The Grace of All Graces

Broken is the man, stained by sin,

            likewise the woman, born of his rib.

Lost are their children, strayed since birth,

            for they don’t understand the soul or its worth.

Ravaged by envy, driven by greed,

            they’re pushed and pulled by the evil one’s seed.

He’s planted it there within their hearts,

            leading them swiftly into the dark.

But light still exists in the form of Christ!

            For love overflows from the Giver of Life!

He takes the guilt and the shame we all bear,

            He wipes the slate clean, He signs His name there.

We’ve all been offered His infinite grace,

            both deeper than oceans, more expansive than space.

There is no end to the grace He bestows,

            the depth of His love, not one can know.

For He is beyond and so high above

            that He cannot sin; He simply loves.

His love is greater than all we have known,

            much higher than the eagle has ever flown.

No comparison of love will ever be found,

            for God is unfathomable, His grace too profound.

Yet our souls have weight, we’re given a choice,

            to ignore His gift or to follow His voice.

We are to choose between life and death,

            and God will decide in whom to place breath.

Though some will fall and rise no more,

            others will marvel at His graces galore.

For He yearns to take us to heaven with Him,

            to shower us in grace and to usher us in.

There with the angels His praises we’ll sing

            to the Grace of all Graces, our King of Kings.

Freed

Stained by sin are the tips of my fingers

Stalked by death the steps that I take

Proud is the heart that beats in my chest

Sin is what’s left in my wake

.

Broken are the bridges that daily I build

Flawed are the friendships I keep

There are no ways to undo what I’ve done

The debt I’ve incurred is too steep

.

Someone must cover the cost of my sin

Someone must pay for my life

Nothing I do or say will suffice

I need the one they call Christ

.

Jesus Christ is the very Son of God

And He’s willfully died in my place

He’s gone as the lamb is led to the slaughter

He’s bestowed on all sinners His grace

.

Perfect was the life that Jesus had lived

Undeserving was the death that He died

But unworthy a foe the grave did prove

For Jesus has risen, He’s alive!

.

Not even the clutches of death could hold Him

There is no power below or above

Christ will triumph again and again

There is no match for His love

.

What we deserve is a sinner’s death

But Christ died for you and for me

Death could not hold Him, nor will it ever

Thus by Christ we’re alive, we’re free

Lions & Trees, You & Me

Sitting in the garden alone,

            I pray out to the Lord who sits on His throne.

I marvel at His majesty,

            and wonder why He would ever think of me.

I am just a sinful man,

            tainted by the world, with sin on my hands.

The words I pray are quiet and small;

            how could they ever matter to the Lord of All?

 

Sunday morning we all sing,

            lifting up our voices in praise to the King.

Some will raise their hands to the sky

            while others will kneel down to pray and to cry.

In unison we glorify,

            but our words are often empty and our hearts so dry.

Five hundred voices harmonize,

            and yet they do no justice to the Lord on High.

 

Angels in the heavenly clouds,

            dancing and rejoicing and shouting out loud.

It’s an overwhelming sight,

            joyful explosions of both sound and light.

Even the lions and the trees

            are leaping in worship and bowing on their knees.

But still it’s simply not enough

            to glorify a God who is so glorious.

 

Yet somehow God is more than pleased;

            He’s filled with joy at the dancing of the trees.

He’s also honored by our songs;

            even sung by sinners, He’d hear us all day long.

He is even happy with me;

            a long lost son who’s come home on his knees.

Our God is oh so glorious,

            yet He still longs to love and be loved by us.

Plenty To Be Thankful For

Psalm 30 – Thank you, O Lord, for… lifting me up when I’m down, answering my call for help, bringing me up from the grave, looking on me with favor, keeping me secure, making my mountains stand firm, turning my wailing into dancing, clothing me with joy, and allowing my heart to sing!

Psalm 136 – Thank you, O Lord, for… being good, doing great wonders, understanding and making the heavens, spreading out the waters upon the earth, making the great lights, protecting Israel your people, leading them through the desert, freeing us from our enemies, remembering us always, giving food to every creature, and loving us forever!

Ephesians 1:15-23 – Thank you, O Lord, for… supplying us with faith, hearing our prayers, giving us the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, allowing us to know you, opening the eyes of our heart, revealing the hope of your glory, enlightening us, empowering us with your strength, raising Christ from the dead, granting Him rule and authority, and fulfilling us through Him!

Philippians 1:3-8 – Thank you, O Lord, for… giving us partners in the gospel, granting us the spirit of brotherhood, allowing us to pray with joy, giving us confidence, beginning a good work in us and carrying it on to completion, dwelling in our hearts, sharing with us your grace, abounding in love, and filling us with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ!

Psalm 100 – Thank you, O Lord, for… giving us a reason to shout for joy, allowing us to worship with gladness, hearing our joyful songs, being the one true God, making us and making us yours, ushering us into your gates, loving us with everlasting love, and being faithful through all generations!

