Saturday, December 25, 2010

1998 Christmas Poem

The Word
Was not enough
That it should
Be with God
And be God
Was not enough
That it should
Shine in
Dark places
Was not enough
That it should
Not be
Was not enough
That it should
Be flesh
And be known
Was not enough
That it should
And rise
Was enough

- 12 July 1998

I hope these have been a blessing to you. These are all the poems sent out up to the time we came to Illinois.

Friday, December 24, 2010

1997 Christmas Poem

Like children
Searching for a gift
Their hearts desired
And not finding it
Where they wanted it to be
But in its place
Something unimagined
And perplexing
Almost overlooking it
And passing it by
We found a child
And not the toy
We thought we wanted
And though in our own immaturity
We could not care for Him
He grew to care for us
And to become the Joy
We wanted all along

- 6 July 1997

Thursday, December 23, 2010

1996 Christmas Poem

The fist which lay
Within his mother’s fingers
Had not long before
Let go His Father’s hand
His name once shouted
Over heaven
Was now only whispered
Among the keepers of little lambs
Though glory was the
Very atmosphere above
He now shared the air
His enemies breathed
Once waited on
By unnumbered hosts
He would serve
Not the great but the least
Unattended at His coming
Deserted at His death
Only He could have more to give
When all was taken from Him

- 27 August 1996

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

1995 Christmas Poem

Not a season
But eternity
Not lived
But lives
Not came
But coming
Not judged
But judging
Not crushed
But conquering
Not wrapped
But revealed
Not loved
But loving
Not fed up
But faithful
Not indifferent
But suffering
Not seen
But seeing
Not cautious
But reckless
Not sleeping
But awake
Not done
But doing

- 9 August 1995

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

1994 Christmas Poem

In the Highest
Glory breathed
And filled
The colonnades
Seeing It
Nothing else
Be seen
Feeling it
Nothing else
Be felt
Yet it was
Not content
To keep
Its place
And so
It hid itself
That It
Might be known
Covered once
In a manger
Revealed forever
In an empty shroud
And where
Should this Glory be
If not in the heavens
Then in our hearts

- 31 August 1994

Monday, December 20, 2010

1993 Christmas Poem

Who could not be humbled
The course
That only love
Would dare
To give up
For innocence
For purpose
For service
For shame
And only love
Could win
Which could not be gained
And only He
Could choose to give
That which could not be taken
And what He could
He did
That what we could not
We could

- 27 July 1993

Sunday, December 19, 2010

1992 Christmas Poem

Wall too high
Not to be scaled
Or circumvented
You have been breached
Gap too wide
Not to be crossed
Or fathomed
You have been bridged
Distance too far
Not to be covered
Or approximated
You have been removed
Ages too long
Not to be endured
Or persuaded
You have been crushed
Glory, you are no longer a dream
Father, you are no longer unseen
Enemy, you are no longer a curse
For a single Word
Spoken by the Breath of God
Through flesh of man
Has reconciled all

- 14 September 1992

Saturday, December 18, 2010

1991 Christmas Poem

Before He lit the skies
The Light of the World
Burned brightly
In the Heavenly Temple
And there its light
Gave Testimony
That it should
Shine on those in dark places
Though sun filled the day
Though moon brought brightness
Though stars guided over the distance
They did not touch the Heart
It took the light
Hidden in a baby’s cheek
Brought forth in a young man’s wisdom
Harvested upon a cross
To reach and hold
The farthest corner
Of the darkest heart
To bring it to light

- 8 September 1991

Friday, December 17, 2010

1990 Christmas Poem

Summer has been eclipsed
Yet scarce have winter’s
Barren glories begun
When its power is broken

The seasons have been mastered
Their rages reduced
To soft impotent

The maker has been made
Treading the cycle
Of times

It is not now
Which change
But us

- 7 August 1990

Thursday, December 16, 2010

1989 Christmas Poem

When there was no hope
It came
Long lay the ages
And the nations
Beneath tents
Of darkness
Beside the waters
Of bitterness
Afflicted will all
The scorn of evil
Shamed by every
Thorn of guilt
Bound were the hearts
And the eyes
Kept in the environs
Of despair
Lowered in the abysses
Of loss
Obliterated by each
Attempt to rise
Eclipsed with sums
Massing to nothing
When there was no hope
He came

