Fearing Death

Fearing death unseen,

Just like a leper in quarantine,

He sits alone, bound in chagrin,

While his unhappy world caves in…

Due to heartache and tied to shame,

Because he can’t get past the blame.

For, unfortunately, he wandered

Which explains the way he squandered,

Due to ravenous lust driven,

All the money he was given.

Because he dreads the quarantine,

But – even more — fears death unseen,

He sits alone, bound in chagrin,

While his unhappy world caves in.

The clock’s unnerving ticks and tocks

Cause him to cry out, “Shield me, rocks!

Protect me from the sudden shocks

That come with perilous hard knocks.”

Like a leper in quarantine,

Fearing death unseen,

He sits alone, bound in chagrin,

While his unhappy world caves in.

And so he makes the rocks his god,

Escape that clamors to be shod

In his own blood. “Steal, lie and kill,

A captive to addiction’s will.”

Like a leper in quarantine,

Fearing death unseen,

He sits alone, bound in chagrin,

While his unhappy world caves in.

Why spend gold on crushed rocks

To inhale a false cloud?

“I will be what I will be,”

He declares in ecstasy.

Like a leper in quarantine,

In fear of death unseen,

He sits alone, bound in chagrin,

While his happy world caves in.

Pride borne of useless fantasy,

However, leads to poverty.

But euphoria breeds disease.

This task master he cannot please.

Like a leper in quarantine,

In fear of death unseen,

Alone he sits, bound in chagrin,

Because his world is caving in.

When the smoke lifts, though, he sees

The one to whom he bent his knees

Bowing at the feet of Jesus,

Who gave His life to save us.

Once a leper in quarantine,

Fearing death unseen,

He sits alone, bound in chagrin.

His world, you see, was caving in.

But now at last he yields his life

To the one who calms all strife

And makes his sorrows cease

By offering a sweet release.

Because no shame lurks, he can win.

Therefore, he has no more chagrin,

Because the stone rolled from Christ’s grave

Declares how He came to save

No longer bound to ticks or tocks,

The man has found a better rock

Which can protect him from the shock

Of withdrawal he must endure,

Because God’s love for him is sure.


God’s Joy Unspeakable Silences Bullies

God’s joy unspeakable silences bullies

And leaves them with nothing to say,

For, lifting our sadness, it gives us fresh strength

Through Jesus, God’s Word to obey.


This gift of God’s grace comes from knowing

We’re forgiven for all of our sins,

Because Jesus died to save us from our pride.

Everyone who believes in Him wins!


His blood is enough to atone for our crimes.

To their scourges we need not fall prey.

When we know God is for us, then we cannot lose.

No bully can stand in our way.


Goliaths will shrink when we focus on Christ,

Receiving His garment of praise.

His overblown insults will dwindle to zilch

When our hands up to heaven we raise.


The giant’s a pipsqueak compared to our LORD,

So let him be small in our eyes.

We’ll pop his balloon by exalting the name

That whittles the bum down to size.


Blind rage feeds a bully and makes us his slave

If to its desires we yield.

To magnify problems makes mountains of them,

But Jesus is our hope and shield,


Because in His shelter there’s freedom from fear,

So under His shadow let’s hide,

Drawing near to our Savior while scorning the doubt.

Joy unspeakable shall be our guide.


Resisting self-pity, depression and hate,

Let’s declare that in Jesus we’re free.

Though tears fall like rain, we can choose to proclaim

“There is no condemnation for me!”


As we keep on declaring the greatness of God,

Hurt feelings will be forced to flee.

For when joy unspeakable enters our hearts

We’ll know that in Christ we are free.




At the Cusp of a New Beginning

I. A New Beginning


I’m at the cusp of a new beginning.

What to take? What to let go?

For as I head toward a new place,

Old cursed ways will have to go.


I can’t pin down this new beginning though,

Nor forge the path alone,

But friendliness is my best bet

To set the proper tone.


Before arising like an eagle

To soar past mountains decked with snow,

I first desire to see your glory, Lord.

That’s all I want to know.


For to rest in your sweet presence

Is my one true destination.

So, to follow after you

Let me have zero hesitation.


Because to fly, I must be free from

Heavy weights that bring me down.

But as I rise, though, let me not seek honor

Or my own renown.


