Sunday Morn

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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

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Poetry and Prose… and Coffee

Yanked out of the deep netherworld of dreams by a sudden squawking, I groggily fumble for my phone and manage to stumble across the snooze button. Somehow. Nothing exists at this hour of the morning except the coffee pot. No coffee—who am I, and what am I doing up this early? Coffee perking—it’s not so bad; at least I’ll get to watch the sunrise. Pouring the first cup—ah, life is all right I suppose. First sip—once again a rational (if not fully coherent) member of the human race. Complete and utter silence. I slide into my chair and snap on the lamp. After the first long drink or two, and with much creaking and protest, the gears in my brain begin turning again. One or two lines… complete rubbish. I erase them, and take another long swig of coffee. Somewhere in the second paragraph, and about halfway through the first mug, it all begins to make sense. The words flow easily and freely. There’s almost a sense of disconnect between my brain and my fingers—am I even consciously thinking about each word as it appears on the page? But all too soon it’s over. I’ve run out of time again, or to be more accurate, time has run away with me.

The sun is peeking his face over the edge of the horizon, so I turn instead to tasks, and my neatly ordered lists. Do this, read that, say this, pack this, plan this, go here, get that… And I check. Neat little checkmarks, all in a row. My day is a page of ordered lines, with little boxes to color in. But I can never color them all in, because new lines and new boxes are forever being added to the bottom of this seemingly infinite page. I write new lines, I cross some out, and I color a few boxes in. At some point I’ve done enough of them, even if they aren’t all complete. So I bury the lists and try not to think about them.

The sun is gone once more
Hidden from my view
I ought to sleep, but instead I think
About the day, and the morning new
Little things
Become lines and rhymes
Bits of words, snatched from time
I catch them as they drift on by
Nab them with the tip of my pen
And carefully trace, lest I forget
The heartbeat of the day.

Grace

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

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

Sunrise II

Murky depths

Hazy hues

Browns and grays

Without blue

 

Emerald green

Between the trees

Sloping hill

A cock crow

 

Lazy insects

Nibbling fish

A flock of geese

Through the mist

 

The winning sun

Rising through

The bleak cloud bank

With rosy hue

 

Birds in song

A gentle breeze

Rippled mirror

Air damp to breathe

 

Gone the mist

Comes the light

The sun victorious

With golden might

 

Tinges of pink

Color the gray

Up overhead

Where once dwelt dread

 

Mirror mirror

At my feet

Isn’t it the loveliest

Morn thou hast seen?

 

Sunrise

The line between bank and water was almost indiscernible. Tiny flying things buzzed and swam through the early morning air and, though it was cool, the air remained damp and hazy. The water has many faces and on this particular morn, it was a dark and mysterious one. The murky lake was the same shade as the silt lining its bed, and the steel gray clouds reflected on the ever-shifting mirror. A flock of geese paced the closer shore, their beady eyes suspicious of the lone occupant of the weatherworn dock. Sunrise had begun, behind the brooding blanket of moisture above, heralded by the ever-constant chorus of excited insects and twittering of tiny birds. Somewhere far off, across the lake, a rooster crowed. It was lighter now. Gradually, the colors began to change. Deep, brooding hues grew softer and more inviting. Verdant emerald grass, hidden in the shadow and mist before, lapped right up to the very edge of the water, telling of recent rain. The geese finally overcame their doubts and ceased their grumbling, and slid into the water for a brief voyage. All the while, a distant hum tickled at the edge of hearing, just close enough to recall to mind the highway less than half a mile away. A bird sprang from the tree line, winging her way above the gleaming water, so close her feathers almost—but never quite—brushed the surface. And the mighty sky was blue again, though lazy clouds slid to and fro, sometimes hiding his deep colors, and other times parting for him to peep through on the waking earth below. The last of the sunrise peeked through, tingeing the steely clouds with a few strokes of pink. And all at once, the lake wasn’t dark anymore. Far away, down in the deep, the blue sky, the hurrying clouds, and the sunrise glow were glimmering.

Wake Up Call

This poem seems appropriate, especially after having to wake up earlier than normal to register for fall classes. Many times throughout the day, I have to remind myself of the importance of keeping the proper perspective, no matter what time of day, or how one particularly feels. Every day, I pray for strength and that God would grant me the grace live another day. There are days when I don’t want to wake up. I don’t want to be strong. I don’t want to be perky and awake. By God’s grace, I am sustained daily–that means in the small things as well as the big things. Even something as little as rolling out of bed and remembering God’s grace, and my desperate need for it.

 

That old alarm rings

And I groan in my sleep

Roll over in bed

With wool in my head.

 

Wake me up, wake me up

With sunbeams shining bright

Comfort my heart

Chase away the night.

 

Tumble on out

Coffee’s what I need

Make a pot, pour a cup

Take a long drink.

 

Wake me up, wake me up

When birds are on the wing

When the dew is fresh and new

And all creation sings.

 

Give me wisdom

As I take on today

Strengthen my soul

Show Yourself through the words I say.

 

Wake me up, wake me up

To a day brand new

With dawn breaking on the hills

And grass all crowned with dew.

 

Make me stand

Ignite my heart

Let all my thoughts

Be You from the start.

 

Help me face

Just one more day

Give me strength

To enter the fray.

 

… wake me up.