- 15 August 1989

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

1988 Christmas Poem

Through eyes
By the shade of darkness
In the full span of time
By the spirit of the age
By the false lights all around
We see you

Through eyes
To your glory
By your will
By eternal hope
Operating at your pleasure
We see you
In your son

This baby born
This man grown
This lamb slain
This Jesus
We see you in Him
At Last

- 7 August 1988

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

1987 Christmas Poem

The taste of it was sweet
That first breath of air
Borne in upon His lungs
Sweet with the care and love
Of those who had awaited the arrival
So many months and days
The tone of it was pure
That song that lingered
In the air
Pure because it sang of Him
Innocent both now
And in the sacrifice to come
The sight of it was a delight
That smile from heaven
Given to the earth
Delighting those ready
To hear and come
And fall before Him
The fragrance of it was penetrating
That something which would not
Leave the one who had sensed it alone
Penetrating into the very heart
Seeking out all before it
Taking up residence
The feel of it was warmth
The breaking of
The cold bitter night
Warmth ending chill
Ushering a day
Without an end

- 11 October 1987

Monday, December 13, 2010

1986 Christmas Poem

The wooden box creaked
Not being designed
To carry such weight
It groaned
And then staunchly resisted
All attempts
Of gravity or movement
To precipitate its collapse
At times before it had
Borne the pressure
Of a muzzle or two
At the end of a weary day
But not like this
Then its burden
Had diminished
Now it remained the same
A little rolling
Bearing down here
And there
But no decrease
Until the hands
Lifted Him out
And after an admiring view
Once more
Placed back
Within its precinct
The glory
That it sheltered

- 3 September 1986

Sunday, December 12, 2010

1985 Christmas Poem

My child, My child
He said
Why did I send You?
Why did I let you go away
It's barely a second of eternity
And yet you are gone
With them, among them
Apart from Me.
You have gone
As I have sent You
Willing to do My will
Still You are mine
Yet I will forsake You
Before You return
To added glory
To them it will seem
A small beginning
Unlike any others
They have known
Yet the ending
Will be different
Reversing all
They have known and done
If only they could know
If only they would believe
The reason why
And enter into Our joy
It's not so long now
Nor so difficult
For I know why -
You went for love

- 3 June 1985

Saturday, December 11, 2010

1984 Christmas Poem

The love
That you sent
Must have been great
For it made you leave
Home and dignity
To come to us
The glory
You left behind
Must have been wonderful
For one sight of it
Blinded seeing eyes
And hurled men to your feet
The power
You brought along
Must have been awesome
For demons fled your presence
Cripples walked and
Sin and death no more remained
The joy
That followed you
Must have been boundless
For none could contain it
Once they had seen you
And worshipped at your feet
The peace that you promised
Must have been measureless
For you commanded it
To guard our hearts
And it is You

- 23 October 1984

Friday, December 10, 2010

1983 Christmas Poem

The flicker
Of a single flame
Kindled in the night
A sputtering lamp
'Twould soon be dark
No more need for light
All lay down
Asleep in bed
Quiet reigned at last
Even children's
Cries were stilled
Daytime pains were past
From the town
To countryside
Not a vapor stirred
Only bleatings
From some sheep
Barely could be heard
Then at once
A light sprang forth
Brighter than ten stars
Angels came
Sang his praise
Then back to heaven far
Tidings soon
Spread everywhere
With the crest of dawn
He had come
The Son of God
Left His shining home
Soaring high
Over men
He His throne would mount
Darkness, shadows
All were done
His light put them out