Rather, let me give you praise

And carry me upon your wings

While I surrender to your goodness

With a song of joy that sings.


II. God Makes it Possible


You help me zip past stumbling blocks

That seek to block my path,

Rocks of unreal expectations

Glued to jealousy and wrath.


So, as you bring this new beginning,

Shine your light and heal my soul,

That past hurts might not dictate.

Impart fresh vision, make me whole.


Show me your easy yoke that

Frees me up to do your will,

Releases me from worry,

Gives me strength to climb each hill.


It protects me from all danger,

Never focuses on my sin,

And in every bitter struggle

Causes peace to reign within.


Lord, I thank you, you are great

No matter what  I face.

I’ll conquer every obstacle

By leaning on your grace.


Not looking to past failures

Or consumed with hurt and pain,

Though willing to  endure suffering

For the sake of your great name.


Because godliness with contentment

Results in greatest gain,

And as I seek to do your will

There is no need to strain.






Great SEO, But No One Reads My Post

Great SEO, but no one reads my post.

So, what went wrong?

I made all the corrections

They said would make my writing strong.

But my Search Engine Optimization didn’t bring the web traffic along.


I put in the right amount of tags

And categories too.

I crunched the numbers perfectly:

Not too many, not too few.


Yet, obviously my post was not

Among the chosen few

That get more than two hits at that.

Tell me, what did I do?


Did I make my poetry too long?

Were my search terms not “all that”?

Do I want too much recognition,

And does someone smell a rat?


To covet fame or glory

Does not behoove one such as I,

Who has pledged to honor Christ

And on His strength I do rely.


Yet I believe my SEO

Has somehow lied to me,

Leading me to think that

Perfect writing is the key


To getting readers for my posts.

I think there must be more,

Something that I have not been told

But I should not ignore.


For it doesn’t seem to make my page views

Go up much if at all.

To see my site’s statistics

Makes me feel rather small.


Perhaps there’s just too many people

Trying to be heard

On social media’s many sites.

Each wants to share a word.


They do their SEO research

And yet their posts don’t fly.

Perhaps a flaw lies in the system

On which they do rely.


For programs don’t do miracles,

But what’s impossible with man

Is possible with God.

To trust in Him is my best plan.





Cast Out Thieves to Heal the Blind and Lame, Part II

   I. When Prayer Gets Lost in the Shuffle


In Jesus’ day, thieves ruled in God’s house.

Prayer got lost in the shuffle like a mouse.


“It is written, ‘My house shall be called the house of prayer, but ye have made it a den of thieves,” Jesus said as he overthrew the merchandisers’ tables (Matthew 21:12-13).


Did they see it coming, I wonder? Or were they too busy selling stuff to notice their blunder? Had “business as usual” blinded their eyes to the needs of the physically blind?  Perhaps the reason they lacked sympathy for the lame in body was due to the holes in their lame souls. They had no true walk with God, and it showed in the way they treated others.


The crowd, confused and scattered, couldn’t find their way.

They sacrificed large sums of money to hear men say,

“It’s not enough. You must do more to please the Lord,”

But it was more than any of them could afford.


The blind and lame, they longed for peace,

Joy in their hearts, a sweet release

But found no place inside their “church,”

Which had left them in the lurch.


The crowd was wandering like sheep with no shepherd, and the blind and lame had to fend for themselves. Why is that?


     II. Religious or Righteous?


Well, do you remember the story in I Samuel chapter 13 where King Saul prepared to wage war against the Philistines? God’s prophet Samuel had arranged to meet with Saul prior to the battle so he could offer the sacrifice, causing God’s favor to shine down on them. He ordered Saul to wait until he arrived before proceeding, but Samuel was running late and Saul grew impatient.


There seemed to be some fear involved, for when Saul saw his army scattering, he took matters into his own hands and offered the burnt offering himself. Like Cain, he went against the grain of what God told him to do and attempted through the fruit of his own efforts to bring a pleasing sacrifice to God.


It’s like the leader whose words imply, “Please us,”

Instead of, “Trust fully in Jesus.”


Saul’s actions were religious but not righteous, for he didn’t seem to understand the meaning behind the sacrifice.

Prayer got lost in the shuffle.


Religious men who lack a true relationship with God see no problem substituting their own procedures for God’s perfect will. As a result, their “flocks” scatter. The “sheep,” abused, become confused and nobody gets healed.


