Roses

Show me the roses that grow among the thorns,
Painting the beauty that comes in many forms,
Showing me the good in life that overcomes the pricks,
Revealing the hope throughout the rugged sticks.

Show me the roses that grow through any storm,
Cherishing the drench, whether freezing or warm,
Showing me the joy in life that overcomes the pain,
Teaching me to dance beneath torrential rain.

The thorns feel most severe when reaching for a rose,
Cutting deep, showing flaws, and leaving us to foes.
But as we grasp, 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.

The Angels’ Grief

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. His chest can’t bear the strain.
Yet still He presses on to where He will bear all hell’s pain.

But just beyond the veil of man, we mourn above the hill.
The Father aches along with us, yet cries, “This is My will!”
We know the plan, we know the hope, we know He’ll resurrect —
The horror though still breaks our hearts, for we dare not protect.

The King of kings lays down His limbs to feel the nails drive through.
His crown digs deep into His skull in royalty askew.
He’s raised up high on Calvary with two thieves at His side
Who bleed in shame along with Him, the Christ so falsely tried.

But how the thought runs through our minds! “We’re just a prayer away!”
“We’d rescue You at bid and call, but still You choose to stay.”
The Father too holds fast His ground as oceans become tears,
Until His grief turns into rage and darkness halts man’s cheers.

Three hours first, but now’s the worst. Sin’s punishment is come.
Today hell claims its finest prize, the Lord of lords undone.
With pure for vile and love for hate—His torture none can know.
The Son of Man becomes all sin and takes hell’s every blow.

But just beyond the veil of black, we count the seconds gone.
The Father pours His wrath on sin until He is withdrawn.
“My God! My God!” cuts through our ears as we all hold our breath.
“It is finished!” ends the work as Christ embraces death.

The bitter ground then claims His corpse, a stone to hold HIs head.
How could the One who blessed with life now be one with the dead?
We bide our time, and three days pass. The stone rolls from the grave
As Jesus Christ strolls from His tomb triumphant, strong, and brave!

Now how we sing and bow in awe as heaven’s gates life up
To let the King of glory in who drank the Father’s cup.
“My Son, it’s done! The war is won! You bore the weight of hell!
“Forevermore, let it be known, that You have finished well!”

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.