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   Christian Concourse - POETRY
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Past Poems of the Month

The following list is a catalogue of all the Christian poetry we have featured as our "Poem of the Month" in the past.  Enjoy the reading.  Please note that nearly all of them are under copyright claims by their respective authors who have kindly allowed us to publish their work.  Therefore, we do not have authority to give you permission to copy them.  Thank you for understanding.  Of course, we would be honored if you linked this page to your website.





O Jesus, I Have Promised  John E. Bode

Begin, My Tongue, Some Heavenly Theme  Isaac Watts

Let Go of the Limb  Jerry Johnson

Lifeless Ink...Until...  Jerry Johnson

Glory to Thee, My God, This Night  Thomas Ken (1637-1711)

The Only Light  THE HYMNAL - Protestant Episcopal Church - 1889 Ed.

Desire of a Dirty Diapered Child of the King  Jerry Johnson

God With Me  Carter Knight

The Efficacious Execution  Jerry Johnson

Press On  Carter Knight

Christ, Whose Glory Fills the Skies  Charles Wesley

O for a Heart to Praise My God  Charles Wesley

A Child's Embrace  Jerry Johnson

Satisfied  Gerhard Tersteegen, edited by Jerry Johnson

Just Don't Call It Sin!  Jerry Johnson
Not Just In Part  Jerry Johnson
My Daily Creed  Author Unknown
Jesus Is Mine  Carol Alcock
Self-Love  Frederick William Faber
As Hard As I Scrub Myself  Jerry Johnson
In the Garden  Charles A. Miles, edited by Jerry Johnson
We Come Boldly  Jerry Johnson
The Eyes of Jesus  Roderick Hersey
The Cross  Betty Harrington
Received  Betty Harrington
Think Carefully About This Jesus  Jerry Johnson
The Firstborn Among Many Brethren  Jerry Johnson
All the Paths of the Lord  Mary W. Tileston
Daily to Thy Fountain  Betty Jo Mathis
The Paradox of Power  Jerry Johnson
Where Your Pardon Starts  Jerry Johnson
The Wilderness  Jerry Johnson 
All Fall  Jerry Johnson
Friend of the Promise  Jerry Johnson
Rose Full of Colors  Lorna Fortuno
Fail to See the Wisdom Jerry Johnson
Afflictions, Though They Seem Severe John Newton
Children of God Lorna Fortuno 
Soar In Jesus Jerry Johnson 
Dear Lost lamb of Holy Love Jerry Johnson
Abiding in the Vine? Jerry Johnson 
All Who Truly Know Thee Jerry Johnson 
What a Change R. C. Trench
Mary Jerry Johnson 
The Twenty-Third Psalm Author Unknown
A Prayer for Only the Lord Knows Who Jerry Johnson 
Give Me a Mountain  Shirley Nesbit Sellers
The Holy Spirit Philip P. Bliss, 1875 
As the Wind Blows Susan E. Rose
Hold High The Torch  Nelle D. Bradley
You Say I Have No Choices? Jerry Johnson
Faith REALIZES Reality Jerry Johnson
The Seed Cries Out Bill Edwards
Asking Forgiveness Brenda Brannen
CALL BACK Author Unknown
He Did Not Jerry Johnson
The Faithful Servant's Plea Karin Barr
The Gospel Jerry Johnson
The Psycho-Tempest-Maze Jerry Johnson
Agonies of a Pauper and a Whelp Jerry Johnson 
Peace -- Be Still Cynthia Sadler
Special Necklace Knydra Pepper 
Kiss the Father's Measuring Rod Jerry Johnson 
From Psalms 133 Jerry Johnson 
Only in the Sweet Abyss  Jerry Johnson
Sweet Prelude Susan Rose 
FAITH David Tait 
Not Sure I Want to Go to Heaven Anymore David Tait
The Shoes Sue Rose
Tug-O-War Mark Phillips
Teach me Lord to Let Jerry Johnson
The Cloak Sue Rose
All Will be Well Susan E. Rose 
Wide Open  Bernard of Clairvaux 
God Feels Jerry Johnson 
New Wine, New Skins Betty Jo Mathis 
A Deepened Faith Susan E. Rose
Jesus, the Conqueror Reigns Charles Wesley
A Dear Old Dame Herm Haakenson
Romans In Rhyme Wallace Evans
Rabbits, the Snake, the Oyster and the Dove Jerry Johnson
The Greatest Science Fiction Motion Picture Production Jerry Johnson
Have Thine Own Way Lord Adelaide A. Pollard 
Bleeding with Acceptance Michael Barlow
Running Ed Strange
Wings Into Eternity Jerry Johnson
I Was A Wandering Sheep Betty Jo Mathis
The Kiss of Jesus  Jerry Johnson
Hiding in Thee A song by William O. Cushing and Ira D. Sankey
I've Caught the Wind Betty Jo Mathis
All We Need Is Jesus Damon E. Wyatt
The Jobs Jerry Johnson
Diamonds In The Rough  Betty Jo Mathis
O Could I Speak the Matchless Worth Samuel Medley, 1739 - 1799
Christian Concourse  Jerry Johnson
One Heart  Jerry Johnson
The Doorway  T. W. Smith
All Too Often  T. W. Smith
"Man of Sorrows" What a Name!  Philip P. Bliss, 1875
He's Watching  Betty Jo S. Berry
Calling Falling on Leavened Ears
  Jerry Johnson
Forgiveness  Mark C. Chase
Easter 2000
  Patricia Van Scoyoc
Not All the Blood of Beasts
  Isaac Watts, 1709
God Saves With All His Heart  Jerry Johnson
and "God Saves With All His Heart (annotated)"  Jerry Johnson
In Darkness  Betty Jo S. Berry
Amidst Us Our Beloved Stands  Charles H. Spurgeon
The Cold Within  James Patrick Kinny
A Willing Sacrifice  Jerry Johnson
Unruly Heart  Mark Phillips
My Father, My Mother and I  Jerry Johnson
We Are Building  Taken from an old hymn book titled: HYMNS: OLD AND NEW
Turn To Him  Betty Jo S. Berry
On That Center of the Universe Night  Jerry Johnson
Blessings  Patricia Van Scoyoc
Led or Driven?  Jerry Johnson
You Can Walk Away  Betty Jo S. Berry
Jesus at the Playground  Jerry Johnson
to pray  Viola Eaton
Life - Only Once  Taken from an old hymn book titled: HYMNS: OLD AND NEW
Crowded Out  Taken from an old hymn book titled: HYMNS: OLD AND NEW
Bring me back, Lord Jesus!  Jerry Johnson
See Only Thee!  Jerry Johnson
What a Friend  Joseph Scriven and Charles C. Converse.
Snow Hill  Mark Phillips
Praying  Barbara Spicuglia
Little Ones of the Master  Jerry Johnson
He Sings  John and Laura Olmstead
Victory Song  Audrey Lieving
What We Miss  Mark Phillips
Apathy  Matthew Barlow
Revelation  Margaret Park
Lonely Lamb  Mark Phillips
Gethsemane Garden Trees  Shirley Nesbit Sellers
As Faithful as the Sonrise  Jerry Johnson
Gift of Love  Barbara Spicuglia
First And Best of the first and best  Michael Barlow


