By Faith, Not By Sight

Though my eyes are clenched tightly shut,

            by instinct or sheer fright,

I walk on.

Though darkness squeezes my veins,

            turning scarlet to violet,

I march on.

Though petrified by the daunting unknown,

            craving to collapse and quiver,

I press on.

Though completely aware of the threats,

            heaped upon my head like coals,

I tread on.

Though scoffed and pointed and laughed at,

            maltreated by ones I love dearly,

I surge on.

Though burdened with weights of weakness,

            weary, but stirred by spirit,

I go on.

Though outwardly my flesh is wasting away,

            renewal flows inside, and by faith,

I live on.

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Wonder, Ask, Seek.

Life is full of uncertainties. It’s full of unanswered questions and wondering. It’s also full of opportunities. We’re left with a choice, then. To wonder, or to stop wondering. To ask, or to stop asking. To seek, or to stop seeking. Each one of us has been blessed with a chance to make that choice. What will be yours?

 

The seams of the world were somehow spun;

Somehow in the sky sits suspended the sun.

In a miraculous way my life was begun;

I was born with feet to stand and to run.

Each day I awake as sure as summer comes,

There are monsters in life that I’ll want to flee from;

I’ll escape many but be captured by some.

While certain battles rage, still others are done,

And despite the fact that I’m a wandering son,

I’ve yet to stop wondering, so I’ve won.

 

Sometimes doors are slammed in my face,

I sometimes stumble at the gun of the race,

The world is the hare and I the snail’s pace,

I’m left all alone without even a trace.

There are times when I’m left with a bitter taste,

And places I’m surrounded by rubble and waste,

But there are also times when that’s not the case,

For often I find joy in the quiet place.

And many times I see my fears erased

Because I still ask, and because there’s still grace.

 

My questions are answered in countless ways,

Even when overwhelmed by pressing haze;

I march on with confidence, assured and unfazed,

Preparing not to be shut down, but amazed.

I still endure when the skies are grey,

And even when my path for life seems to stray;

I know that the Lord will not delay,

He’ll whisk me away to heaven one day,

For I know He answers those that pray,

And those that seek Him, always.

Let the Colors Come

Life is a ceaseless swirl of color. There are brilliant tapestries; there are ebony evenings; and everything imaginable, and unimaginable, blurs in between.

We begin in the black, enclosed by the womb, unaware of what awaits outside. And then, in an instant, we’re born into a world of color. Light permeates our eyes for the first time, but certainly not for the last. As a bright red balloon we’re taken by invisible winds up to the heights of cyan skies and we look out on the world below.

Colors gain new meaning as we grow into the shades and hues that twist and splatter this world. In awe we discover striking bursts of new color. We’re taken aback by both the serenity of some and the harshness of others. We marvel at navy nights and gape at orange ocean sunsets. Yet we’re appalled by smoky skies and shocked by brick-red blood.

Sometimes we struggle to take in all the rainbows the world throws at us. For a while we’re consumed by it; we can’t get enough of it. But just as youth fades, so does our fascination with the colors around us. Emeralds and ivies reduce to green. Lavender and lilac become simply purple. We grow bored with the world of color.

We construct these cathedrals of stained-glass windows in which we attempt to capture all luminosity. Then we snap photographs of the pigments and colorants that we’ve come to feel some mastery over. Nature is no longer good enough. Everything is hazy and bleak. Life becomes monotonous, and grey is the prominent overtone.

But then, we’re struck. Struck by that unsuspecting flash of immaculate light. And in that moment, our sight is revived of its cynicism. Our eyes are again opened to the beauty that surrounds us. Our lens on life shifts significantly and so does our vision of the world. It doesn’t matter what hits us; when we’re hit, we’re hit. And we only realize it when we open our eyes and again see the radiance that we once used to see. Blues return to azures and ceruleans. Reds return to crimsons and rubies. They’re even more breath taking than before.

Colors shine like we’ve never seen. They burst from unexpected places and they glow from previously dim sources. Because now, our eyes are open. We perceive the world, those around us, and ourselves differently… with more brilliance.

Vision again gains that zealous significance and we can’t absorb enough of the color. Our eyes light our hearts with the glorious hues that we ingest so eagerly. Even our darkest places are lit by those pressing lights that yearn to inhabit every remaining corner of isolation and colorless despair. Let the colors come.

Regardless of where you are in life; whether you’re blown away by all the hues; whether you’re overwhelmed by the lack thereof; or whether you’re rediscovering the whimsical beauty of each uniquely concocted color: let the colors come.

Let the colors come.

