1 Kings 17-19; Colossians 2

Unruly

You can persuade how I think;
You can propagandize my opinions;
You can pacify my ardent spirit;
But who can manage my heart?

You can dictate that my hands stop;
You can decree where I may not stand;
You can direct what my steps are;
But who can rule my heart?

You can command the words I speak;
You can control what I read;
You can crack your whip on me;
But who can master my heart?

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1 Kings 16; 2 Chronicles 15-16; Colossians 1

To See Something New

Who knew before it was new how see the unseen?
Like the man born blind who was given sight
and had to learn to see;
like Newton who saw the gravity of our situation
and made language for it;
like Monet who saw the world in unforeseen ways
and developed avant-garde techniques;
like Einstein who saw how to make a quantum leap forward
and told a story about it;
like Paul who was blinded so he could see the truth
and reached out beyond his tribe;
To see something new takes something new, you see.

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1 Kings 15; 2 Chronicles 13-14; Philippians 4

The Lamp

The lamp shines in Jerusalem, even in the darkest days,
Upon the shameful king who walks in the sorrowful way.
He ascends the noble throne wearing his crown of gold,
He extends his hands to pronounce the worthy he will behold.
And by his scandalous actions his people are betrayed.

The lamp shines in Jerusalem, even in the darkest days,
Upon the shameful king who walks in the sorrowful way.
He ascends the loathsome hill wearing his crown of thorns,
He extends his hands to pardon the sinful and forlorn.
By his scandalous actions his people are reborn.

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1 Kings 13-14; 2 Chronicles12; Philippians 3

Tabloid Sinners

You blame us to shame us making famous our sins
Our trash is your cache that you splash on headlines
You accuse us and abuse us to amuse everyone
You attract them to distract them from the fact we’re the same
You expose us to depose us but that shows us your heart
From your darkness you narc on us to mark us with guilt
The truth is you are toothless when we are ruthless about ourselves
We confess we are a mess who profess we killed a man
We jailed him and we nailed him and we veiled him in a tomb
But he rose up and chose us to dispose of our sin
He lives now and forgives now and gives now new life
Get the picture: no more stricture because the scripture is good news

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1 Kings 12; 2 Chronicles 10-11; Philippians 2

Earnest Earthiness

I wear the earth’s crust,
my camouflage couture,
unruffled,
superficially still—
even an ice cap to look composed.
No one knows the magma churning,
the turmoil and heat in my core
that I keep restrained
until the rupture,
with its lava oozing or exploding,
most threatening to those who are closest.
None of us is unchanged by the outburst
even though I dam the flow,
cooling and resealing,
and try to convince tourists to embrace the excitement
as a sign of vivacity
rather than evidence of instability,
the need for more formation,
the Creator’s work-in-progress.

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Song of Songs 5-8; Philippians 1

fire alert

beware of wild fires
that begin with an innocent spark and a whisper of wind
while no one is there to tend it
no fire ring to contain it
as straw and wood fuel the arousing flames
suddenly out of control
flowers wither
grass smolders
smoke rises up
heat sears
in the quiet isolation
all is laid bare
in a moment of hypnotic blaze
that is soon exhausted
leaving a scorched char
seemingly lifeless
smoldering in uncertainty
crying out to be untainted
crying out to be made whole
crying out for new creation

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Song of Songs 1-4; Ephesians 6

My Garden

My father chored me with the garden he planted:
cultivating,
tending,
watering,
the tender shoots,
guarding them from the infiltrating weeds,
protecting them from marauding wildlife,
nurturing them until their produce is ripe for harvest.
It would be easier to let nature take its course,
satisfied with what is native to the ground,
eating the fruit of any old thorns,
ignoring the barbs and uncertainty.
Surely we could survive on such fodder.
We could…
Father appoints me to this grueling vocation
because he wants me to feast on his bounty.
Sweat and toil,
patience and commitment,
reward us beyond what is edible,
with a sensual cuisine,
dripping with flavor and delight.

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