Sunday Morn


O Father, once again we come

Broken, humbled, craving rest

Once again, we approach Your throne

Once again, Your name we bless


Not by our works, oh no

O Lord, not by our deeds

Not by our own fragile strength

Have we secured the right to bend the knee


We come by the blood our Savior shed

We come by the life He purchased in death

We come by the hope He forever secured

We come by the grace that always endures


Not by our own strength, oh no

Lord not by our own prowess

Only by Your might, O Lord

Can we kneel, and praise, and bless


So Lord take our hearts

Though feeble a gift they be

Take our very life and breath

Bend them wholly unto Thee


Not our own will, oh no

O Lord, not our own dreams

Your will and Your glory

Not ours but Yours, O Sovereign King


Towers crumble

Nations rage

Our days run out

But You remain

King o’er the ages


And so we rise

Go about our daily deeds

Keenly aware of Your sustaining care

And our own desperate, daily needs


Hurry up
But not too fast
This day
Might be your last

So don’t be afraid to pause
And notice the beauty
Surrounding you on every side
Take a long breath
Raise your head
Soak the sun and drink the sky

So walk on by
But not to quick
Today might be the only
Day you’ve left to live

Watch the wonder
In a child’s eyes
Read the tales
In the laugh-lines
Crinkling in the corners
Of your grandfather’s eyes

Rise, brave heart
Rise and face the day
Let each breath be a prayer
Of thanks for grace

Whatever you do
Wherever you tread
Whatever your path
Give thanks for the grace
Bestowed on your head

It is grace that sustains
Your weary heart
Grace bears you up
And each passing breath imparts

There Is an Ocean

Avila Beach, San Louis Obispo, California

Avila Beach, San Louis Obispo, California

There is an ocean

I’m standing on its shore

Without boundary or measure

After time and before


The waves lap my feet

And they call out to me

They speak of fathomless love

And undeserved mercy


I glance down at my grimy feet

And at my bloodstained hands

I’ve borne these wrongs for so long

Perhaps I should stay on the sand


What if the flood isn’t enough

What if the stains remain

How can I ever hope to be clean

Doubt weighs me down iron chains


But again lap the waves

Again beckons the flow

Again sings the flood

“Come, be washed pure as snow”


And the ocean waves

Are not a watery flood

The are scarlet red

The ocean is waves of blood


Can this blood heal my scars

Wash away every stain

Will I rise from the depths

Whole and sound again


Still the ocean calls

So I draw a deep breath

I walk down in the waves’ midst

And down to my death


For the flood washes me

Of all that is not clean

I died that day

No power—the past but a dream


But dear friend

It wasn’t the end

I live again


I am complete

No more do I sleep

Not glorified yet

But forever redeemed

So Peal the Bells

Mountain Sunrise

Sunday morning reflections…


Once more we give thanks

Once more we come

Once more we rejoice

For the work You’ve begun


Gathered again

At the rising of the sun

Voices in unison

To praise the Three in One


So peal the bells

“Come, come and partake

Christ accomplished what you could not

All the weight of your sin did take”


So rise believer

Rise up and approach

Draw nigh and kneel at your Savior’s feet

The sovereign, merciful, giver of hope

Survivor – Chalk Art

This week, I had the opportunity to participate in a chalk art competition hosted by the college I currently attend–Tarrant County College Southeast campus. The design was inspired by my grandfather: his time in the military and the years following. If you haven’t, please take a moment to read this poem. The final lines are the ones that ended up being incorporated into the design. This is the first  art competition I’ve participated in, and I ended up placing 3rd. I’m grateful for all the feedback and encouragement I received from professors, and fellow students. And a big shout-out to my awesome sister Bethany, who helped me brainstorm the concept of the design… and convinced me I needed to participate. The sidewalk slab is about 4ft by 5ft, and the design took me around 3 hours to complete. Below are a few photos… enjoy!

View from the front...

View from the front…

And a view from the right...

