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.
The tongue a blessing? Now there’s a thought!
Let few be teachers — what weighty task!
With dangers and trials the work is fraught —
For wisdom and rein of lip you must ask.
In common have the rich and poor
That God gives life to both;
To hate one’s neighbor saints abhor —
God blesses love and truth.
The crimes of man seem cruel and cold —
except our own, acceptable and reasonable.
We justify without limits — sin
a construct in our agile minds.
Society’s ills are a shame — but we
carry no guilt — we separate
ourselves, with ease, from human blame,
refusing to stand as worst offender —
assuming, brashly, the place of judge.
Look up toward the sky. Who created everything you see? The Lord causes the stars to come out at night one by one. He calls out each one of them by name. His power and strength are great. So none of the stars is missing, Isa 40.26 NIrV.
The universe is larger than we thought —
Three times the stars! The map we bought
Was much too small for such a creative Mind.
Each day more signs of Him we find!
In leper Simon’s house, a woman came
To anoint the Lord, ignoring taunts of shame.
She gladly broke her alabastar jar
To pour on his head perfume that came from afar.
“What waste!” the Savior’s men complained, indignant.
“The poor have need!” They saw her gift a repugnant
Act of useless emotion. But Jesus saw
Her heart of love and the reason for their ire.
She knew he’d pay the heavy debt she owed.
“She poured this oil on my body to prepare
For burial. She can see the Servant’s path,
The pain of the cross, the overwhelming bath.
So leave her alone! In every place the News
Is preached, her deed will be told — she rose
To the occasion — the world will hear her story.
Oh, God, may her brave act be also my glory!