- 14 September 1983

Thursday, December 9, 2010

1982 Chrismas Poem

Why is it
That we long for this season?
Our hearts and spirits
Leap forward
At the thought
Of its approach
All plans made for it
Are full of excitement
Not a thing about it
Fails to fill us with wonder
Is it that it is
The season of hope fulfilled
The time of longing satisfied
The period of wandering ceased?
I think it is.
Hope lies dormant in our souls
Waiting for certainty
For knowing and seeing
Face to face
In Him we realize
The beginning of all joys
Yet to come
We long for things, but more
For friends and love
And He is the friend
Closer than a brother
The one whose voice
Gives words our ears would hear
We wander through the year
So far from home
And as we remember
His departure from His home
It draws us to our own
And the one we seek yet above

- 6 September 1982

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

1981 Christmas Poem

Is the music
That began
One winter night
It's the pageantry
Of angel wings
That filled
The air with light
It's the softness
Of a small small babe
That snuggled
In the hay
It's the wonder
On the faces
That saw
The night turn day
It's the worship
That the shepherds
And later
Magi gave
It's the knowledge
That the Son of God
Came to seek
And save
It's the presence
Of the Lord
Of all
Come down from His throne
It's the peace
And joy
That come to all
Who are his very own

- 27 September 1981

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

1980 Christmas Poem

They decreed a count be taken
Heaven proclaimed a joy be given
Joy and cheer
Cheer to us
And to our homes
Two went to obey the call
All are called to share His life
Life and love
Love for us
That sent Him to
That rugged cross
None would take the couple in
He would have all up in heaven
Heaven our home
Home of glory
Where no sorry
Will reside
So His birth in lowly state
His returning full of power
Rising up
Up with us
There to live
In light and love

- 19 July 1980

Monday, December 6, 2010

1979 Christmas Poem

It might have been cold
They must have been tired
He from walking
And inquiring for a bed
She from the weight
Of the birth soon to come
It might have been late
But they found no sleep
She, though exhausted,
Filled with the wonder at her breast
He, with pride,
At the coming of the one he'd call son
It might have been lonely
But soon the place filled
With shepherds come looking
To see the one born
And then with the glory
Of the knowledge that He'd come
It might have seemed peaceful
They must have known joy
For the voices and echoes
That rang through the night
Went to proclaim aloud forever
What had been whispered to them
It may seem all over
But He'll come again
Not as a baby
Or packaged in gold
But as the King
Who'll claim the world as His own

- 20 October 1979

Sunday, December 5, 2010

1978 Christmas Poem

Christmas is
For families
For those alone
For the old and forgotten

The very first
To know His coming
Were the happy pair
Who cradled his form
It was He who made
The couple a family
And completed the promise
For their home and the world

The next to hear
That a savior was born
Were the lonely shepherds
At their post
Away from family and
Far from friends
The angel-light shone
And God's pleasure was made known

But God had promised
To another two
That they would see
His Glory's illumination
For Simeon and Anna
Went not to their rest
Until they had seen
God's work of that night

So you see there's no one
Whose life that God
Will refuse to touch
By the coming of His Son

- 7 November 1978

Saturday, December 4, 2010

1977 Christmas Poem

If only we had known
Your bed, of finest linens,
Would have been
Instead of leftover hay
From a poor beast's meal

If only we had known
Mayors and magistrates
Would have called that night
With gifts and proclamations
To commemorate your birth

If only we had known
We'd have looked to heaven
And seen the angel choir
And with the shepherds
Joined in at your side

If only we had known
We'd have scrutinized the stars
And found the one
That led to the house
Where you dwelt

If only we had known
We'd have protected you
In your flight
To Pharaoh's land
And hidden you away

If only we had known
We'd have given you our all
And built for you a tabernacle
Rather than a tomb
For your short stay

But we did not know
And we were not there
But perhaps it is not yet
Too late for us
To build you a home in our hearts

- 26 October 1977

Friday, December 3, 2010

1976 Christmas Poem

There have been songs
And lullabies
That were sung for Him
And paintings
Sculptures commemorating
That day
There have been poems
And novels
Praising His appearance
And even a day
Taken off
To remember
But that which
Would honor Him most
Would be our hearts
And if we would let Him
He would give peace
To all who come to Him
So let us come
And dwell
With the Son
And make our lives
A song, a picture, a word
For Him

- 16 November 1976

The Thin Man

This review has been a little longer coming than I had anticipated, but it is good that it’s coming out now for it is about a mystery which was enacted and solved during a Christmas season.