New Life

To all who rest and rise and breathe,
To all who seek something in which to believe:
There’s more to life than the things we see,
At stake are our souls, and eternity.
We must let go of the pride we hold
And find inside each body the soul
That fervently cries and ardently yearns
For the Shepherd of Souls to return.
Without our King we roam alone,
Restless and empty, through valleys unknown
That create in between us chasms and voids,
Blocking us from the heavenly noise.
Selfish we stray so far from our source
That we no longer know between mirth and remorse;
All that we see are night black and blood red,
Asking the question: “Are we alive, or dead?”
But there exists hope in our far off place,
For the greater the sin, the greater the grace.
The Creator of all the universe longs
To forgive the sins of the world in throngs;
As long as they line up before His throne,
Every humble knee will be welcomed home.
And in return for such humility
He plants in you seeds of victory;
Freedom and courage come blossoming through
From the Spirit that colorfully blooms within you.
A new creation you feel the prominence
Of His eternal stamp of loving permanence;
Not one that dwindles or rots or decays
But one that will never be stripped away.
No more will you feel alone or forsaken,
Because your High King cannot be shaken.
So follow your purpose down this new path;
Abandon the ways of destruction and wrath.
Put your faith in the One of glory and power
Who will save you from even your darkest hour;
He will move you to a place that’s much less grim:
Eternity in heaven with Him.
So yield your life to Jesus Christ,
For He is the One that took your stripes.
He is the only Great I AM,
And for you He was slaughtered like a lamb.
But this is the price He wanted to pay:
He willingly spent three days in the grave
To win back the heart of every boy and girl;
They’re all His children; we are His world.
Ponder this life that He freely gives
Simply because He wants us to live
In His Kingdom of love and mercy and hope,
So take His hand, grab onto His rope.
Hear the hand that knocks on your door,
And let Him love you for evermore.

Encore of the Trees

Out to the woods he stumbled alone,
In search of relief from winds that had blown;
The winds that tossed him to and fro,
Knocking him down to the ground below.

He crawled to fight the rampant breeze,
Down on hands and bloodied knees;
He struggled to reach the distant trees
But then his world just seemed to freeze…

He clambered to his feet and gazed around,
From the clouded sky to the clay-covered ground;
Never before had he felt so profound
As he stood in the absence of sound.

He blinks his eyes two times to uphold
The inconceivable sight he beholds;
Not only does his skin shed the cold,
But warmth makes its way to his soul.

 

He sees the skies overhead, dark grey,
And the trees that no longer sway;
His eyes scour for that whelming dismay
That seems to have scampered away.

 

Lifted is the burden so overbearing,
Stripped is the weight that he was wearing,
Gone is the demon that glared, soul-baring,
And now the trees are declaring:

 

“Glorify the Lord on high,
         even under darkened sky.
Glorify the Lord above,
         with your words and with your love.”

And just as the trees had given their words
The wind recommenced to blow and to blur;
The storm continued to toss him as a bird
But the message of the trees was still heard:

“Glorify the Lord on high,
         even under darkened sky.
Glorify the Lord above,
         with your words and with your love.”

No longer was he encumbered by wind
But rather he gallantly marched again,
With head bowed down, to the storm’s chagrin,
He had found his strength within.

He pressed onward, despite the roar,
And against all odds he began to soar,
Leaving behind the dread of before,
He listened for the trees’ encore:

“Glorify the Lord on high,
         even under darkened sky.
Glorify the Lord above,
         with your words and with your love.”

He comes back down from lofted heights
Having seen a glimpse of heavenly lights;
No longer will he fear the shadowy nights
For this is what he recites:

“Glorify the Lord on high,
         even under darkened sky.
Glorify the Lord above,
         with my words and with my love.”

Faith

I have faith in what I hope for;

            I am certain of things unseen.

The universe was spoken by God;

            he formed it from invisible things.

He created us from dust of the earth,

            and to it we shall return.

But he indwells us with a Spirit

            that evermore will burn.

By faith in Christ we are saved

            because he’s defeated death.

He took every one of our lashes

            until they stole his last breath.

Three days he stayed inside the tomb,

            but then he rose again.

Just as the prophets had prophesied

            he redeemed us of our sin.

It’s faith in him that saves our souls

            from the pressing darkness of night.

This very same faith propels our souls

            to the Father of heavenly lights.

Forever we will sing of his glory,

            in dancing and in song.

Choir will shout and trumpet will blare

            for all of eternity long.

It’s faith that keeps us striving;

            faith in the things unseen.

For when we at last grow certain,

            we will be redeemed.

Through faith we conquer kingdoms

            through faith salvation is won.

Through faith we spend eternity

            with Father and Spirit and Son.