beginning of the journey

Leading to the cross.

The bread, the cup

Offered in the Upper Room

"This is my body, broken for you.

This is my blood, poured out for you.

Do this in remembrance of me."

The blessing.


Jesus, praying alone in the garden

“Can this cup pass from me?”

“But Your will, not mine be done.”

They could not keep watch.

Disciples in the valley of despair.


Each one falling away one at a time

Betrayed by the kiss of a friend

Denied by Peter, the Rock

Turning away.

Falling away.



Apr 7, 2009

A Greater Love

I heard an old song recently by a Christian artist I used to follow. The tune so simple. The words so cutting. It really reached through my heart and took me back to a time that was pretty full of storms and darkness.

By Wayne Watson

When parents weep
There is a greater love
When children lose their way
A greater love

When wives cry out
And men have lost their dreams
There is a greater love.

When tears pour out
There is a greater love
When healing does not come
A greater love.

When sorrows flow
And joy is swept away
There is a greater love.
There is a greater love.

It got me thinking about some painful situations for others around me. And it got me thinking of God’s amazing grace in my own life in shepherding me through the storms. I remember a night I was crying out in pain, and although I didn’t say it, I felt it: “Where are you, God? “ my heart cried out. And immediately my thoughts were filled with Scripture from Matthew: “You of little faith! Why are you so afraid?” I was so wanting for easy answers. I was anxious and struggling about what choices I should make in my circumstance. I felt my emotional healing wasn’t coming and I was in a sea of very deep pain—like I had never known.

I kept repeating the scripture to myself…You of little faith! Why are so you so afraid? Did you think you would be left alone in the middle of the storm? Step by precious step of faith, it was my perspective that began to change and allow me to receive God’s grace in a new way. I was praying for healing. I was praying for answers.

Instead, that night in the dark of the night, below a little night light, I scratched out a list of God’s faithfulness to me. God, my children, my family, my church, my friends, my job, my home. In the midst of the darkness of the night and the darkness of my soul, I began to see God’s amazing love for me, and be wrapped in His loving arms so tightly. Instead of focusing on my not healing, or not having answers to my situation, or the sadness, or anything else that broke my heart, I began instead to center on God’s goodness to me.

I began each day praising Him for His presence amidst my trials. Playing praise songs on my car radio and singing at the top of my lungs, even if through tears. And very soon, God began to reveal to me blessings in the storm.

Because no matter my situation, there is a greater love. There is one that loves me so much that He died for me.

I reached for the cross on my neck that night, and realized its significance in my life. The sacrifice of the cross. And the glory of the empty tomb.

Truly, there is a greater love. And I hope no matter what circumstance comes, I can always remember to: Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. Psalm 103:2

After all, there is a greater love.

“Greater love has no one than this that he lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13


Still the chill of winter
Yet the song of spring beckons us
Spring and newness with all it's hope

Yet, there are still frozen parts within me
That need introspection and examination
Cleansing and healing
Darkness lays heavy

But only as an opportunity
To reach farther
To love more deeply
To lift the veil from my own heart
To walk the path
And look to the horizon

Waiting for the dawn
To journey to the cross
Of sacrifice and pain
To the light of the tomb

From the dark to the light
The journey continues
To renew, to refresh
A gift of rebirth.

Apr 2, 2009

Comfort In Sorrow

Sometimes sorrow comes in a slow deliberate wave.  You see it coming on the horizon.  There are signs that the sorrow is approaching.  And sometimes sorrow comes like a quick lightning bolt, with intensity so strong, it knocks you of your feet.  Either way sorrow is part of our life.  And so a part of our life in Christ.  Recently, sorrow came in the strong, striking way.  When the sorrow is so deep, it seems it is too much for the soul to carry.

When this sorrow was experienced this week, it created devastation and so many questions.  I spent many hours with my sons--crying with them, praying with them, trying to make sense of pain and sorrow that had come to the life of someone they cared about.  Within the hours of weeping and talking and working through the pain, we talked of doubts of faith.  We talked about assurances of my own faith and questions we all face.  I was sure in that moment that even though there times of questioning, that doubts were only bringing us closer to the throne of grace.  Sometimes in the depth of sorrow, in the questions, in the emptiness, the encounter with God is so powerful.  God is big enough for our questions, and comes alongside us in our sorrow.  At the end of a difficult night, what we each knew as we prayed is that God was present.  And that He never leaves.  What great comfort there is in that knowledge!

When it feels like no one understands, we can run to a God with arms wide open, aching for our sorrow and longing to comfort and heal our hearts that belong to Him.  

 In Isaiah 61: 1-2:  

 "The Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom to the captives, and release from darkness for the prisoners."   Healer of broken hearts, broken lives, light of the darkness.

And as we make our way to the pouring rain at the foot of His cross, we see the agony Jesus suffered.  We know that we knows our pain and our sorrow.  The nails in His hands and feet, thorns piercing His brow, wounds in His side and separation from His father.  When you realize all he sacrified to save our lives, the healing can begin.  I can trust the one who loved enough to die for me.

Sometimes the sorrow that envelops our hearts is so deep, that it is hard fathom.  But then I remember the cross and what He suffered there for me.  

And I know that I am never left alone.

Apr 1, 2009



It’s impossible to portray Him wholly—

To define him, explain him,He is mystery.

Humble and daring

Soft spoken and blistering

Full of sorrow, full of joy

Strongly meek and quietly bold

Child of heaven

Son of earth

Power of eternity

Bearer of light

Former of worlds

Shaper of souls

Storm of glory

Love of God

Offender of religious

Befriender of the lost and wandering

Lamb of sacrifice

Lion of Judah

King of kings

Servant of servants

Quieter of storms

Disturber of peace

Holiness of humanity

For I no longer just know about Him.

Now, I know Him.

For when the veil is lifted

And I see Him as he is

Nothing is the same:

Transformer, Earth-shatterer,Life-giver,

Healer, Comforter, Soul-consumer, Sustainer, Redeemer.