Friday, December 16, 2011


Jesus is the best gift, but what if a church could choose a gift for herself…

A while ago I got a telephone call from a lady who wanted to tell me about a “church resource” her company could provide. There was no clue as to what the resource was in the company name, and it wasn’t identified up front. I had to ask. It was a pictorial directory. That is a good resource, but not one we needed right now.

Later on I got to thinking about an even better resource they could have offered. It would be like the Sea Monkeys” they used to advertise in the comics when we were kids. You’d just add water, only instead of little critters floating in the water, out would pop brand new church members overfilling your pews. You could market it as a new member packet.

Just think of what you’d get after you added your water:

*Enough church leaders to replace those who have been lost through death or relocation.
*A well balanced music team that knew the right mix of hymns and choruses to use to make everyone comfortable.
*Sunday School teachers who would never say, “No!” when asked to teach.
*Personal workers to evangelize the lost in the community. (Of course, maybe with this new method they’d be obsolete, especially if you got the two packet deal.)
*Great givers.
*A full time Children’s Church Staff, a full time Youth Ministry, a full time Discipleship Ministry, etc.
*A full youth group, children’s group, college age group, etc.
*Lawn care and maintenance experts.
*A Women’s group led by ladies better than Lois and Eunice.
*Crowds who eagerly attended every service and study with their Bibles in their hands.

And, of course, then there would be you. But then, that would be the best gift you could give Jesus, anyway.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Greetings 2010

Is to be abandoned -

Made by God
By sin
And ruled
By death
Will be given
It’s Maker

Is to be left alone -

Breathed with life
But lost
To it
And wandering
Far from it
Will be given
One hope

Is to be beyond love -

Who is love
Who is light
Who is
Has life
Will be given
On a cross

Sunday, December 11, 2011

20 Voices Speak Of His Coming

Those involved in the story of the
Coming of Jesus were not all
Were they all filled with joy

The coming of Jesus
Brought out the Best
The Worst

No one could
Ignore the coming
Be unaffected by It

It was a coming
For justification
And judgment
Only our voices
Could decide

- 17 November 2011

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas Greetings 2009

To Himself
He could have
Avoided pain

Where He was
He could have
Missed trouble

From the world
He could have
Seen no sin

He could have
Watched all decay

His own height
He could have
Left us in our depths

His creatures
He had to
Change loss to gain

Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas Greetings 2008

The days
That made the world
Are not even noted
On any calendar
For even
Occasional commemoration
Yet they began
All things
Often are beginnings
Cast away
In the contemplation
Of what
Looms large
And seems to make
Today important
Yet the origin
Started the line
Which now
We draw
But it
Did not
Complete the drawing
Nor do we
For that,
Another hand
Was needed
To take up the pen
And flourish
It to
A favorable
And that hand
Has made its mark
So well
That it need not
Do anything
To make us

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas Greetings 2007

Do Not Fear
The Angel said
But How
When all around
Breeds fear
When uncertainty
Lives in our homes
When distrust
Haunts the spaces
Between us
When the world
Provides new pains
Every day
When even God
Has left us
To the devices of others
Not Fear?
But when
We look at Him
Calm in the Peace
Of His Father’s Good will
Resting in the place
Of sustenance
Meeting us
In our own flesh
Then, where is Fear?
What place is left for it
In a world where He lives

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas Greetings 2006

There was light
But little enough
Was seen
It was enough
To show
What was wrong
But not enough
To show
What should be
And try and try
The Best Light
Was but Dark
And those who would run
Were made to sit in it
And be still
Then came the dawn
And nothing more
Was obscure
Every line was sharp
Every color clear
Every face seeing and seen
And the light
Lived in our flesh
And felt our need
And when they came
To put it out
It shone most brightly
And even now
All of it
May yet be seen

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas Greetings 2005

Expected ?
We expected it
Much sooner
Much stronger
Much longer
We expected an end
To oppression
Not more trials
We expected
To be set Free
Of everything
On earth
We expected
The Glory
To overpower
Evil in Our Day
We expected
A finality
To fix all
We had torn
We found
Far short
Of Reality

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas Greetings 2004

So long
That Hope
But laughed
Her face

To starving
The place
Of Desolation

To Bondage
Than the

But then

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas Greetings 2003

We cannot look

But what
We shall see

Though the ages

We know we shall

For writers
And died
And singers
And were stilled
And watchers
And waited

And what
They knew

Others saw

But what
We know

We shall see

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Christmas Greetings 2002

The Darkness
Could not
Have been
More Black
No single
Its depth
It was
Without Shade
Or variation
To the cord
To Human will
It held
All Creation
And had it
But its own will
It would
Have that, too
But then
To its
The Light Came
Where Else
Light Go?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Christmas Greetings 2001

Even Eternity
Knew Delay
In the Age
Before He Came
The Pendulum
Of His Will
Quivered Impatiently
To be Set In Time
And angels
Who could not
Have such things
Knew They Would Be
While sin reigned
In turmoil
He Kept His Eye
Upon its death
And when the Sand
Had Reached
Its Height of Grace
He Turned the Glass
And when the Hours
Were Marked Anew
Not Wrath
But a Babe Came Forth

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas Greetings 2000

And when the night
Had run its course
And no more the moon
Shone pale above the horizon
The Bright Morning Star
Left the sky
And brought its light
To where the darkness reigned
And in one blinding stroke
It made of slaves free men
And settled them
Beyond the tyrant’s claw
For it had broken
What was black
That every color might come forth
And flower in the sun
It took the low
And raised it up
That it might see
And thus be seen
And when the elements
Were ranged in rage
It lay before them
Until its Weakness brought them down
And though the night
Seems still upon the earth
We know it is no more
For we have seen that which shall not set