Marathon Faith

Marathon faith takes blood, sweat and tears,
But those who give up cannot master their fears.

For the twisting and turning,
the bruising and burning
Sensations all mean that your training
Is gaining the traction you need
To make it, not fake it, to finish the race.

Milestones are there to keep your head high,
Eyes fixed on the prize though it’s still out of sight.
They don’t seem like much, but point to your hope–
A benchmark, a pacer so your heart won’t grow cold
While you still have the power to fight, not to fold.

And what of the pain and injuries too?
Keep walking or crawling and moving on through.
Your joints will heal if you do what is right.
They’ll get straighter and stronger, turn your weakness to might.

And what of the burdens that weigh your heart down?
In casting them off your solution is found.
You don’t need to carry these things from the past,
Keep your eyes on the prize and move–fast fast fast!

And when disappointment leads to hopeless despair,
just lift up your gaze–
See? You are almost there!

Where thousands of faces are cheering you on,
They knew that you’d make it, since they’d already gone.

As the judge, the true champion, crowns you with honor,
He speaks holy words prepared for that hour:

“This child of mine has finished his race.
I crown him with life in my holy place.

This glory I give to all of my own,
So all of Creation will finally know
The fullness of splendor it has only glimpsed,
In seed and in sorrow, a few humble hints,
While his life seemed failed and far far below
Standards of living and standards of wealth,
A foolish exchange that cost him his health–
Or so it would seem to those who don’t know
That one day everyone will reap what they sow.

My child you have sown with all of your might
And gave your life for the Kingdom of Light.
So my grace sustained you through fear and through foe
Until this day on which I will show
Why it was worth it,
Why it was so.”

He lifts his gaze a burnishing beam,
Brighter than your happiest dreams–
“My beloved son, my holy one:
Job well done!
Race well won!
Enter my joy, my boy.
Enter my joy.”

“Kryptonite or Sunshine” and 2 other V-day poems

Ah Valentine’s Day, the one day in the year when all the silly, sappy and serious poetry of the past is socially acceptable to share. Here are three poems for your pleasure (read lyrically aloud for maximum effect).

Kryptonite or Sunshine

Girls are kryptonite
Or sunshine, it depends on…
I don’t have a clue…

#haiku

Longing for “At Last”

Until that time
When you are mine
I beg for grace
To endure
The anxious race
For love so pure
That it will bring
Only joy
And will sing
Bright and coy.

Through the sorrows
Each tomorrow
Leads to hope,
Faith and love.
So let’s elope
From earth above,
A taste of heaven,
That others will see,
And crave to get in
on Holy Trinity.

For They made man
And They made land
From which there came
Someone special
Not quite the same
But with differential
Glory, beauty,
winsome smile
Evoking holy
Relief and–
“At last”.

A Poem Can’t Make You Love Me

A poem can’t make you love me
But still it’s worth a try
To speak honestly and freely,
To let you hear my cry.

Why do feelings come and go,
Fleeting as they please?
I thought loving kindness would
Be enough to please.

“Give it time”
Will tell what exactly?
One day we’re fine,
Suddenly anxiety.

I’m here for you no matter what
But still it makes me sad
To hear that you don’t feel the same
As if I have been bad.

Then again I feel confused,
Sometimes you seem happy
With true delight, affection, joy,
Feeling like we’re lucky.

But other days you seem so scared
Of problems overwhelming
And want to hide inside your bed
From dangers that are felling

Your joy and peace
Both day and night
Pushing you to
Fight or flight.

But pillows make
For sorry shields–
To knightly strength
Does danger yield.

I mean of course
Your Mighty Friend.
I’m a lowly
Squire hand,

Holding up the shield of faith,
Slashing with the Word.
More at stake than chemistry,
Your joy in Christ, the Lord.

If that you have,
But romance hides,
I’ll be content
And stand aside.

But if Satan seeks to steal
Your happiness in Christ,
I will fight with all my strength
For your abundant life.

A poem can’t make you love me,
But love can make a way
To wait and speak and act and give
Grace for another day.

When God provides…

sunset_beachSpeechless surprise,
Making me wise,
Seeing its true,
God always comes through.

He wants what He wants,
But in my despair
I doubted, I feared
That He wouldn’t be there.

Pouring out effort
To so little comfort.
Was I doing things wrong?
How long, Lord, how long?

I’ve worked and I’ve waited,
I’ve asked and been still.
I’ve sinned and repented,
Is this not your will?

Then out of the blue,
His promise came true,
An abundance of grace,
To finish the race.

Now for thanksgiving,
For glory and praise,
To a God who is faithful
And just in His ways!

So if you are waiting,
and praying,
and working,
Or if you are hoping,
or longing,
or moping,

Remember:

When God provides
He fills up your cup,
And all of your sorrows,
Will not measure up.


