Why do poets off themselves
Five times more than others do?
Besides the fact that no one reads
Their work, though every soul approves?
To their own self they seek to be true.
On praise alone no poet feeds.

With finer gauge his brain is wired
(Though his is not a greater heart),
With words he seeks to order the world;
In lines and meter is he inspired
To repair what sin has torn apart,
To smooth the Fall that left him gnarled.

What hopeless task! His words lack force
For such a work — No man can win! —
This power can God alone provide.
What poet will seek in God his source?
With spoken light will he begin?
No wonder he choses suicide!

The longer on earth a saint remains,
The stronger grows desire for heaven;
The body feels its aging pains,
And more to God’s own side he’s driven.

The heavier load of life directs
The sight of faith to things above;
To Jesus’ cross my trial connects,
To service the Holy Spirit drove.

Oh, Lord Messiah, come for me!
Break open the clouds with angels’ shout!
The humble soul would soon see
The end of Satan’s and saints’ dispute!


Describe how your difficulties have increased your desire for eternal things.

For children born in a world of hate, have hope —
They’ll learn to love in a godly home where hearts
Are tender, eyes aren’t haughty, ears are quick
To hear the word of God — Have highest hopes!

For churches holding forth the truth, have hope —
In spite of walls and damning doctrines, light
Can penetrate the darkness, the glory of God
Can bring a sinner to turn — Have highest hopes!

For saints who serve in hard travails, have hope —
To suffer with Christ is honor, his hand upon you,
His power within will reap a harvest of souls —
We see not how he works — Have highest hopes!

Merry Christmas to you and yours, with peace
And joy and love — may all your borders increase —
Except for added inches around your waist —
Of all the pies and cakes may you get a taste.

May presents be just what you want and need,
The day be happy, and all your jokes succeed,
Consuming food without your gaining weight,
With only meat and carbs upon your plate.

May Christmas be the day of children’s laughter —
And adult naps, made necessary after
A full repast — And most of all, may you
Enjoy the gift of God — enjoy anew
The people he placed to celebrate at your side —
Together you’ll have the best yuletide.

Sufficient for the day is evil’s work,
But more is gentle grace we must not shirk.
For every need, his mercies overflow
The humble heart — God is never slow
To answer prayer and act on our behalf.
Every morning brings us manna’s loaf.
Empty of fruit his word does not return,
His people work, and from his wisdom learn.
From heaven fire descends by justice’ hand,
The meek and lowly of heart inherit the land.

Along the farthest coasts and islands of the sea,
As far as richest mind can reach to the world’s extremes,
The folly of man pursues, and from it none is free:
The wisest, best and purest — none is what he seems.

Of God’s good plan in Jesus Christ we all have need,
Incurable, sinful hearts in him can be made whole;
Divine redemption — rescue — starts with but a seed,
The powerful word of God can save a sinful soul.

A sinner like me! For me came God in human flesh,
The murky truth of Jesus’ birth is mystery
Revealed — in him we see the mercy of God afresh —
That love which hung upon, and not below, the tree.

Make fun of lists? Who’d do a thing like that?
By lists mankind for years has lived and thrived!
And God likes lists! Sons of Jehoshaphat,
Our dos and don’ts, the virtues God has prized.

If God can make much use of lists, then we
Can also, to good effect — certainly!
Unless your mind can always act on cue,
Make a list to know what you should do.