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O Jesus, I Have Promised

by John E. Bode


O Jesus, I have promised
To serve Thee to the end;
Be Thou forever near me,
My Master and my Friend;
I shall not fear the battle
If Thou art by my side,
Nor wander from the pathway
If Thou wilt be my guide.


O let me feel Thee near me,
The world is ever near;
I see the sights that dazzle,
The tempting sounds I hear;
My foes are ever near me,
Around me and within;
But, Jesus, draw Thou nearer,
And shield my soul from sin.


O let me hear Thee speaking
In accents clear and still,
Above the storms of passion,
The murmurs of self-will;
O speak to reassure me,
To hasten or control;
O speak, and make me listen,
Thou Guardian of my soul.


O Jesus, Thou hast promised
To all who follow Thee,
That where Thou art in glory,
There shall Thy servant be;
And, Jesus, I have promised
To serve Thee to the end;
O give me grace to follow,
My Master and my Friend.


O let me see Thy footmarks
And in them plant mine own:
My hope to follow duly
Is in Thy strength alone.
O guide me, call me, draw me,

Uphold me to the end;

And then in heaven receive me,
My Savior and my Friend.


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Begin, My Tongue,
Some Heavenly Theme

by Isaac Watts


Begin, my tongue, some heavenly theme

And speak some boundless thing:

The mighty works or mightier name

Of our eternal King.


Tell of His wondrous faithfulness

And sound His power abroad:

Sing the sweet promise of His grace,

The love and truth of God.


His very word of grace is strong

As that which built the skies;

The voice that rolls the stars along

Speaks all the promises.


O might I hear the heavenly tongue

But whisper, "Thou art mine!"

