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Beyond the Shadowed Doubts

In lonely days, in darkest nights,
You have your hand in mine.
Through deepest waters, hottest blights,
Your love pours out like wine.

No desperation, come what may,
Can keep your life from me.
Because my trust will not be swayed,
I know who meets my need.

Despite the lies that fill my ears,
I trust in all your truth.
Regardless of the spoken fears,
I’ve seen your mighty proofs.

I know beyond the shadowed doubts
That you are life and peace,
Because I’ve been sustained through drought
When I get on my knees.

Lord God of Hosts, in all my years
I’ve been kept by your side.
Sweet Lord of Light, dark disappears
When you are glorified.

Revival

In those moments when I feel a stirring that I can’t explain,
A fire coming alight in me, when I have felt so lukewarm lately,
All I can do is marvel at the mercy being poured out on me.
May it be so, Holy Spirit, that I am inflamed by the heat of your love.
This liveliness of soul feels so much better than
The dreary dullness of being that has seemed so all-encompassing.
How many times do I need to cry out, “Wake me up, Lord!”
Before I actually feel more awake and alive?
What is it I need to do to stay in the center of your living water,
Feel the bubbling stream of your essence around me?
I long to know beyond feeling, but feeling seems so real.
Let the yearning for intimacy with you, Jesus,
Become my constant companion in my spiritual walk.
I don’t like the compromises that douse the flames,
Yet I get so caught up in day-to-day living,
That it becomes easier to subside into routines and bad habits.
I need your life, alive in me until I can’t sit still.
I need your holy word, splashing up into a flowing river,
Touching all the people around me again and again…and again.
I need you, Lord God, overshadowing me with imminence,
Just so I don’t forget to tell you, thank you for the grace that lifts me,
As the Psalmist says, out of the miry clay.
Set my feet on your path of light once more,
So I can say with gladness, “Praise the Most High God!!!”
Indeed, I do praise you, Living God, Creator of the universe, and
I say still, “In you I live and move and have my being.”
Breathe on me, Breath of God, in newness of life…more and more and more.

New Perspective

When Christmas comes I find myself reflecting
On all the year’s accomplishments and loss.
Somehow it all comes down to reconnecting
With who I am, acknowledging the cost.

I fall so short so often, and it’s painful
To see as clearly as I need to see,
But honestly, it’s also very gainful
When I allow the truth to set me free.

So once again, Lord God, help me be faithful
In casting all my cares before your throne.
Rejoicing in your goodness, I’ll be grateful
That through your blood and mercy, I am known.

This time I hope I find a new perspective
That keeps me in the center of your grace.
I really want to be less introspective,
To spend my time more focused on your face.

This Christmas, Jesus, help me trust above—
Far more than little fits and starts of faith.
I long to just let go and live through Love,
Immersed in you and changed by your embrace.

This Battle

I’m not sure how I keep going on some days.
It’s hard to just function like a normal human being—
Get up, get ready, get dressed, go to work.
These overcast days make it even harder,
Because then the outside world matches my inside world—
All gray and dreary.
Truthfully, I just want to lay down and go to sleep, sometimes forever.
But something inside me refuses to quit,
So I drag myself up and out and keep on with life.
There’s a core of stubborn fire somewhere deep in my soul
That says I will never let the enemy, or my flesh,
Win this battle over my life.
Faith tells me the bleak tastelessness is just a façade.
I am adamantly determined to never give up.
There are so many people who keep telling me:
They care; they love me; they love things about me.
The ultimate hard line for me is remembering again
I am not my own; I am bought with a price.
I don’t have the right to sit down and abandon hope.
All my hope is in Christ!
Even when my mind and heart fail, and
My strength feels like absolute weakness,
What little I am, what meagerness I have
Belongs to Him.
So I speak to my soul and command my heart:
Trust in God.
Remember His faithfulness.
Believe in His goodness.
Proclaim His worthiness,
Because He is still great and greatly to be praised!
His love and His mercy endure forever, and
He holds my life in His hands.
I… do not, because I am His.