Colossians 3:15-17 – Thank you, O Lord, for… sending the peace of Christ to rule our hearts, making us as one body, giving us reason to be grateful, sending the word of Christ to dwell in us, allowing us to teach with wisdom, inspiring us to sing and rejoice, being our every reason to give thanks, and accepting our thankfulness!

Gratitude

Thank you for the sun
And also for the breeze
Thank you for the sky
And for the clouds and the trees

Thank you for our breath
And thank you for the light
Thank you for the day
And also for the night

Thank you for movement
And thank you for stopping
Thank you for listening
And likewise for talking

Thank you for adventures
Thank you for the journey
Thank you for growing
And thank you for learning

Thank you for life
And even for death
Thank you for knowing
When we need to rest

Thank you for the blessings
We get to enjoy
Thank you for smiling
And for laughter and joy

Thank you for trouble
And for the hard times
Thank you for the lessons
That shape our lives

Thank you for freedom
For the choices therein
And thank you for saving us
When we choose to sin

Thank you for mercy
Thank you for grace
Thank you for Jesus
Who died in our place

Thank you for your pardon
For the power of your blood
Thank you for faith
And thank you for love

Thank you for being there
And thank you for caring
Thank you for your kindness
And for always sharing

Thank you for the past
For today and for tomorrow
Thank you for the days
That you’ve let us borrow

Thank you for choosing us
To live and to love
Thank you for the day
We’ll join you above

For now give us courage
Grant us peace and wisdom
So more souls might thank you
For all that you’ve done

We thank you, our Father
And Jesus, the Son
We thank you, Holy Spirit
All three, who are one

We thank you in earnest
We thank you from the heart
We thank you for your love
And for all that you are

The Light We Bear

Family has become quite the convoluted word, in today’s vocabulary. In the past, family was both defined and united by blood. At present, however, family has grown to become something different. It doesn’t necessarily matter whom you were born to, or where you come from. What does matter is who surrounds you and who you surround yourself with. You can’t necessarily choose your family, but you can choose to love them. And love is the bond that should overcome whatever outside forces interfere with family. Be it distance or politic, circumstance or belief; one ought to love his family. Each individual that makes up your family was created, same as you, by God, with a purpose. And that purpose is to love. The world has become a dark, dark place. Light has become all too scarce. But within each one of us is the ability to shine the small light that God has breathed into us. And light, much like the darkness, is contagious. The difference, however, is that light is stronger than darkness. One lone light can shine and a million particles of darkness will not be able to overcome it. One lone light can shine and it can spread to spark other small lights, and when many small lights are lit together, they create a wild, overwhelming glow that cannot be snuffed. In this world we have a purpose, and that purpose is to shine light into the darkness. As an individual you can only shine so far, but as a family, our light becomes much stronger and much more contagious. So let us be people who choose light over darkness, and let us be a family whose lights shine together and not apart. For life is not meant to be lived in the darkness, and one cannot love on his own. So let our family be a source of light, and together we’ll be a force of love.

The World and I

The world and I are not alike.

The world spins at the same pace, day after day after day. It never speeds up. It neither slows down. It remains constant, ever steady. I, on the other hand, am not constant. I can sit still no longer than a moment. I may run quickly but surely I will tire. I am fast and I am slow, but I am not steady.

The world and I are not alike.

The world is neatly divided. It has its Northern and Southern Hemispheres. It has its North and South Poles. It has an equator and lines of latitude and longitude that clearly separate and define. I, on the other hand, am not neatly divided. I am part boy and part man. I am one part strong and the other part weak. I am both proud and humble. I am one moment serious and the other giddy. But while the world is black and white, I am grey.

The world and I are not alike.

The world is dominated by the fittest. The weak are brushed aside to the fringes and stepped on while the strong succeed and survive. The world has no mercy on the lesser man. The world is unrelenting. I, on the other hand, am unfit. I would prefer not to step on the weak but rather to give them a hand. I would rather not be first, but actually last. Greed is something I try to avoid, and not collect. I am in favor of mercy, of forgiveness.

The world and I are not alike.

The world is a created place, a landscape. It is also a canvas, so to speak. The world is lived on by many people, and those creatures paint the earth, sometimes beautifully and sometimes with ugliness. I, on the other hand, am a created being, a person. I am also an artist, so to speak. Both the world and I are creations, but I am made in the image of the Creator. Therefore, I can also create. I am not painted on but I do the painting. I leave my mark on this world, in whichever way I choose to do so. It may be beautiful, and uplifting, and meaningful. Or it may not be. That is up to me.

The world and I are not alike.

The world is a temporary residence. It is finite. It will have an end. I, on the other hand, am not temporary. I have a soul, and that soul does not have an end. It is everlasting in its being. When the earth has long been dissolved, I will still be, in some other place. I will be alive and well, not because I deserve to be, but because it has been offered to me and I´ve accepted. The world ultimately ends in destruction, as will all who choose the world over their souls. The world, at its core, is wicked. But in my core, should you pry open my soul, dwells one we call the Holy Spirit. And he is the stamp of everlasting life, the seal of the Almighty God, and by his word I will not perish but have eternal life.

