Redemption Story

Out of the dust I was formed,

breathed by the bearer of light,

but into the darkness I bored,

preferring the shadows of night.

I brought on myself the abyss,

subjected myself to the pit,

plunged to the depth of darkness

without a way out of it.

There I found sights and sounds

of madness and terrible screams,

and by such horror was bound

to unceasing nightmare dreams.

I could not escape the chains

of chaos that shackled my soul;

it was only fear that came

and took on me its toll.

I was helpless to find the way

back to the source of glory,

for I needed the Maker of day

to step in and redeem my story.

So into the darkness He burst,

glowing a marvelous hue,

ridding of me the worst

and bringing hope into view.

He reined the rampant disorder

with His resonant voice of peace,

He brought the chaos to order

and saw all anarchy cease.

Wickedness and evil fled,

shadows cowered in their fear;

now daylight shines instead

for the Saving Son is here.

A glorious dawn is breaking

and taking over my heart;

it’s left the demons shaking

and scattered completely the dark.

What a marvelous King of Grace

who rescued me from the hole,

with the truth of His radiant face

He shone on and saved my soul.

Into the Void, Into the Soul

Deep, deep black is all that exists

            here in the formless void.

Darkness reigns with iron fists

            that leave all hope destroyed.

Chaos roams with rampant cries,

            shrieking and wreaking strife.

There is no movement in the skies,

            there are no signs of life.

But over the void there hovers a breath,

            bearing a secret so bright.

Then, without fear, He dives into death

            and plunges into the night.

He then bursts forth in glorious day

            and the evil is overcome.

The darkness is scattered in every which way

            by the righteous, victorious Son!

Bogged with burdens, beaten by fear,

            broken by endless tolls,

There is no purpose thriving here

            within this hopeless soul.

There are only chaos, death, and hate,

            darkness, rage, and ire.

This spirit is crushed by the heaviest weight

            and its life is about to expire.

But over the soul there hovers a breath,

            bearing a secret so bright.

Then, without fear, He dives into death

            and plunges into the night.

He then bursts forth in glorious day

            and the evil is overcome.

The darkness is scattered in every which way

            by the righteous, victorious Son!

This I Know

There are things in this world I don’t understand,

There are things that I’ll never know,

Like the number of grains on all beaches of sand

Or the names of the stars that glow.

I’ll never be able to fathom creation,

To comprehend the virgin birth,

I can’t imagine the painful separation

When Christ left heaven for earth.

I will never endure the pain that He bore,

The burden of all our sin,

All I can do is pray to the Lord

That He would take me in.

Though I can’t find a reason He’d invite me back

To his perfect heaven above,

For though my soul has been scarred by the black,

He chooses to cleanse me in love.

All I know is that He’s my Creator,

He knitted my very core,

All I know is that He’s my Savior,

This I know for evermore.

O Lord, Your Love

O Lord, you light my fire

Your spark is all I need

You are my heart’s desire

Your love is all I need

 

O Lord, you lift my spirit

Your grace is all I need

It’s in your voice, I hear it

Your love is all I need

 

O Lord, you are my Father

Your touch is all I need

It flows like living water

Your love is all I need

 

O Lord, you’re my Redeemer

Your love is all I need

You are my God and Savior

And you are all I need

Abide

I once was a pond, stagnant and dry,
Apart from the oceans that roared nearby,
Stubborn, indignant, wanting no piece
Of the waters that flow and do not cease.
I baked in the heat of my own delusions,
Caked by the vapors of my grand illusions,
Believing that I would someday endeavor
To burst and become some glorious river.
But there was no way for me to expand,
No stream to breach the encroaching sand,
No brook to break away from the pond
Without the source of something beyond.

I once was a branch, full of gall,
Stuck to the trunk of a tree that grew tall,
Scornful and proud, wanting no part
Of the jungle that overflows from its heart.
I withered in the gloom of my own disdain,
Wilted by contempt that stemmed from my brain,
Foolishly thinking that I could break free
To build from ground up a superior tree.
But there was no sense in my arrogant thought,
No escape from the trunk to which I felt caught,
No manner of transplanting this seed of mine
Without the breath of the life-giving vine.