Battered

I am battered against the wall of myself—
Self beating against self in utter frustration
As I try and try, and fail utterly to change in my own strength.
I am left wondering if there will ever be improvement,
Finding there is nothing left to me except
To fall into God’s grace and pray that
He can change what I cannot… because I cannot!
Poor choices hang over my head like an anvil
While I pray in desperation that it won’t fall and crush me.

Oh, God! Please work your will in my heart.
Make me wholly and completely yours,
Some way that I can never fathom
With all my mental gymnastics.
I long to somehow break the stagnation and
Find the flow of your living water in me…
I need to feel the aliveness of your Holy Spirit
Flexing my lungs with holy breath
Until it is your perfect peace moving me.
Please, Lord Jesus,
Help me move again in you, with you.

Wake Me Up

Wading through all the muck that surrounds me,
I have found it difficult to focus on spiritual things.
It’s so easy to get distracted, Lord.
My pursuit of You seems to have been waylaid
By all the mundanities of my life,
But some part of me knows I still need You.
I need Your life-giving breath to blow in me again,
Stirring me up, making me thirsty and hungry for You.
I don’t want to be satisfied with the things in this life…
Books, television, games, shopping, or any random things
That take away the time I could spend with You.
I want to know Your eternity with all I am.
The innermost parts of my being long for intimacy, Jesus,
Despite the dullness laid over my mind and heart lately.
Wake me up, Holy Spirit, from this lukewarm slumber.
Make my heart a roaring, white-hot flaming fire for You.

Psalm 56 Revisited

Be merciful to me,
For man oppresses me.
My enemies surround.
They fight me all around.
When I am full of fear,
I’ll trust that you are near—
My God whose word I praise.
No man makes me afraid.
All day they twist my words
With only evil towards.
They gather, hide, and wait
So my life they can take.
Can they escape by sin?
In anger cast them down!
You watch my wanderings
And capture all my crying.
My tears are in your book.
To you, O God, I look.
When I cry out to you,
My enemies are through!
I know, since God guards me.
In God, the Lord, I see
No reason not to trust.
What man can be unjust?
By vows to you I’m bound;
Let praise in me be found,
For you’ve delivered me
From death and falling feet,
So I may walk with you
In light and life anew.

Master Artisan

I saw a lavender sky the other evening.
After the rain passed,
We drove into the sunset.
The sky and clouds were the perfect purple blend!
Violet-hued air filled the atmosphere around us,
Till we just breathed in awe,
Silenced by the amazing grandeur of it all.
Even now, I can hardly believe
I truly experienced what I saw and felt,
But I am convinced it was a gift—
A reminder of Whose hand crafts the skies,
Whose Spirit infuses us with new life
In such incredible moments of peaceful joy.
Help us find our rest once more,
In You, O Master Artisan.

Infinite Beyond

God of glorious more and more,
Infinite beyond all score,
Deer run panting after you,
Living water flowing through.
Leaves keep reaching for your light,
Brilliant life that’s glowing bright.
All creation crying out,
Lifting up a joyous shout,
Longs for everything you are
To fill, renew, refresh, restart.
Imbue me with your presence, Lord.
So I may through your Spirit pour
All of you in every place
Showing your amazing grace.

Unite My Heart

In so many ways, I find it difficult to come,
Always seeing my shortcomings, my weaknesses,
Distracted by my obsessions (my stupid obsessions!!).
Then I sit down with nothing on my mind
Racing to find some of those things to think about, and
The time slips away from me
Before I can bring enough focus to you.
Why is it so hard, Lord?
Those moments when I do long to be with you are
The ones where I have other obligations to meet or
Other menial tasks that demand to be done “now”
Because they have been put off too long.
Why can’t I have that desire in me
When I have the time to pursue it?
Why can’t I go after you then???
I long for a holy fear, a balance in my life
That gives me the peace to pursue you
In the right time, in the right place,
At just the moment when I can let go of everything else.
You, my Lord God, are the ONLY one,
The ONLY thing worth pursuing for eternity’s sake.
Let me have that holy fear, that awe-filled reverence
That brings me back to your feet again and again.
Let me thirst for you, as the Psalmist says,
Like the deer pants after the water brooks.
Give me an undivided heart, Holy Spirit…
Unite my heart to fear your name, O Lord.

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