Those gentle words shall raise my song

To notes almost divine.



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Let Go of the Limb!

by Jerry Johnson


Pangs of fear are fueled by doubt

Timidity grips the limb

Familiar's solace instead of food your recompence.


Safely hidden among the leaves,

Addiction to status quo

Subjugates your faith to the faked rationale of common sense.


The longer that you sit there

The weaker your wings will be;

Soaring in Jesus a dream;

Flying, lost reality.


Religiosity traps,

Offering Love's substitute.

Assumptions cannot hide

What vain rituals consititute;

The Body is a pure bride

Not a human institute!


You must let go of the limb

To venture the spirit realm.

The blood of Christ marks the gate:

Surrender to Him the helm!


© Copyright 2017, Gerald Thomas Johnson, Norfolk, VA.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


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Lifeless Ink...Until...

by Jerry Johnson


The ink in this pen I hold in my hand

Has no life, no intelligence,

No inspiration, no impact,

No influence on the world.


It is just there:






Tasting nothing bitter or sweet.




I take it in my hand

And strike it to the empty page

With intuitive strokes

For another's eye to see

And their mind to grasp

The intent

The tenor

And the drift

Of my thoughts...


...the miraculous movement of WORD from one mind to another!


...meaning-full communion of IDEA one soul with another!


Indeed, Father,

You took up Jesus in Your hand

And wrote order over chaos;

You took up Jesus in Your hand

And wrote light over darkness;

You took up Jesus in Your hand

And wrote the sky and the sun and the moon and the stars;

You took up Jesus in Your hand

And wrote the earth with the land and the sea and the life;

You took up Jesus in Your hand

And wrote the Garden of Eden and the trees and the man and the lady:


With Your Love.




You took up Jesus in Your hand

And wrote down through the ages The Promise;

You took up Jesus in Your hand

And wrote the rainbow in the sky;

You took up Jesus in Your hand

And wrote The Plan for Abraham;

You took up Jesus in Your hand

And replaced Issac with a Ram;

You took up Jesus in Your hand

And wrote the Law of Truth on Mount Sinai;

You took up Jesus in Your hand

And gave Israel the Shepherd-King;


You took up Jesus in Your hand

And wrote Immanuel into the womb of the humble maid;

You took up Jesus in Your hand

And wrote His coming to save His people;

You took up Jesus in Your hand

And wrote a glorious little manger scene with the baby and the virgin and the star.

You took up Jesus in Your hand

And wrote the compassion of God with the healing and the miracles and the teaching;

You took up Jesus in Your hand

And wrote tears on the rejection of His love by His own;

You took up Jesus in Your hand

And wrote the FLASHING RED NEON CROSS OF JUDGEMENT AND FORGIVENESS with the thorns and the stripes and the blood;

You took up Jesus in Your hand

And wrote the Law of Truth AND Mercy into the self-wrought condemnation of man;

You took up Jesus in Your hand

And wrote "It is finished" on the price that no one but He could pay!

You took up Jesus in Your hand

And wrote in His blood the New Covenant for all the children of Abraham's faith!


You took up Jesus in Your hand

And wrote the coming of the Comforter, the Teacher and the Truth in the upper room.

You took up Jesus in Your hand

And kept Your Promise!


You took Jesus in Your hand...



So humble,

So obedient,

So surrendered,

Is Your WORD,

He is You,

Written into the void of time and space

To be the perfect testimony

Of Your IDEA,

Of Your thoughts

Of Love

And Compassion

On the deceived, hopeless human race!


You GAVE us

Your Son,

Your Child,

Your Offspring,

Your perfect expression of Your infinite heart,

And Your perfect mind

For all who have the eyes to see

-And the appreciation of its import-

To seek to comprehend... apprehend...

The immeasurably brilliant Beacon of Life

To our soul.



In this time,

In this space,

In this fallen soul

Take my life,

Oh Lord!

Take it

Like a blank page upon your desk,

Empty of all good but what you would inscribe

By Your grace and mercy,

And write upon my heart

Your Holy WORD,

Your Truth,

That I may be

An echo,

Plain and obvious and true,

Of the love

And the testimony

Of Jesus Christ,

My Savior,

My Redeemer,

For all,

Who would,

To see.



© Copyright 2017, Gerald Thomas Johnson, Norfolk, VA.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.

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Glory to Thee, My God, This Night

by Thomas Ken (1637-1711)


Glory to thee, my God, this night

For all the blessings of the light;

Keep me, O keep me, King of kings,

Beneath thy own almighty wings.


