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.


To Disarm Harm They Meant (“Dis-harm-a-meant”)

To disarm harm they meant: that was Joseph’s role,

To disarm the harm they meant when they threw him in the hole.

What his brothers meant for evil, God would use for good,

Though it clearly involved suffering, as God knew it would.


To disarm harm they meant, he must submit to slavery,

A process which most certainly required bravery.

He had to learn new customs and a different language too.

But God blessed him with favor and showed Joseph what to do.


To disarm harm they meant, he endured false accusation

By the one who really loves to hit the saints with condemnation.

While Potiphar’s wife held the robe that sent Joseph to jail,

His father thought that he was dead. The loss he did bewail.


To disarm harm his brothers meant, the innocent man must suffer,

Because God gave him wisdom so that he could be a buffer

Between them and the future famine that was sure to hit.

But to help his brothers he must first be proven fit.


In prison he would hunger. He would thirst. He would have stress.

Perhaps in that dark place grew a desire for righteousness.

For though his dreams lay dormant, forgotten they were not,

Because God had a plan for him and knew the entire plot.


To disarm harm they meant: That was clearly Joseph’s role,

Similar to Christ who suffered harm to make us whole.

Then threw him in a prison pit. He felt the condemnation

That comes when people’s lying tongues dispense false accusation.


To disarm harm the devil meant, he felt the slavery

That comes when one is doomed to death and cannot be set free.

To disarm fiendish harm, this innocent man came to suffer.

He died to save us thoroughly, not just to be a buffer


Between us and a righteous God who cannot look on sin

Without pronouncing judgment on it. (There’s no sin in Him).

To disarm harm, He sacrificed Himself upon a cross,

So that those who trust in Him will no more suffer loss.


Our life is in His blood. His broken body gives us healing.

And from His heavenly throne, His purposes He is revealing.

All harm has been disarmed now, and there’s no reason to dread,

For Jesus Christ our gracious Lord has risen from the dead.








A Better Year Filled With Good Cheer

Here’s to a better year filled with good Cheer!

So, don’t jeer, sneer or fear as you pass the root beer, Dear.

For God will make every trial worthwhile,

Returning to the Nile the crocodile with toothy smile

That raises its ugly head. It wants to see you dead,

But we need live with no dread.

Instead of trying to hide fleshly pride

That makes you feel as if you died inside,

Why not choose humility which breeds civility?

Also, please know it’s not your own ability

Or agility which leads to tranquility

As well as a sense of stability.

For the person who’s been jilted,

It doesn’t mean you’ve wilted.

Therefore, don’t get in a snit

Or spit or throw a hissy fit

When you can speak God’s wit,

As He who pulled you from the pit sees fit.

If you would have a better year filled with good cheer,

Then what you need first and foremost is a resurrection of affection.

It’s the kind of infection that grants protection,

A glorious fruit inspection

With zero gloom detection

Minus any need for correction.

It’s the sort of prosperity that breeds charity,

Though some call it a rarity.

I proclaim with all sincerity:

Here’s to a better year filled with good cheer!


God Save the King Who Saves Us!

“God save the king!” whispered the three people who knew about it,

Yet they had to be extremely careful not to shout it.

For at the time, a very wicked queen ruled Judah’s land.

She put her grandchildren to death so she could rule as planned.


Death and destruction overtook the country known as “Praise.”

As evil screamed for recognition, death ruled many days.

Meanwhile, sequestered in a room until six years had passed,

One boy remained protected from the bad queen’s vicious blast.


“God save the king!” whispered the three people who knew about him.

Of course, to save him from the queen, they dared not shout about him.

The little king was very much alive, that much they knew.

His whereabouts stayed veiled to all, except the chosen few.


The king would live as long as he remained obscure, unknown

Until the day arrived for him to sit upon the throne.

That’s when a larger group convened to help protect the king.

Before a larger audience His praises they would sing.


When finally, they fetched him, shielded well on every side,

And placed him in the temple, evil found no place to hide.

The trumpets blew. “God save the king!” his subjects now declared.

The mean queen’s ears picked up on it. Soon she was running scared.


She rushed into the temple, tore her clothes, and yelled “Unfair!”

“It’s treason!” she announced to see the true king standing there.

“It’s like a resurrection, but of course it can’t be real.

I killed them all. No one survived. Before me all must kneel!”


The priest who oversaw the celebration told his men

To drag her from God’s house, never to enter it again.

Out by the horse’s gate they went and slew her with the sword.