   III. Taking Time to Appreciate God’s Perfect Sacrifice

But those who rest in God’s perfect sacrifice for them will throw away their crutches and “rise with wings like eagles.” They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. (see Isaiah 40:31) And those who allow the risen Christ to anoint their eyes with His salve will receive new vision to move forward.


Unfortunately, our busy lives allow little time for this. To tune out distractions can be hard. If you don’t set them aside in order to pray, however, you’re sure to lose the battle.


Before Jesus ascended (to heaven),

Because His word was ended,

He told his followers to wait –

But not on fate,


They weren’t to fear being late, but in obedience wait to be filled with the promised Holy Spirit.


It’s all about determining to believe God’s Word and meditating on God’s goodness shown through His only begotten Son, our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.


Sometimes you must escape the noise before you can appreciate His sacrifice on your behalf and understand the power of Isaiah 53:5, which states:


“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”


“My house shall be called a house of prayer,” Jesus said. We are that house when we surrender our lives to Him.


Beating the Burden of Book Marketing

The burden of book marketing can bog down the flow of fresh ideas bursting from my fingers, because it’s like a heavy yoke (and that’s no joke). It floods the atmosphere with doubt. And so, I wrote this poem about it:


Goliath’s Marketing Monopoly


“Behold the giant standing in your way.

How will you ever get him to obey?

“Behold his stack of books is so well read

That yours cannot compete with it,” they said.


“You must jump through the same hoops he once did,

If you ever want to pop that stupid lid

That’s sits atop the path to your success,

The glass ceiling that’s been causing you such stress.”


“To fashion a best seller takes much sweat,

So with your muscles  you must lift the debt

You owe yourself regarding your great book

At which, it seems, nobody cares to look.”


“As an author you must form a strategy

Geared at launching your monstrosity.

Because you cannot make it fly for free,

Much grunt work you will need, most certainly.”


But must we heed the ogre and cave in,

Putting on his armor with a grin,

And taking all his insults on the chin?

To say he’s always right – is that no sin?


Had David donned Saul’s armor to slay Goliath, he wouldn’t have gotten very far. Had he tried to kill the giant with a javelin, he most likely would have missed. That’s because such weapons were too unwieldy for him. He hadn’t tested them. Instead of approaching Goliath the same way Goliath approached him, with a weight of fleshly pride and a mouthful of insults, he armed himself with godly fear and a true humility. He leaned on God for wisdom and let the Holy Spirit guide his stone.

And why can’t we as authors do the same?

For example, what if we redefined success to fit the gifts and callings God gave us? What if we came up with new, out-of-the-box methods of book marketing instead of copying someone else’s version of a platform?

I am beginning to think that for me, personally, word of mouth is a better key to gaining readers than a website. That’s because people tend to take more notice of my artwork than my “smart work.”

So, why can’t I use cartoons to promote my work? I’m a whole lot better at that than trying to explain verbally to somebody why he or she should read my book.

And when it comes to writing, I value quality over quantity. And that’s what I value when it comes to marketing too. Mass mailings? I have no idea how to do them. But God has given me a passion for my message and He does answer my prayers. I believe He led me to the right publisher – speaking of which, my editor sure put up with a lot from me. After numerous edits, they sent me the proof and I found all sorts of things that needed changing.

I was like, “This part sounds strange. Why did I word it this way?”

That’s my talent, you see. I’m picky. Good clean copy tops the list of my priorities when it comes to book marketing, because if I don’t like my product, how can I convince someone else it’s a great read? Unlike my favorite extrovert who could sell the broad side off a barn (for lack of a better analogy), I simply can’t sell anything I don’t believe in. That’s why, instead of paying for a package that provided press releases, radio interviews, and so forth, I spent money on professional editing. I needed to know I had a great product before I put it out there.

Now I need to market it, and to market it I need a platform – a platform that conforms to who I am and what I’m called to do. I’ve tried socially media, but very frankly, I need more friends to make it work. So, that’s what I’m working on now. It may not be your approach, but that’s fine, because book marketing shouldn’t be a burden. It should be a joy.

“Take my yoke upon you and learn of me: for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:29-30, KJV

So, let’s have fun with it, shall we?







From Inedible to Incredible

The potluck was incredible

Because it wasn’t edible.