Forgive me, Lord, for thy dear Son,

The ill that I this day have done,

That with the world, myself, and thee

I, ere I sleep, at peace may be.


Teach me to live, that I may dread

The grave as little as my bed;

Teach me to die, that so I may

Rise glorious at the awful day.


O may my soul on thee repose,

And with sweet sleep mine eyelids close,

Sleep that may me more vigorous make

To serve my God when I awake.


When in the night I sleepless lie,

My soul with heavenly thoughts supply;

Let no ill dreams disturb my rest,

No powers of darkness me molest.


Praise God, from whom all blessings flow,

Praise him, all creatures here below,

Praise him above, ye heavenly host,

Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

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The Only Light

taken from THE HYMNAL

of the Protestant Episcopal Church,

1889 edition, selection 225, pg. 187.


Christ, Whose glory fills the skies,

Christ, the true, the only light,

Sun of Righteousness, arise!

Triumph o'er the shades of night!

Day-sping from on high, be near;

Day-star in my heart appear.


Dark and cheerless is the morn

Unaccompanied by Thee;

Joyless is the day's return,

Till Thy mercy's beams I see;

Till Thou inward light impart,

Glad my eyes, and warm my heart.


Visit then this soul of mine!

Pierce the gloom of sin and grief!

Fill me, Radiancey divine!

Scatter all my unbelief!

More and more Thyself display,

Shining to the perfect day!


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Desire of a Dirty Diapered Child of the King

by Jerry Johnson


I want to will Your pleasure Lord!

So I call from deep within

To all the condemning imaginations

That issue from past sin:


"What authority have you to accuse me

When I have appealed to the Mercy Seat!

I confess my folly and my unfaithfulness,

My nakedness before God is complete.

You may laugh with the devil

At my humiliation in your sight

But my heavenly Father has compassion

On my helpless, hopeless plight!

He has taken up my foolishness

Embraced the stench of my iniquity;

Bathed me in the crimson flow of the Cross

And, with pure unmerited mercy, forgiven me!

Who are you to condemn this

Soiled infant child of the Everlasting King?

You are right, in your eyes I am nothing.

But, in my Father's loving eyes, I am everything!"


Oh, the condemning imaginations try to imprison and impede,

Like the Garden of Eden's Flaming Sword.

But the Father has breached the chasm with a tiny seed:

I WANT to do Your pleasure Lord!


© Copyright 2016, Gerald T. Johnson.  All rights reserved. Used by permission.


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God With Me

by Carter Knight


I must draw near

The Lord above to fear

My heart grows bitter cold

Outside the Shepherd's fold


Where sin's dark wall divides

Me from where He resides

Jesus will take me past

To fields of green at last


His mercy steps follow

I His name to hallow

His grace lights the Straight Way

His life is my life's stay


My Guide is faithful to

Bring me completely through

When the wall last we reach

What a strong, mighty breach


There my eyes then will see

My God with me to be

There my eyes then will see

My God with me to be


© Copyright 2016, Carter Knight. All rights reserved. Used by permission.


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The Efficacious Execution

by Jerry Johnson


We must not miss

The absolute truth

That justification before God

Is not an option.




Unrighteous sinners must be condemned

By -Righteous- God

To eternal punishment,

Eternal damnation,

Eternal torment.


We are born destined

To be forever separated from God;

Forever separated from all that is good;

Everlastingly locked in the lusts

Of the carnal realm

Without any means of satisfaction

Of the most fundamental desires;

Forever imprisoned in the agony

Of infernal pain

And suffering

And fiery punishment.


And this is a righteous and just judgment against us all!

The all-pervasive, self-centered infections

Of human pride and lusts

That rumble about in all our chests

Will not stand before the purity

Of God Almighty in the Court of Heaven.



and we are powerless to escape,


Enslaved by our own death-grip on the filth of lustful desire.

It is not that the jury is still out -

The verdict has already been given

And we are strapped, arms, legs and torso

In the electric chair,

Writhing and squirming

With the canvas bag over our heads

And the executioner has his hand on the switch

As he watches the last seconds tick away!

This is no joke!

Life is fleetingly short,

Hell is blisteringly hot

And the sentence of divine condemnation

Is everlasting.

If we are to have any hope at all,

Then somebody is going to have to do something

To change the verdict of our conviction.

We cannot change ourselves!

We cannot change the verdict!

We cannot change the Judge!