And a view from the right…

And one from the left...

And one from the left…



Soldier on the Rhine

This poem is for my dear grandfather. On Easter Sunday, April 1st, 1945, a stray German bullet impacted the sight of the gun he and his buddy were manning. His buddy was killed instantly. Papa survived. Some might call it luck or chance, but my grandfather–with tears in his eyes–recollects how it was only by the grace of God. If he had been a fraction of an inch to the left… or to the right… the shrapnel that still remains in his face and hands would have taken his life. But he wasn’t… and it didn’t.


On the bank of the Rhine

With bullets flying

No hope in sight

Will I die tonight?


Hardly more than a boy

I’m just a young man

Trying my hardest

To do all that I can


A lump in your throat

You know that it’s time

As we man our gun

On the bank of the Rhine.


War – It’s an ugly thing

You can almost smell the fear

It’s gut wrenching

The bullets strike too near.


Stars above – bright night sky

My friend I knew you well

Why did you have to die?

Fear’s a hard thing to quell.


Fire within my hand

I can feel myself fall

Here in this foreign land

Can you hear my voice call?


Lying alone – the hard ground

Time is now standing still

Can’t move – can’t make a sound

Darkness covers and fills.


Pain and agony are all that I see

Wounded men on either side

This one is struggling

To even breathe.



The faces come and go.


A nurse brings a blanket.

Why should she have to face this?

This insanity?


But merciful God…

You spared my life.


They showed me the sight

The frozen path of the bullet

Traced in the light.


By all accounts

I should be dead

Yet my life was spared

By the width of a thread.



I am alive:

By the grace of God

I have survived.


Related: Survivor – Chalk Art.  A chalk art tribute to Papa Hiller.

Rejoicing Under Suffering

Beloved of Christ

Be not dismayed

By the ghastly persecution

That haunts your ways.


The world hated Christ

So it hates you as well

Your blessing is not of this life

With your Savior you dwell.


Christ is our hope

Do not lose faith

Over the fiery trials

That burn your life ash gray.


Think not it strange

To witness strife

Tis not strange at all

For your hope is not this life.


Be not afraid

Rest solely in Christ

Lift your gaze to heaven

Though felled beneath the world’s scythe.


Chase not after the honor

That flows from this sickened world

Cling you still to Christ

He is our final and glorious hope.


“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when His glory is revealed.”  — 1 Peter 4:12-13



Assurance. How quickly we forget. How swift we are to remember our tiny cares and yet forget the extraordinary grace of our God’s promises–grace unmerited, yet granted freely.


Our God does not forget His promises. He does not change. Our hope remains steadfast in God; He is our stronghold.


The winds may howl

And the oceans rage;

Christ is my rock,

My hope and my stay.


The sun may burn

With feverish heat;

I will not be scorched,

Christ is my relief.


The earth may quake

And the stars might fall;

My hope is sure,

For Christ is my all.


And in that day

When all be consumed;

I will shelter in the cleft,

For I go not to doom.


Sola Gratia [Grace Alone]

Early morning reflections on the grace of God. My salvation–and therefore my hope–is by His grace alone, not by any works of my hands. How important it is that our hope flows from God and not from within ourselves. To ground our faith on anything else is to set it on a sandy foundation; it will slide and crumble.


Sola Gratia [Grace Alone]

Beneath my feet

My works are sand

They slide away

I cannot stand.


Where is my boast?

Where is my pride?

What is my right?

Where can I hide?


There can be no excuse

I see only my sin

All my deeds crumble

As I kneel before Him.


But grace, grace

Laid hold of me

Dragged me from the mire

Loosed my chains and made me free.


All my sin

On Christ was laid

His righteousness

To my account was paid.


He covered the debt

He bridged the flood

My sin atoned for

By the might of His blood.


And grace, grace

Grabbed my hand

Pulled me from destruction

Made me worthy to stand.


Not to my credit

Not by my hands

But by grace alone

I’m able to stand.