The prophets, starved for food to eat,

Were tasting bitter fruit, not sweet.


To them it wasn’t edible,

A fact that seemed incredible

Because the guy who messed it up

Had put some wild gourds in their cup.


They knew he had an eye for vines

He must have known were not for wines.

But from the Lord he had not heard

Unless, “Go kill them,” was His word.


The prophets groaned in one accord,

“Did he not hear right from the Lord?

Perhaps from God he has not heard.

We think he’s dumber than a bird.”


“And why did God not warn us too

By telling us, ‘Don’t eat that stew?’

We wish He’d warned us to beware

That those wild gourds weren’t fit to share.”,


“That other prophet should have prayed,

Received God’s word and then obeyed,”

Fumed one who sought a stomach pump

To help the poor prophetic chump


Who lay complaining on the ground

But by Elisha soon was found.

“Don’t worry, we can save this guy,”

Proclaimed the prophet. “He won’t die.”


“Nor shall the stew be hard to fix

If we contribute to the mix

A meal called “Jesus Did It All;

And His Grace Saves Us From The Fall.”


“For no one lives by bread alone,”

But by each word sent from God’s throne.”

So, that’s how they repaired the food.

Then everyone was feeling good


Because the food was edible,

But more than that – incredible!

Like living waters, fresh and clean,

Better than wheat Ruth did glean.


Instead of making prophets ill,

It made their churning stomachs still

Because by Jesus’ stripes we’re healed

His broken body has revealed


The blood He shed to make us whole,

Heal the body and save the soul.

Therefore, it’s not just edible.

It’s totally incredible!


(Based on the story in II Kings 4:38-41, with reference to Matthew 26:26-28, Mark 14:22-24, and Luke 22:19-20)






Seeking a Cure but Looking in the Wrong Direction

Seeking a cure but looking in the wrong direction,

He was a man who faced a ton of rejection

And clearly required a major course correction,

For his entire life’s routine was up for reelection.


He decided to go with the flow. It was the only way

For him to get his miracle. He thought, “I will obey.”

They said, “Timing is everything; you must get in the groove.

If you wish to be healed, my friend, then you had better move.”


He saw the healing line was long. If he could not butt in,

Then once again he would be forced to take it on the chin.

Although it wasn’t fair because he couldn’t move that fast,

He knew that once he got his healing he would have a blast.


Seeking a cure but looking in the wrong direction,

He was a man who faced a ton of rejection

And clearly required a major course correction,

For his entire life’s routine was up for reelection.


And so, he did his very best to find somebody kind

To move him to the number one position where he’d find

The perfect place to enter in and catch a magic wave

Of miracle vibrations that would make his limbs behave.


Then every part of him would be made whole. He’d walk for sure.

Yet someone always beat him to the punch. He found no cure.

Days turned into weeks, then months. The years became a blur.

And still he languished there. How much longer must he endure?


Seeking a cure but looking in the wrong direction,

He was a man who faced a ton of rejection

And clearly required a major course correction.

But as alone as he felt, he could not escape detection.


When Jesus came along, he thought he’d finally found a tool

In the form of two strong arms to throw him in the pool.

Instead, the Master told him to pick up his bed and walk.

The man was made whole right away and folks began to talk.


The crippled man did not require a pool to be made well.

He didn’t have to wade through crowds or ring somebody’s bell.

One word from Jesus was enough to heal him through and through.

And I believe He wants to do the same for me and you.


That’s because we’ve all jumped in the pool of wrong direction,

But Jesus took our punishment and suffered our rejection.

He wants to give each one of us a major course correction.


For, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6)

Story found in the gospel of John chapter 5



Chemical Imbalance or Fiery Dart?

 Was It a Chemical Imbalance Or a Fiery Dart?


What Got To Peter’s Mind and Tried to Influence His Heart?


When he stepped on the water, taking Jesus’ words to heart,

I imagine Peter singing, “Sovereign God, how great Thou art!”

Then he began to sink. His feelings went from high to low

While angry winds roared, “How you blew it! How much lower can you go?”

He seemed to have a chemical imbalance, don’t you know?

Or had Satan hit the bold disciple with a fiery dart

As he stepped upon the water, taking Jesus’ words to heart?

Because the devil asked permission to make Peter’s mind a mess,

Bring chaos to his heart and overwhelm him with distress.