There we sit,

shivering in terror

in the electric chair

as we listen to the ticking of the big clock on the wall!

We cry out loud, "Oh, that the Judge would have mercy!!!"


The door busts open.

The Judge steps in,

Lovingly cradling His only begotten Son in His arms.

"Release the condemned prisoner!" He demands of the executioner.

We feel the straps loosened

And we rise to our feet,

Stunned and wondering

What is next

As we listen intently to some rustling in the chair.


The Judge lifts the canvas bag off our head and we stare,


at what we see:

the Son has taken our place in the chair.

As He looks lovingly into our eyes

The Father throws the switch

And Christ the Son

Pays the price

That we owed

For your crimes

Against God!

And He gently reaches out His hand

To all who believe

And He says, "You are free." 


He accomplishes,

in those who believe,

everything that the Law of Moses

could never make good on.

But everyone who believes

in this raised-up Jesus

is declared

good and right and whole

before God.

God did it for us.

Out of sheer generosity

He put us

in right standing with Himself.

A pure gift.

He got us out of the mess we’re in

and restored us to where He always wanted us to be.

And He did it by means of Jesus Christ.

Ac 13:39; Rom 3:24 (The Message)


 © Copyright 2016, Gerald T. Johnson. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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Press On


By Carter Knight


Press on, dear family, press ever on

Don't stop singing the great Gospel song

The very burdens that trouble you most

Are reasons to stand your priestly post


Though oft you're covered with sinful stains

Still the promise of renewal remains

Jesus has washed you clean through and through

Bearing God's wrath that was to you due


Our Gracious Savior, yes, has spoken

He is committed to the broken

When you feel like a ruined mess

Search for the Healer, God will you bless


So fix your eyes on Christ's holy hill

There the Spirit works restoration still

As more pieces your soul is shattered

Better mosaic when it's patterned


Now wear the lens of future redemption

Today's wrongs will cease to be mentioned

Trust, the Saints must and will persevere

Yes, the Lord above alone to fear


When shame untold your soul overtake

Jesus your Friend will never forsake

Though a thousand thoughts your mind dominate

Focus on Jesus' love will consecrate


© Copyright 2016, Carter Knight. All rights reserved. Used by permission.



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Christ, Whose Glory Fills the Skies


By Charles Wesley


Christ, whose glory fills the skies,

Christ, the true, the only light,

Sun of righteousness, arise!

Triumph o'er the shades of night;

Day-spring from on high, be near!

Day-star, in my heart appear!


Dark and cheerless is the morn,

If Thy life is hid from me;

Joyless is the day's return,

Till Thy mercy's beams I see;

Till they inward light impart,

Warmth and gladness to my heart.


Visit, then, this soul of mine;

Pierce the gloom of sin and grief;

Fill me, radiant Sun divine;

Scatter all my unbelief;

More and more Thyself display,

Shining to the perfect day.

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O for a Heart to Praise my God


By Charles Wesley


O for a heart to praise my God,
A heart from sin set free,
A heart that always feels Thy blood
So freely shed for me!

A humble, lowly, contrite heart,
Believing, true and clean,
Which neither life nor death can part
From Him that dwells within.

A heart in every thought renewed,
And full of love divine;
Perfect and right and pure and good,
A copy, Lord, of Thine!

Thy nature, gracious Lord, impart -
Come quickly from above;
Write Thy new name upon my heart,
Thy new best name of Love.


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A Child's Embrace


By Jerry Johnson


 We hold our cup up

Our eyes upon the Lord.

Our hearts are filled with joy:

To the heights of heaven we have soared.

By His blood we are lifted

By His grace we take the wing.

Our hearts rise up to meet Him:

To His honor and praise we sing.

In our weakness He is strong

For He has won the war.

When He cried, "It is finished!"

Sin, He defeated forevermore!

When He rose up from the grave

He put our feet on heaven's shore.

Today, by faith we stand.

 As His children born from above,

We embrace Him, our Creator,

He embraces us with everlasting love!


© Copyright 2015, Gerald T. Johnson. All rights reserved. Used by permission.


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By Gerhard Tersteegen, 1697-1769.
Translator unknown.
Edited and language updated for Christian Concourse by Jerry Johnson.


Draw me to You, till far within Your rest,
In stillness of Your peace, Your voice I hear -
Forever  quieted upon Your breast,
    So loved, so near.

By mystery of Your touch my spirit thrilled,
    O Magnet all Divine;
The hunger of my soul forever stilled,
    For You are mine.