Deliverance took place that day as they obeyed the LORD.


And that’s how evil Athaliah finally met her doom.

Because the king still lived, her deadly reign had no more room,

For as the crowd rejoiced in him, the fear of her did cease,

Replaced by shouts of joy and unimaginable peace.


The story in II Kings chapter 11 tells how young King Joash escaped the murderous clutches of his evil grandmother. He remained hidden in God’s house for six years while Athaliah ruled the land, just as King Jesus remained hidden from Herod who tried to have him killed.

We live in an information age where keeping secrets has become very difficult. It can tempt  us to share too much of what we know. But sometimes truths need to be kept hidden for a while, until the time is right to share them.

In some ways, the truth of Jesus’ resurrection has been hidden from the church – not in the sense that His followers don’t believe He rose from the dead but in the sense that they don’t act as if He’s truly alive. Rather than expecting Him to empower them the way He empowered the early church, they reason that God no longer does the same miracles He did back then. They have allowed the spirit of death epitomized in Athaliah to dash their hopes and kill their faith. To them the true identity of the real king remains hidden.

But as the time of deliverance draws near, those of us who know our king will be strong and do exploits (Daniel 11:32). We will share the awesome truths God shows to us with those who are willing to help us defend it, just as Jehoiada gathered numerous commanders to guard the young king. The difference is, we don’t need to cry “God save the king!” because King Jesus doesn’t need saving. He gave His life to save us. As we lift our hands and rejoice in Him, the devils in our lives will exposed themselves just as Athaliah heard the people’s praise and exposed herself. That’s because Satan wants to be worshiped and will always complain when we worship Jesus, who IS the resurrection and the life (John 11:25).

A sword of metal killed Athaliah. To cast out devils, we have God’s Word, the truth that’s found in Christ. The Holy Spirit makes His resurrection power real to us. (Acts 1:8; Romans 8:11)

There’s nothing to worry about because Jesus has won the victory for us.

“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetimes subject to bondage.” (Hebrews 2:14-15)



What to Do When Your Life Stinks

It stinks, it stinks, my life does stink

Groaned the woman on the brink.

Into the well she thought to sink.

Then Jesus offered her a drink.


“Believe in me, I am your life.

I bring new hope to calm your strife.

With peace to overcome your fear

As long as you have ears to hear.”


From her viewpoint, the world seemed bleak.

She doubted what she heard him speak.

In sorrow drowning, trembling, weak,

Before the one she’d come to seek,


She said, “If you’d been by his side,

My brother never would have died.

I knew the good times couldn’t last.

The time for miracles is past.”


“I’m with you now. You’re not alone.

Go to the tomb. Remove the stone,”

The Lord commanded in a way

She knew she needed to obey.


“But, Lord, it stinks. Don’t make me face

The stench of death which brings disgrace.

It stinks, it stinks, the pain’s too great.

I told you that you came too late.”


“Remove the stone from off the tomb.

And give the man some breathing room.

Remove the stone, complete the story

If you want to see God’s glory.”


“Believe,” is what he said to her.

So, she obeyed His Words so sure.

Then Jesus called. The man arose,

Because to heed God’s call she chose.


Does your life stink? Are you in pain?

And can you barely stand the strain?

Then take the stone from off your heart

And let God speak to every part.


“But Lord, the stench is far too great!

I fear you have arrived too late

To stop the sin I want to hide.

I dare not let you touch my pride.”


Some won’t let Jesus near their tomb.

They will not give Him any room.

But for those who let Him in,

God’s glory will be seen with in.



We all have things in our lives that stink, areas in which God wants to shine His light. He wants to do miracles for us, replacing death with life. But in order for Him to do that, we must surrender whatever “stones” lie in the way. Perhaps the greatest stone is pride. Pride won’t let anyone smell the dead thing that lies behind it. But like Martha at Lazarus’s tomb (story in John chapter 11), we need to be willing to air out the sepulcher. If we do, we will experience God’s awesome resurrection power.



To Be Spiritually Minded

Behold the lone man sitting in his wheelchair.

I’ve come to pour oil all over his hair

And pray for him, hoping that he will be healed.

But as I pray, intense pain is revealed.


I try to encourage him, but the pain shouts

“I won’t go away!” and I hear lots of doubts.

The more that I pray and then with the man reason,

The more it keeps shouting to me “Treason, Treason!”


I see Athaliah beholding the king.

“His praises,” she cries, “I do not want to sing!”