I once was a limb, vain and haughty,
Pinned to the side of a thunderous body,
Hubristic and rude, wanting no share
Of the life or the love that flow from there.
I suffocated badly in my own impudence,
Deprived by the dearth of my shallow prudence,
Somehow perceiving that I could survive
Apart from the body that keeps me alive.
But there was no hope for my mindless desire,
No place to defect, no place to retire,
No other chance for my limb to stay sane
Without the blood that pumps through my veins.

For I was made by the Lord above
As a river to flow, incessant in love.
I am a branch, adjoined to the tree
That always was and always will be.
And I am a member of the body of Christ,
Who abundantly gives the gift of new life.

Belief’s Adventure

There once was a group of people that possessed this thing called Belief: not your ordinary belief or some half-belief, but pure, honest-to-goodness Belief. They knew what they stood for, and they actually stood up to it. They didn’t just boast in it, but they were convicted by it. They truly lived it.

Together they traveled to a place called Fear: an ominous island, shrouded in menacing clouds and surrounded by murky waters. Not many had dared to attempt the voyage before, and fewer still returned home to tell the tales. Regardless, they went forth, resolute in purpose. Their ship lurched in the smallest of waves and was nearly capsized by the largest. They knew the reputation of this place called Fear, and it did in fact cause them tremors, but they were not afraid. Steadfast, they clung to Belief, and they made their way to shore.

What awaited them there was a man named Laughter: chief over the village of people that lived there. He was quite the rambunctious sort, one minute cackling in a fit of humor, and the next as silent as the grave. He was frightening to look in the eyes, for some sort of madness hid behind them. The men, however, pleased him greatly. He was overjoyed to have guests on his island, and he treated them with the utmost respect. Altogether they spent the night, feasting and dancing, amused by the hilarious roars of Laughter. The men sat by the fire and shared their reasons for coming, the source of such Belief.

When morning came, he led them up a mountain known as Doubt: a steep and jagged crag, riddled with caves and cliffs. The chief told stories of incidents long ago, and some not so long ago. All of them included someone falling, all of them included someone lost, and none of them told of someone found. The men’s eyes shifted, constantly darting about the path. They didn’t trust their surroundings or even the ledges beneath their feet. Nevertheless, they pressed onward, following where they were led. Frequently they paused, clutching hands in prayer, asking for security, for deliverance. And though they were overshadowed by Doubt, they carried on with Belief.

Eventually, the chief crouched into a cave that had been christened Confusion: a dark black place, teeming with predators and uncertain passageways. Their sole light was the torch held by the chief, and they were fixated on its glow in every sense of the word. Sounds seemed to resonate from all sides, but their sources could never be seen. Predators lurked in the shadows, impressing their terror on the men. Physically they went untouched but psychologically they were tantalized. Their spirits were sucked into a battle of Confusion that was only won by Belief.

At last, they passed through an opening in the cave and into the place of Mystery: an indescribable sight something like a jungle or a garden, but whose wildlife flowed like honey and glowed like the sun. The men were entirely awestruck, jaws dropped by what their eyes beheld. They could hardly begin to absorb the beauty that this place contained, and they could explain absolutely none of it. The fauna roamed peaceably, intermingling in delight. The flora sprouted gloriously, intertwining with wonder. And although the men could not fathom such Mystery, they accepted every inch of it, with Belief.

Only then did the men return to their ship, labeled appropriately by the three letters on its hull: Joy. The men could hardly contain themselves with all the excitement they felt. They couldn’t wait to share everything that had happened to them with every single person that they met. They had confronted Fear, experienced Laughter, overcome Doubt, bested Confusion, beheld Mystery, and returned in Joy. All of these things they did by Belief.

Behind the Clouds

Above our heads at nightfall form the stormy clouds,

Blocking from our sights the stunning stars,

Causing us to wonder what the reasons for toiling are

If no one hears our prayers through thunder loud.

We yearn for starry nights that ignite the paths below,

The ones we tread with passion and with glee;

Of such delightful dreams we so much long to see

That we willingly trudge through rain and sleet and snow.

But when we ponder all the stars we gazed upon back then,

They shimmer just as when we once perceived;

We recognize the reasons we still inwardly believe

That we’ll see the stars a’ shining once again.

And just as we’re about to lay to rest our weary eyes,

We look above and see them light the skies…