For me, O Lord, the world is all too small,
    For I have seen Your face,
Where Your eternal love illuminates all
    Within Your secret place.
And therefore from all other, from all else,
    Draw my soul with You to be. . .

. . .Yes - You have broken the enchanter's spells,
    In You I am free.

Now in the haven of untroubled rest
    I land at last,
The hunger, and the thirst, and weary quest
    Forever past.

There, Lord, to lose, in bliss of Your embrace
    My renegade will;
There, in the radiance of Your blessed Face,
    Be hushed and still;
There, speechless at Your nail-pierced Feet
    See no one else beside,
And know nothing else but this -
    That You are sweet,
    That I am satisfied.


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Just Don't Call It Sin!


By Jerry Johnson


We wonder in the wilderness of I, myself, and me.
Who can find the murderer in this self-wrought mystery?
How long will we proudly stumble through this ego-centric waste?
Self-tortured, self-trapped in chains of smell, sight, sound, touch and taste.
With a mask of "self-justified" we hide the filth within.
Call our mess anything you like...but just don't call it sin!


 © Copyright 2014, Gerald T. Johnson. All rights reserved. Used by permission.


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Not Just In Part


by Jerry Johnson


Our Savior put on our mortal flesh when He left His throne above.

He laid aside His majestic robes to show us His Father's love.

No other gift could ever match such an infinite gift of grace.

The perfect Child embraced the wild of His creation's fallen race.

Well we should dwell in pondering: God became a human being.

His glory, His love men affirmed in their touching, hearing, seeing.

On the Cross the Christ took all the weight of every man's awful sin.

He paid the price to redeem our life and cleanse us from within.

No cold tomb could hold Him, He took the keys from death, hell and the grave.

His death took our guilt, His rising gives pow'r from death our soul to save.

Though cent'rys pass, Holy Spirit fills, embraces man's wounded heart:

The soul who will receive Him still, He wholly saves, not just in part!



© Copyright 2014, Gerald T. Johnson. All rights reserved. Used by permission.


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My Daily Creed


Author unknown


Let me be a little kinder,

Let me be a little blinder

To the faults of those about me;

Let me praise a little more;

Let me be, when I am weary,

Just a little bit more cheery;

Let me serve a little better

Those that I am striving for.

Let me be a little braver

When temptation bids me waver;

Let me strive a little harder

To be all that I should be;

Let me be a little meeker

With the brother that is weaker;

Let me think more of my neighbor

And a little less of me.


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Jesus Is Mine


by Carol Alcock - 2011


Ramblin' 'round hopeless and down

Feeling the weight of the times

Sin's scars are tough, I've had enough,

Jesus please come and be mine.


Jesus is mine

He is the Vine

His blood has granted me favor


How I do yearn

For His return

Jesus my Lord

And my Savior


Save me from hell, I want to dwell

Safely in Your arms entwined

I have been dead, raise me instead

To newness and my soul refine


Jesus is mine

He is the Vine

His blood has granted me favor


How I do yearn

For His return

Jesus my Lord

And my Savior


Tears in my bed, blood that is red

Flowing from Calvar's fount

Comes now within, Cleanses from sin

Blessings more than I can count


Jesus is mine

He is the Vine

His blood has granted me favor


How I do yearn

For His return

Jesus my Lord

And my Savior


Covered with shame I am to blame

Sin is so black and so dark

Whiten me now, to You I bow

Your blood can cleanse every mark


Jesus is mine

He is the Vine

His blood has granted me favor


How I do yearn

For His return

Jesus my Lord

And my Savior


© Copyright 2011, Carol Alcock. All rights reserved. Used by permission.


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by Frederick William Faber, 1814-1863
Edited for Christian Concourse by Jerry Johnson

Oh I could go through all life's troubles singing,
    Turning earth's night to day,
If self were not so fast around me, clinging
    To all I do or say.

My very thoughts are selfish, always building
    Sand-castles in the air;
I use my "love" of others for a gilding
    To make myself look fair.

I fancy all the world engrossed with judging
    My merit or my blame;
Its warmest praise seems an ungracious grudging
    Which I most rightly claim.

In youth or age, by city, wood, or mountain,
    Self is forgotten never;
Where'er we tread, it gushes like a fountian,
    And its waters flow for ever.

Alas! no speed in life can snatch us wholly
    Out of self's hateful sight;
And it keeps step, whene'er we tip-toe slowly,
    And sleeps with us at night.