I see the poor crippled man choosing to flirt

With all of his suffering and all of his hurt.


How can I get this poor man’s mind back on God?

I have to confess that I feel like a clod!

Sadly, I fear that this simple prayer session

Has turned into one big “Can’t do it!” confession.


“What ever shall I do?” I cry to the Lord.

“Get his mind off the flesh and it will be restored,”

I hear Him reply. “Turn his mind to the scripture.

By rightly dividing it, show him I’m bigger


Than all of his problems and all of his issues,

Including the pain that resides in his tissues.

Remind him of Noah ‘sea legs’ in his ark,

Trying in vain to track down his aardvark.


You’d think that his underwear had a few ants

The way the anteaters keep sniffing his pants.

Or speak to him of Babel’s unfinished tower,

The project on which I rained down a cold shower,


How impudent men with their stubborn old plans

Discovered they simply could not understand

The ridiculous sounds that arose from their mouths,

How, like squeaky chipmunks they scurried about!


Their project in ruins, their plans all for naught,

The building abandoned, their space program shot.

They thought they were sneaky in hiding from me

The plans that they made in all obscurity.


But at the last moment I pulled out the rug

Upon which they’d rested so safe and so snug.

I ripped off the blanket beneath which they’d curled

And scattered them all abroad throughout the world.


And can I not do the same thing for this man

For whom Christ has died? It’s all part of my plan.

They buried His body and thought they had won,

But He rose from the dead. Then we had some great fun.


The devil was snoozing on top of that stone.

Then down swooped the angel. “Surprise! Not alone!”

Satan dropped his pitchfork and got crunched by that rock.

His head has been crushed, and it came as a shock.


Yes, trials may hurt. As for death, it still stings,

But the power of His resurrection still sings.

It’s greater than any attack we may face.

Such is the freedom we find in God’s grace.








A Man of Mind-boggling Super Powers

He had a power some might call mental telepathy:

Discerning people’s thoughts and giving words of prophecy.

To tell the future He did not require a crystal ball,

Because He was a perfect man, untarnished by the fall


He didn’t need some special mix of herbs to cure the sick,

Or some weird mesmerizing power to make His teaching stick.

By giving thanks, He greatly multiplied the loaves and fish,

To feed a multitude of people. Such a filling dish!


He didn’t have to cast a spell to turn water to wine

Or walk on water He created, for He was divine.

He didn’t have to pray for hours to try to raise the dead.

He simply spoke the Word and lifted them right off the bed.


Though being in nature God, He took no credit for the power,

But leaned upon the Holy Spirit every single hour.

His powers were mind-boggling, yet He declared we’d do the same

If we’d simply believe on Him and call upon His name.


He didn’t do it for the money, pride or worldly fame

But for the love of Father God. Such love is not a game.

He gave his life to save us from our sins and make us whole.

To ransom us from everlasting death He poured His soul.


Death couldn’t hold Him in its grip, for He did nothing wrong.

His resurrection power defeats the grave and makes us strong.

So, let’s lay hold of it, because it’s not about the motion,

But centers on the person who deserves our full devotion.


Worthy is the Lamb… (Revelation 5:12)




Resurrection Blast

It isn’t time to cry or mourn. It’s time to have some fun.

Children, see the empty tomb, each and every one.

The treasure’s really cool. There’s no body buried there.

The women wept all night, but now they’ve no time to despair.

Off come the funeral clothes. They’ve got the greatest news to share.


As they came near the spot, it’s true, those gals were feeling grim

About the stone that sealed the tomb where they had buried Him.

To move the thing would take more strength than all of them combined.

Yet on that dark and lonely road, and to their task resigned,

(for with a solemn sadness they were hopelessly aligned)


They talked among themselves. “Who’s going to roll that thing away?”

But to the angel swooping down, the task was child’s play.

The soldiers cried in fear and fainted when they saw his face.

The earthquake woke them up, though, and they bolted from the place

The sixteen men who failed to guard the tomb feared sure disgrace.


Let’s watch it in slow motion, kids. You’re sure to have a blast.

See them scramble, see them fall. They’re running really fast.

They nearly knock the ladies over in their zeal to flee.

“Watch where you’re going!” cries a Mary. “Can’t you blind guys see?”

“It may be dark out, but that’s no excuse to bang my knee!”


“Hey, aren’t those guys the guards that Pilate placed around that tomb?”

They shake their heads and mutter, as they watch the fellows zoom.