No one else put mystery and comedy together in such a delightful mix as William Powell and Myrna Loy when they played Nick and Nora Charles, husband and wife detectives. I can still remember seeing this movie for the first time on television one afternoon during summer vacation when I was a kid. I’ve loved this one ever since.

I’m not the only one to give this film a high rating. Leonard Maltin rates the entire series as the best. The repartee between Nick and Nora is unparalleled in recent times. No matter what amount of bantering went on, they were always united in the end. It only showed their comfortableness in their marriage and their trust of one another. Present day films espouse edginess more than harmony between film characters.

The two detectives threw themselves into the troubles around them. Instead of ducking out and looking for a way around, they always forged ahead and found a way through. They didn’t leave others to stew in the consequences of the evil devisings of others, but they set things to rights.

This may not have been the first example in film or literature of rounding up all the suspects to solve the crime, but it is certainly the most effective. People are often unwilling to come to a solution. They would often rather go along as they are than to take the energy required to make a difference.

Then, who can forget their dog, Asta. He had more personality than many of the human actors in the film. His point of view was often ours, that of the perplexed bystander who is allowed to have a crucial part in things. He is the one who discovered the body which led to the final solution of the mystery.

Somewhere along the way the significance of the title changed as it was used in the titles of the other five films in the series. Originally it referred to Clyde Wynant, eccentric inventor, who was assumed to be the murderer. Then from a pejorative it turned into an enduring term of identity for the detective himself. This has a parallel for the Christian. God can turn us from a suspect into a loved member of the family. We can be comfortable before God. He loves us as a person no matter how ill-manneredly we’ve put ourselves to Him. He has pushed through all things to bring us to His side.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

1975 Poem

Come shepherds
To the crib of hope
And find the one
Who'll lead the sheep
When you've gone on
Come wise men
To the child of peace
And find the one
Who'll teach all men
More than you know
Come fearful
To the prince of faith
And find the one
Who'll quell all doubts
While still unknown
Come strong men
To the seat of power
And find the one
Who'll bend every bar
Between Him and you
Come every heart
To the King of Kings
And find the one
To give you songs
That will not cease

- 10 November 1975

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Christian is a season of joys and perfections. It is early in the season, but possibly some things have already begun to unravel. Complications can reshape many if not all of our plans and intentions, but there is a thread which will sew everything into place and hold it there. It is the personal presence of God in this world changing things.

Ultimate reality is personal. God created this world, and He has visited it. We do not live in an impersonal universe, surrounded by mechanical forces. We are not at the mercy of objects pretending to be definitive reality.

Jesus amply provided confirmation of this thread in His teachings and miracles. Others have taught, but never with authority such as He wielded. Others have done things which appeared miraculous, but never by their own power nor at their own discretion. God was really in our midst in the flesh in those years, and He is here now in His Spirit.

In Jesus, God came to us in a form we could understand. He showed that He is not a mere idea or influence, but a person who is interested in us. In a way this idea is dimly reflected in the stories of Santa Claus. His personal presence down the chimney is for the purpose of making a difference on Christmas morning. How much greater difference does Jesus make. He gives the gift of the Spirit and of eternal life and an access to the Creator of the cosmos.

The Christmas thread is not a last minute attempt of God to do something for man, but it is the final stitching up of our lives keeping them together and making them amount to something. Let this thread put together your life and your world.

1974 Poem

Many wonder if He cried
Or they guess at if He laughed
And they try to see Him
Only as He was
But today
Beyond the stable
He is seated
On a throne
And some day
More than shepherds
Will marvel at his sight
For He came not
To be a baby
But to live among us
And to grow and die
And as each winter
Slips upon us
We ought to remember
The angels' cry
That peace on earth
Would be through Him
As the one God had appointed
The way to heaven and life

- 26 November 1974