The world and I are not alike.

Are you?

Glorify!

“Thump, thump,” goes the heart.

“Pat, pat, pat,” move the feet.

“Do, re, mi,” sings the voice.

But what should be of your soul?

“Swish, swoosh,” blows the wind.

“Crash,” and then “Shhhhh,” speak the waves.

“Chirp, chirp, chirp,” sing the birds.

But what should be of your spirit?

“Vroom, vroom,” roars the engine.

“Tick, tock,” clicks the clock.

“Beep, beep, beep,” sounds the alarm.

But what should be of your song?

The empty soul is hollow,

The distant spirit is silent,

The sound within is frightening,

For those who do not know…

The satisfied soul is joyful!

It sings at the top of its lungs,

It leaps and bounds, rejoicing,

The God-filled soul is alive!

The active spirit is a marvel!

It whispers in wisdom and peace,

It speaks in Psalms and hymns,

The lively spirit is a revelation!

The song from within is thunderous!

It sings and sings, never ceasing,

It’s joyous and sunny and wonderful,

The inner song is one of victory!

Each soul may choose its content.

Each spirit may invite its sound.

Each song is chosen by its singer.
Each life is lived by its given body.

So, the soul is yours to fill.

The spirit is there for inviting.

The song is yours to sing.

And your job is to sound them all.

The Soul of God is everlasting!

The Spirit of God is eternal!

The Song of God is never-ending!

All you have to do is let him in.

The purpose of the soul is to glorify.

The purpose of the spirit is to guide.

The purpose of the song is to rejoice.

And the purpose of sound is to share.

So let your soul be loud in love!

Let your spirit be heard in wisdom!

Let your song be one of praise!

And let your life be one worth sharing!

Questions to Ponder

If a tree falls in the forest, and there’s no one around to hear it, does it still make a sound when it falls?

If a wild berry goes unpicked, and there’s no one to tell of its flavor, does it still taste sweet to the tongue?

If a rushing river roars by, and no one stops to touch its waters, does it still feel refreshing to the skin?

If a garden of flowers goes unvisited, and there’s no one there to catch its scent, does it still tickle the nose with delight?

If the sun sets over the glistening sea, and there’s no one there to witness it, does it still make a beautiful sight?

If the Son of God steps into human flesh, and He dies in our place for all of our sins, do we still deserve His mercy?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

When a tree falls in the forest, and no one is there to hear it, of course it still makes a sound.

When a wild berry remains on the vine, and no one tastes of its sweetness, surely it still bursts with flavor.

When a swift river rushes by, and no one stops to swim in it, the water is most certainly still refreshing.

When a garden of flowers blooms, and no one is there to enjoy its aromas, it must still smell delightful.

When the setting sun descends over the ocean, and no one is there to behold, it most definitely still looks beautiful.

And when the Son of God stepped into our world, and when He died in our place on the cross, we most certainly did not deserve His mercy… but He lovingly gave it anyway.

Amor como agua / Love like water

He visto un amor tan puro,
            como una fuente, un manantial de agua cristalina;
He sentido un amor tan poderoso,
            como un salto, un río que fluye sin cesar;
He conocido un amor tan profundo,
            como un mar, un océano cuyo fondo no se encuentra.

Así es el amor de nuestro Dios,
            Creador de los cielos y de la tierra;
Así es su amor para nosotros,
            tan puro, tan poderoso, tan profundo.

Nos ama con un amor tan puro
            que ninguna mancha, ninguna falta, se encuentra;
Nos ama con un amor tan poderoso
            que ningún demonio, ningún mal, podría detenerlo;
Nos ama con un amor tan profundo
            que su grandeza jamás se podría medir.

Así es el amor del Señor,
            tan puro, tan poderoso, tan profundo;
Así es el amor que nos ofrece
            que ningún otro amor podría emparejar;
Así es el amor que nos regala,
            más puro, más poderoso, más profundo,
Que jamás podríamos imaginar…

 

I have seen a love so pure,
         like a fountain, a wellspring of crystal waters;
I have felt a love so powerful,
         like a waterfall, a river that flows without ceasing;
I have known a love so profound,
         like a sea, an ocean whose depths can’t be reached.

Such is the love of our God,
         Creator of the heavens and the earth;
Such is His love for us,
         so pure, so powerful, so profound.

He loves us with a love so pure
         that no blemish, no fault, can be found;
He loves us with a love so powerful
         that no demon, no evil, can interfere;
He loves us with a love so profound
         that its depth can never be measured.

Such is the love of the Lord,
         so pure, so powerful, so profound;
Such is the love that He offers us
         that no other love could match it;
Such is the love that He gives to us,
         purer, more powerful, more profound,
Than ever we could dream to imagine…