No grief's sharp knife, no pain's most cruel sawing
    Self and the soul can sever:
The surface, that in joy sometimes seems thawing,
    Soon freezes worse than ever.

Thus we are never men, self's wretched cocoon
    Not letting virtue swell;
Thus is our whole life numbed, for ever entombed
    Within this frozen well.

O miserable "omnipresence," stretching
    Over all time and space,
How have I run from you, yet found you reaching
    The goal in every race.

Inevitable self! vile imitation
    Of universal light, --
Within our hearts a dreadful usurpation
    Of God's exclusive right!

The opiate balms of human grace may still you,
    Deep in our nature lying;
But we in vain would hope, alas! to kill you,
    Save by the act of dying.

O Lord! that I could waste my life for others,
    With no ends of my own,
That I could pour myself into my brothers,
    And live for them alone!

Such was Your life when on earth; self-abjuring,
    Your own pains never easing,
Our burdens bearing, our just doom enduring,
    A life without self-pleasing!


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As Hard As I Scrub Myself


by Jerry Johnson


Take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the basin.  For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you. Exodus 12:21-23


Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Psalm 51:7


And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them. Mr 9:3


Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. Rev 1:5b-6


There is no merit in this house
That would stay Your hand from striking!
I know I only fool myself
To hope MY good's to Your liking.


Only guilt and condemnation
Are companions to my fate
If I'm depending on myself
The time already is too late!


I can wash and scrape and polish
Trying all my wrongs to right them,
But as hard as I scrub myself,
No fuller on earth can white them!


I tape my mouth, I close my eyes
I tie my hands behind my back,
I chain my feet, I stifle myself:
Somehow my sins still find some slack!


See the handwriting on the wall!
I must quit my foolish striving!
Surrender! I must deny myself!
I must let You do the driving!


Purify my heart with hyssop
Dipped in Your pure blood sacrifice.
I will invite Your washing hand
It's Your Love's work that pays the price.


Oh, Yes! To You be the glory!
May You rule in my life alway!
Let me not forget The Blood
That washed my hopelessness away!




© Copyright 2013, Gerald T. Johnson. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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In the Garden


Charles A. Miles, 1913
Edited for Christian Concourse
by Jerry Johnson


I come to the garden alone,
While the dew is still on the roses,
And the voice I hear falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses.


And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.


He speaks, and the sound of His voice
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing.


And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.


Now, I'll stay in the garden with Him,
Oh, His light around me is gleaming.
And He calls me, "Child!" as He bids me smile!
His love to me is streaming.


And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

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We Come Boldly


by Jerry Johnson


Though deafened by doubting
Though blinded by lies
Though frozen with fear
Though brazen our skies

Though dumbfound in darkness
Though chained to our will
Though tainted with sins
Though born for the kill

Though doomed for destruction
Though stinking with pride
Though driven by lust
Though longing to hide

You still came to save us!
You still paid the price!
You still took the whip:
Willing sacrifice!

We're Father adopted
And Brother beloved
Spirit instructed
Indwelt from above!

Though we're still only infants
Though our better deeds too few
Your arms remain wide open!
And We come boldly to You!


© Copyright 2012, Gerald T. Johnson. All rights reserved. Used by permission.


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by Roderick Hersey


Can you imagine
seeing through the eyes of Jesus?

Can you imagine the flow
of compassion?

To see as Jesus saw,
as Jesus sees, since before the time that
time began.

To behold the void eternal
to behold the open canvas waiting to be
painted with creation.

The formation of worlds,
stars counted with an understanding
only beheld in His Glory.

Can you imagine the joy of seeing
beauty unfolding as you see
the first sunrise?

The garden, the peace with mists rising
to nourish that which You
have caused to be.

Witnessing your first child in human form
opening his eyes for the first time ever!
to behold that which was made manifest
for him.

And this, because of LOVE.

Eyes that see disobedience for the
second time.

The first being that of one of Your angels.

To see the destruction of all that is good,
because of rebellion.

To feel holy tears well up as the waters begin to rise
and cover the birth place of
earthly creation.

To see the faithfulness of one man,

To see the waters recede and with them,
the unfolding of a new beginning.

Holy eyes, eyes that see the unfolding need
in mankind, emptiness, aloneness,
despite the multitudes.

Separation despite Your closeness.

Holy eyes filled with compassion,
eyes filled with an incomprehensible love.

Eyes that see the need, eyes that see the answer,
knowing the pain it will cost.

God seeing the inside of a dingy cave,
for the first time ever
in human form.

