Bone After Bone

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I wanted to share a quote from this blog written by Sarah Bessey:
“It was practicing the radical spiritual discipline of staying put…It was showing up at a local church to belong somewhere and volunteering in the nursery and making meals for others. It was reading good books and going for walks and planting gardens. It was giving away our money and opening up our home and listening carefully to make sure anything we now did was actually born of following God and not out of our weird need to be a hero or to be different or to be radical for its own sake. We learned to be suspicious of our own motives, to question our own selves, and to cease striving…We would have missed it. If we had tried to run away from the discomfort of not-being-radical, we would have missed the gift of ordinary, the gift of our own lives and the people around us…We would not have been present to the people right here around us and the ministry that happens in kitchens and church aisles and backyards. We would have missed the beauty of daily following Jesus into a whole life redemption.”
-Sarah Bessey

This doesn’t relate to the entirety of my poem below, but it relates to the theme of many of my poems – the idea that we are where we are for a reason, and we need to invest in our people and let them invest in us. The Lord has really shown me the beauty of “striving side by side for the faith of the gospel” (Phil 1:27) with the people He gives us, and if you read my poems, you know it’s my muse. Hunter and I are staying put. We are living in the area where we both grew up and plan to stay in this area as long as the Lord wills. Not because it’s easy, not because we’re afraid to take risks, but because this is where He has us. People may think we chose to live in a “bubble” of familiarity, but our Father is revealing Himself to us in new and beautiful ways each day here. He is asking us to be all in, to pour our hearts into this place and these people. He’s asking us to open our minds and hearts and receive everything He wants to teach us about the places and people we thought we already knew, as well many new people He is weaving into our story. He doesn’t want us to get too comfortable, but He wants us to stay put for now. And we are so down.

Wherever it wishes, the wind will blow
We cannot see where it comes from, or where it will go
These things are not for us to know
But a way for us to be brought low
Low enough to fall on our knees
The road to righteousness isn’t paved with ease

In adverse winds
Can you depend on your friends?
As the help that He lends
And the mercy He sends?
He deliberately designed us to need one another
And derive much comfort from the love of a brother

He will exalt the humble
But the proud will stumble
As their castles crumble
And attainments tumble
For many strive for material wealth
At the expense of spiritual health

On the ground, He wants us to abound
But abounding is a life that’s found
In His grace and mercy that surrounds
His beloved, His chosen, His Bride, His crowned
We cannot stay the course alone
So He gives us each other, His body, bone after bone

John 3:8, Isaiah 5:15, Matthew 7:14, Ecclesiastes 4:9, Philemon 1:7,
Matthew 23:12, James 1:11, Psalm 52:7, Matthew 19:23-24, Matthew 19:30,
John 10:10, Luke 12:15, 1 Corinthians 12:27, Romans 12:5

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Care Enough to Confront

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Sometimes we wake up and just feel the weight
This city we love encumbered by hate
A world that’s warped without the Word
People abandoning truths they’ve heard

Are we too weak to open our mouths and speak?
Or perhaps we justify it as being meek
When we really just don’t care enough to confront
For fear of sounding self-righteous and blunt

Where is our burden for our corner of the world,
For our streets and our people to see The Good News unfurled?
Can we let go of the lie that we have no role,
And sacrifice our comfort for another’s soul?

This fraudulent fear is whispering again
But faithful are the wounds of friends
Who are called to speak truth while being humble and kind
With urgency and zeal because eternity is on the line

Saving Face

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I’m finding that I’ve prayed and prayed
But seldom stopped to praise Him for the ways that He has saved
And all of the times He kept us safe
From the countless evils He preyed and slayed.
And for the sovereign decisions that He made
So His undefeatable power could be displayed
And His glorious goodness would be portrayed
Through our immeasurable debt He graciously paid.

Do we brush off this unthinkable grace
Perhaps, at times, just to save face
So we don’t have to feel out of place
And we can be well liked as we embrace
The desires of the flesh that take up space
In the hearts that He made, pushing out His grace
While quickly, the Truth, these lies try to replace
As the flesh gives way to a worldly chase?

Home

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I jotted this poem down in a note on my phone last summer and found it today while clearing out.  I took that sunset picture from our backyard the night we got back from our honeymoon.  It was my warm welcome to our first home on the first night I ever spent there.  #warmfuzzies

We’re learning that possessions can begin to possess
Until in our mess, we can learn to confess
That we became slaves to the unyielding stress
Of the insatiable urge to inspire and impress
We profess that less is not really less
But a means of the Lord to sanctify and bless

So invest in your nest and make it your own
A place where the treasure of your heart is shown
Where the grace and provision of the Lord is known
And character and compassion can be grown
But know that this will never be Home
You can’t take it with you when you go

Taming the Tongue

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Have you not seen? Have you not heard?
We will give an account for each careless word
So maybe it’s time for the tongue to be tamed
And every last selfish conceit to be named
Confessed and laid bare before His feet
As we humble ourselves at the Mercy Seat
He knows every move we make in secret
Every single thought, even when we don’t speak it
He sees these dark and despicable deeds
And still for us, He intercedes

Disjointed

 

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Disclaimer: This poem is not about anyone in particular (and certainly not the people pictured above – that’s just an awesome photo)!  This is just about some patterns and tendencies we all have in various relationships because of the fall.

Pointing out that we are poignantly disappointed
Allowing our hearts to be dissociative and disjointed
Emotionally spent and content to resent
Focusing on flawed frustrations that hint
That we are fallen and broken with every word spoken
As we close hearts and hands once tender and open
If the rift makes us drift, our faces we must lift
To the One who gave Himself as a gift
That He would weaken our desperate desire to be right
And our unforgiving urge to punish and spite
That He would show us still a more excellent way
So we wouldn’t wound one another with the words that we say
That we would gravitate towards a grip on grace
And embrace the mercy traced back to His face