The Finest Rose

Show me the roses that grow above the thorns.
Show me the beauty that comes in many forms.
Show me the silk that overcomes the pricks.
Show me the red among the rugged sticks.

Show me the truth that overcomes the lie.
Show me the reason why Jesus Christ would die.
Show me the victory of You over death;
Thus would I give, till nothing I’d have left.

And yet, give me grace to live alone by faith.
Why wait to obey until it looks safe?
Why wait for sight to know there’s roses there?
Why wait for beauty to reflect Jesus fair?

For it’s then I find that…

It’s easiest to feel the thorns when reaching for a rose,
Cutting deep, showing flaws, and leaving us to foes.
And in our pain, we cry out, and find that by our call
We find Jesus, the finest rose of all.

Thanksgiving Perspective

My submission for PCC’s Annual Thanksgiving Praise Service:

(It was very humbling to have it selected and read for the Church body)

Thankful for all the trials,
Heartaches, pain, and woe,
And the grace of God above
Never running low,
Keeping me on my knees,
Showing me His love,
Giving me what I need
In trials from above,
Violently pursuing me,
Insisting that I see
Nails can be the greatest gift,
Granting Christ’s likeness to me.

Your Finest Hour

Your finest hour could be defined as that moment in life which defines you at your prime: a moment unprecedented by anything you’ve ever done before. And many of us are prone to the mindset that such a moment is sometime in our future, yet to happen.

But…

What if your finest hour is that least seen by all?
When no one sees God lift you up from the simplest fall.

What if your finest hour is that which is in prayer?
Where God responds to every cry and still, unspoken care.

What if your finest hour is when you take God’s Word
And say “I will!” before you think of that verse which you heard?

What if your finest hour is always in the now?
Hinging on the cross of Christ, beneath which broken bow.

What if your finest hour was at that moment won?
Based on Christ’s final cry, shouting, “It is done!”

The fact is that it is the truth. This is your finest hour!
Hinging not on your mere will, but in God’s mighty power!

The Body (of Christ)

Suppose there was a person who quickly fell and died.
Maybe part of who he was said “innocent!” but lied.

So..

What if his hands said to his feet,
“We’re jealous of your toes,”
And in so doing forgot that
They’re holding a fire hose.

What if his toes said to his eyes,
“We’re jealous of your sight,”
And in so doing forgot that
They’re running in a fight.

What if his eyes said to his heart,
“We’re jealous of your beat,”
And in so doing forgot that
They’re spotting dangerous heat.

What if his heart said to his tongue,
“I’m jealous of your voice,”
And in so doing forgot that
It’s sustaining every choice.

What if his tongue said to his brain,
“I’m jealous of your head,”
And in so doing forgot that
It’s a spokesman aforesaid.

Maybe such is how he died:
His body parts were proud.
We’ll never know, but maybe so,
Could it be said too loud?

This past week, God has been teaching me how to appreciate the body of Christ. I have previously struggled with being jealous of others’ walk with God, envying different traits of theirs and how God has built them when that is actually pride. He has been teaching me to appreciate others’ walk with God and look at their spiritual lives for encouragement. We may be running a race, but this isn’t a competition with each other. We are a team, a unified body. We are to look to Jesus Christ, the author, and finisher of our faith, and push each other to Him, regardless of where we are or they are in the race.

It is a wonderful thing when the body of Christ is simply.. the body of Christ.

Prayer That Stays

A man unknown steps through a door and falls to the ground.
He struggles up to his knees, and chokes out painful sound.
His eyes are shut and yet they’re not, he sees his Father’s throne.
His heart begins to beat with God’s, the rhythm’s not alone.

All heaven stands on toes in wait to hear his humble prayer:
The prayer that never ceases till the altar’s lit a’flare.
He prays and prays with moans and tears; he weeps in silence still.
And yet in heaven’s realms there is a charge of anthem thrill.

He surpassed “fun” and earthly games, he left his friends “good time”,
And yet in heaven’s saintly realms, he is one of a kind.
For elsewhere in the world there’s a sound of sporting cheer,
And yet the real hurrah in life is found nowhere but here.

For though all men cheer on the ball and athlete big and strong,
The real applause is found on knees, praying hard and long.
No one cares about the man, who leaves to take up prayer,
And yet our Lord God above listens to his dare.

He stays and stays as the time flies by; the angels’ roar grows loud.
Just as when Elijah looked and said, “I see a cloud!”
The Father’s will had found a flow, a channel through a heart:
A heart that knew the Father’s will needed a prayer’s start.

And though this unknown man die such, another grave below,
It was by Him all heaven’s joy came down like winter snow.
So when you think of lengthy prayer, don’t think of monks who snore.
Think of heaven’s greatest knights who fight their Savior’s war.

A Prayer Away, a Choice To Stay

The Son of God falls to His knees. His arms can’t bear the weight!
He looks up through His flowing blood to see His gruesome fate.
He tries to stand but falls again. A man steps to His side
And lifts the cross along with Him, the Christ so falsely tried.

But how the angels long to help! They weep before the throne.
The Father weeps along with them, yet cries, “Leave Him alone!”
They know the plan, they know the hope, they know the three-day cheat,
But still the Son of God in shame with death He has to meet.

The Son of God lays down His wrists to feel the nails go through.
He looks up to the skies above and thinks, “The will of You!”
He’s lifted up on Calvary with two thieves at His side
Who hang up there along with Him, the Christ so falsely tried.

But how the angels long to come and take Him from such shame,
To heal His wounds, remove His scars, and save Him from such pain!
Yet still, the Father holds His ground, as the oceans hold His tears,
As He turns His back to Him, His Son to hear hell’s cheers.

All heaven weeps as every tear cries the same thought loud,
The same thought that in helplessness sees darkness in each cloud.
“Oh, we’d come to rescue You! We’re just a prayer away!
And yet you choose to die for sin; for saints, You must stay.”

A reminiscent three days pass as heaven holds its breath
To see their King rise from the dead and triumph over death!
And as the Son walks to the throne, His father smiles wide.
The angels smile wide as well, but oh, how heaven cried!

Resolve

The mountaineer that climbs the heights

Must always face a test:
To reach for a rock and slip,
And fall down from the crest.

And staring up from down below,

The mountaineer must choose:
Dare the mountaineer give up?
Or to defeat refuse?

For down below the second time

Defines the mountaineer.
How the mountaineer goes on
Reveals the true heart clear.

And staring up from down below,

The mountaineer holds fast.
The mountaineer presses on.
The past is but the past.

So taking hold of rock on rock

And climbing to the heights,
The mountaineer will climb by day
And through the darkest nights.

For had the mountaineer gave up,

No mountaineer was there.
For every mountaineer climbs on
Through ease and defeat’s glare.