No wheat-sifting machine would compare to what he’d do,

As, one by one, he threw his fiery darts into the stew

And with harsh thoughts attempted to stir up a bitter brew

Of hard emotions so that Peter knew not what to do.

But Jesus pulled him up before the waves pulled Simon down,

And when they reached the boat, there was rejoicing all around.


    Did The Man With the Legion Have a Chemical Imbalance?


And what about the man Jesus delivered from the Legion,

The demon force that begged Him not to make them leave the region?

They must have caused a chemical imbalance in his head,

For he trembled as he ran to Jesus, tormented with dread.

The molecules inside his head were raging like a storm,

Tossed to and fro by Satan’s lies, which could not keep him warm.

But in one moment, Jesus calmed the hurricane in him

By driving out the darkness that had made his life so dim.

                                   Through Jesus’ mighty presence he enjoyed a peace divine

Because the demon army went into a herd of swine.

                                    The pigs, they squealed like crazy and did cartwheels off a cliff,

Thus frightening their owners, who became a little miffed.

Such strange emotional outbursts from swine they’d never seen.

Then they saw the man in his right mind and started acting mean.

“Please, Jesus, go away,” they begged. “We do not want you here.”

They’d rather have the man possessed than let God linger near.

Were they chemically imbalanced? Well, it seems they feared the path

That could free them from their sin and save them from God’s wrath.

What fiery darts flew at their heads to keep them from the Lord

Who made and keeps all things? To run from Him we can’t afford.


 His Blood Has Power to Balance our Chemicals


 We have all become imbalanced and we all have lost our way,

      Receiving fiery darts instead of keeping them at bay.

The tainted blood with which we’re born can’t keep our bodies whole.

Nor can it heal our bodies or bring wellness to the soul.

But in Jesus’ blood there’s power, for He shed it on the cross.

His blood restores our souls and grants new life for every loss,

Because it’s pure and holy, and it covers all our sin

If we are willing to prepare a place for it within.

     For though strong feelings may speak out and hard emotions flood,

This truth remains forever: There is power in Christ’s blood.






Give Thanks in Every Circumstance

Give thanks in every circumstance.

That’s right. You heard me, Master Vance.

Instead of blaming brother Lance,

Give thanks in every circumstance.

Regardless of the – yes, I know it’s tough. Nevertheless. . .

I mean – oh, come on.


You say you blew a new romance

And tore a hole in your new pants?

Well you could chalk it up to chance,

Or perhaps instead you could. . .


Give thanks in every circumstance,

Although it may be hard because, you see . . .



Lance says your lunch got snatched by ants

And drought destroyed your batch of plants.

Your anger rises. “What’s the chance -?”


Hey, it’s okay. Calm down, dear Vance.

Instead of ripping up your pants,


Give thanks in every circumstance.


Oh, but what’s that? It’s gotten worse?


You say your boss that raves and rants

Simply refuses to advance

Your salary. You’ve got no chance?


Yes, I know it’s too much. But instead of

Being bitter, I really think you need to . . .


Give thanks in every circumstance.


Hey, wait! What’s that about the dance

That cancelled out your flight to France?

I know you’re blaming it on Lance,

But even though he ruined your chance,

you should still be nice. Yes, I know, nice

doesn’t fit the rhyme scheme. Nevertheless,

you should still obey me and

Give thanks in every circumstance.


So then, all together:


Give thanks in every circumstance

And your performance you’ll enhance.

Perhaps you may even snag that advance!


And if you bless the boss that raves and rants,

His anger will not stand a chance

Against your joyful, happy stance.


So then,


Give thanks for ants and blighted plants

And even for your shredded pants.

Behold outside the great expanse.


Consider where the sparrow lands

And who holds its life in His hands.

Thanksgiving is one of His commands.


Besides, you’ll get nowhere by being hateful.

Rather, you’re blessed by being grateful.

If of food you have a plateful,

That’s one reason to be grateful.


And if of gas you have a tankful,

Than you surely should be thankful.

Because if you have money in the bank,

Then it’s time the Lord to thank.




Admit your life is not so shabby.

There’s no reason to be crabby.

Though you may hurt when some play pranks,

You still should keep on giving thanks.


You need to have an attitude

That keeps expressing gratitude.

For if you’re kind to one and all,

Then they may help you when you fall.