 

Written when God provided on the same morning two much needed and unexpected sponsorships for Code for the Kingdom Seattle.

Many say they’ll risk it all

cataract_of_grace

Many say they’ll risk it all,
And lose their life to do your call;
Leave behind their friends and dreams
To seek your Kingdom’s living streams
To be with you and sing your praise
To hear your voice and feel your grace.

But many hearts get stifled too,
Forgetting quick their sight of you.
The joy which once consumed their might
Gave way to pleasures that last one night
And in their sleepy comfort cry,
“Oh when will this vain life pass by?

“Where is the joy and all the praise,
I thought would last through endless days,
When every thought was filled with you
And everyone so quickly knew
Why every breath that left my lips
Were filled with words that soon eclipsed
All other talk of mundane things
Like weather, sports and diamond rings?

“But now my tongue is bridled by
A fearful heart that cannot lie.
For when I plainly told the truth
Rejection, scorn fell on my roof,
But silence made my soul cry out
‘You faithless coward, full of doubt!

‘Choose today whom you will serve
The One whose love you don’t deserve
Or people thinking well of you
Because you do the things they do.'”
So in my pain, I soon took flight
To safer harbors of delight.

“Loving you is too dangerous!”
I thus confessed the outrageous.
But soon like tasteless poison kills
My lesser loves destroy my will.
With python strength, they choke my heart
All passion dies without a start
What little embers I have left
Will disappear, leave me bereft.


Yet there you wait with open arms,
Your gentle words cause no alarm.
Surprisingly you say to me,
“I love you still, I’m not angry.
Little one so full of fright
I gave my life to give you sight.

Now you can testify of me,
Of rescue from depravity.
Your sinful heart so full of lies
And self-deceit, the pride of life
I have replaced with something new:
My holiness will dawn in you.

And in the deserts of despair
A flood of grace will pour forth there,
Dousing out the flames of sin,
Washing out the fears within.
From cataracts of thundering height
Forgiveness, mercy rush with might
That I may fill your inmost place,
Inundate your every space.

I bought this promise when I bled;
My righteous prize for you instead.
My Spirit dwells in you, O jar
Your brittle frame hides something far
Brighter than the brightest star
My fullness dwells inside your heart.”

I gasp and wonder–is it true?
Almighty God, could this be you?
Speaking words of love to me,
Showing unseen truths you see?
My lifeless soul at your command
Springs back to life, a firebrand.

Loving you, a gracious gift,
Nothing can compare with this.
It fuels the passion of my soul
And frees me from fearful control.
O let me do this without fail
Until your promise has prevailed!
For now my love I’ll lose it all
Because by faith, I hear your call.

Rejoicing in Absentia

Last weekend, Ceaseless won Best Existing Code and Best Use of the Digital Bible Platform at Code for the Kingdom Bay Area.

I missed the announcement of the winners because I had to catch a flight back to Seattle. This poem describes my reaction to news of the award while waiting for the plane. You can also share in my pre-pitch anxieties in Waiting to Pitch :-).

rejoicing_in_absentia

Rejoicing in Absentia

Buzz in my pocket,
Text from a friend:
“You won two top prizes!”
Couldn’t stay to the end…

Phone calling, messaging
Could it be true?
My team didn’t tell me–
What more could I do?

My dad and I offered
Thanksgiving to God
For giving us favor
When things seemed too hard.

From nervously pitching
To waiting for plane
My heart was rejoicing
Regardless of fame.

A message came in,
The award was confirmed.
“Glory to God
For glory unearned!”

More than achievement,
This was a sign
To start making things happen
For now is the time

To reach every person
With prayer and grace
So Jesus’ name
Would be everywhere praised.

Let there be ceaseless prayer
For everyone on earth.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Waiting to Pitch

Poem describing how I felt before pitching at Code for the Kingdom Bay Area. See Rejoicing in Absentia for part 2.

hotseat

Anxious waiting, bated breath
Drumbeat heartbeat, racing mind
Blinking, shaking, questioning
If I’m crazy.

Theory, practice,
saying, doing,
knowing, proving, hoping
Grace will be enough.

Sigh of relief
peace to relax
boldness to ask
For the help that I lack.

Outcomes unsure,
is my heart pure?
Puzzling fear,
mockers are near?
Whatever the end,
celebrate with friends.

Poem: In Times of Trouble

I recently found this poem I wrote in 2008. Not the best (I edited it some), but it described my heart at the time. (Please read poetry aloud 🙂 )

In times of trouble God is near
To rescue people he holds dear.

So why should my soul fear?
My holy Father will make things clear.

When knees grow weak and courage falls,
God hides me in his fortress walls.

And when the storms have passed
He leads me out to peace at last.

And when the time of testing comes
God strengthens me with joyful songs,

So I may win the crown
And Jesus’ name shall be renown.


Some related Scriptures (looked up retroactively):