The women too had felt the quake while walking up that hill.

Their thoughts were not on wonders though, but on the bitter pill

They had to swallow when He died. In their hearts, they felt ill.


Just picture their amazement when they saw the stone removed

When the angels said “He’s risen,” oh how must they have been moved!

It was no pirate’s treasure they’d unearthed inside that tomb.

No dead men’s bones would be found there, no shades of gloom or doom.

But there’s a hidden message in the walls, if you’ll make room.


So, hurry, kids. Let’s share the fun, because He’s coming soon!




Signs, Wonders, and Suffering for Christ

And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them, being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead. Acts 4:1-2

The Sadducees were sad. The message didn’t make them glad. They didn’t like the gospel message. A crippled man had just been miraculously healed through the power of Jesus’ name. Some people don’t like miracles. The Sadducees sure didn’t. They didn’t believe in angels or resurrection, and probably would have preferred for the man to stay a cripple, because the power of God was something they couldn’t handle.

Yes, there is a form of religion that denies God’s power, that teaches us to go to church on Sunday, do all the motions of worship, then go home unchanged. But we feel better because we’ve done our religious duty. The conscience is temporarily assuaged, but the heart remains hard and the soul remains untouched. It is a faith that rests on the wisdom of man, but in the name of Jesus Christ Peter and John had just performed an amazing miracle.

And now the priests, the captain of the temple, and the men who were famous for being sad, the Sadducees, arrested Peter and John. They persecuted them (i.e. gave them a hard time) for daring to lay hold of Jesus’ promise that

“He who believes on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” (John 14:12)

I’m sure that most of us are familiar with the scripture “Faith without works is dead” (James 2:26). Well, the Apostles had a living faith in God and they demonstrated it by daring to take hold of a crippled man’s hand and help him to his feet. They believed God’s Word and acted on it.

Now, some believing Christians (I don’t know how many) don’t believe God still performs instantaneous healings, resurrections, or miracles. Some of them hold the concept that to be sick or infirm or disabled is to somehow suffer for the gospel. They preach against the idea of divine healing, as if it was opposed to God’s will. But what would Jesus say to that? How did He feel about healing people?

Once, in a synagogue where Jesus was speaking, there was a man with a withered hand. The religious guys were watching him carefully, waiting to accuse him of healing on the Sabbath. They cared more about their religious doctrine than about the ailing man. The scriptures tell us that Jesus was grieved for the hardness of their hearts (Mark 3:5). His question to them was:

“Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil, to save life, or to kill?” (verse 4)

Of course, Jesus healed the man. This time it was the Pharisees he angered, and they plotted to destroy him. Jesus didn’t have to get sick to suffer persecution at their hands. He suffered because he healed people and raised others from the dead. The religious people were envious, because they had a form of godliness but denied its power (II Timothy 3:5-7). I don’t know about you, but that’s not how I want to live my Christian life.






Medicine for an Insane World, Part II

Rough living under Pharaoh’s whip,

Backbreaking toil in his grip.

To free the people, God sent Moses,

With whom the king would not touch noses.


“Allow the Jews a day of rest

Just so that they can have a fest?

You sure do have a lot of nerve!

Hard labor is what they deserve.”


“Deliverance I shall not grant,

No matter how you rave and rant.

The lazy bums shall have no peace.

Their burdens I shall now increase.”


“They are in bondage to my laws.

To make bricks, they must grasp at straws

But still produce the same amount.

My men shall not reduce the count.”


He was a very unfair king

Who left his subjects suffering.

The “go-fers” scattered everywhere

To glean the grain he would not share.


So much confusion, panic, fear,

A sad career devoid of cheer.

No matter how well they behaved,

From his wrath they could not be saved.


That’s what it’s like when ruled by sin.

You always lose and never win.

To live that way is scatterbrained.

You just exist but aren’t sustained


Upon the tread mill you will run,

A life of strife that’s never fun.

One joins the rat race to survive,

Gains worldly goods but doesn’t thrive.


That’s why the Father sent His Son

Into the world. His work is done.

Upon a cross, He took our place

And paid for our sins with His grace.


They placed his body in a cave.

Within three days He beat the grave.

Death bows to him and so should we,

Because He is our victory.


If we believe, then we’ll be saved

No matter how well we’ve behaved.

Do you have battles you can’t win?

Would you escape the yoke of sin?


The Lord in His great sovereignty

Says, “All ye weary, follow me.

I’ll keep you safe and set you free.

Let Me be your security.”