Holy eyes in a sea of need.
God taking first steps,
learning to drink from a cup,
one of many.

Eyes that see the look on the faces as you teach
in the synagogue despite Your youth.

Seeing wonder upon some faces,
cynicism and jealousy on others.

Seeing the fisherman, the tax collector,
the harlot, the shepherds as they realize,
God is in their midst.

Holy eyes seeing Holiness create healing,
amongst the lame, blind
and the hurts of this world.

Eyes that see betrayal, conspiracy,
and the fateful sealing of a

Holy eyes filled with sweat and blood
looking upon the cobblestones,
as you make your painful way to the
answer waiting on a hill.

Eyes that look with compassion upon
those who drove the nails,
those who struck Your face,
those who denied Your love.

Holy eyes searching the Heavens.

Holy eyes feeling the sting of sin,
of separation from the Father,
in order for payment to be made.

Holy eyes rising to see a stone rolled away.

Eyes that see a woman standing,
crying, looking for You.

Eyes that see sorrow turned to joy,
emptiness filled once again by
Your Spirit.

An everlasting communion now at hand.

Holy eyes seeing,
Holy eyes loving,
Holy eyes upon you,

His Creation, His Desire.


"The Eyes of Jesus" copyright © 2004 by Roderick Hersey.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.


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The Cross

by Betty Harrington


Jesus paid for my sickness, sin and shame.
It is taken from me as I call on His Name!
The Name that set all the captives free
And removes our sin to the depths of the sea.

Jesus, the Holy Lamb of God, made Man,
Is the sacrifice fulfilling Redemption's plan.
God's divine plan, which is so full and free
Reaches out with wide arms to you and me.

The eternal price was paid on Calvary
As Jesus hung on that cursed, bitter tree.
The black cup of sin and sorrow He bore,
Stripes on His back are the marks He wore.

Even if you deny His Precious Name,
He who bore the cross loves you just the same.
For the Heavenly Father sent Him from above,
And Jesus died because of God's great love.

O Calvary, Calvary, we'll never know the pain
That our Savior did bear while He was suffering,
Willingly dying for sinful you and me.
Lay down all your pride and bathe in Calvary!


"The Cross" copyright © 2011 by Betty and David Harrington.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.
This poem is chosen from the book, "Poems for Living" by Betty and David Harrington.  For information on obtaining a copy of this book, contact them at


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by Betty Harrington


What have you received
in the Father's garden so fair?
What have you received
in all His tender love and care?
Stop and remember all the
blessings that He's given,
Jesus Christ the Lord
and the promises of heaven.

Through Jesus I have received cleansing of His Blood.
Through Jesus I've been divinely healed from above.
How precious from Jesus Christ is that crimson flow,
It cleanses me from sins and makes me whole.


"Received" copyright © 2011 by Betty and David Harrington.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.
This poem is chosen from the book, "Poems for Living" by Betty and David Harrington.  For information on obtaining a copy of this book, contact them at


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Think Carefully About This Jesus

by Jerry Johnson


 May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.


He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.


And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard. Colossians 1:11-23a (ESV)


When we pray to Him we are not wasting our faith.
When we long to see Him we are not wasting our hope.
When we love Him we are not wasting our affections.
When we wait on Him we are not wasting our time.
When we praise Him we are not wasting our breath.
When we serve Him we are not wasting our strength.
When we follow Him we are not wasting our allegiance.
When we learn from Him we are not wasting our intelligence.
When we cry to Him we are not wasting our tears.
When we invite Him into our hearts and our homes we are not wasting our hospitality.
When we live for Him we are not wasting our life.
When we believe Him we are not wasting our trust.
When we adore Him we are not wasting our worship.
When we obey Him we are not wasting our discipline.
When we dream of Him we are not wasting our imagination.
When we drink from His fountain we are not wasting our thirst.
When we eat from His table we are not wasting our hunger.
When we pursue His will we are not wasting our ambitions.
When we give Him our loved ones we are not wasting our family.
When we suffer for Him we are not wasting our pain.
When we sing to Him we are not wasting our song.
When we are inspired by Him we are not wasting our creativity.
When we die for Him we are not wasting our chances.
When we surrender to Him we are not wasting our humility.
When we fight for Him we are not wasting our courage.
When we are demeaned in the eyes of the world for Him we are not wasting our integrity.
When we are persecuted for Him we are not wasting our reputation.
When we company with His children we are not wasting our friendship.
When we witness for Him we are not wasting our self-respect.
When we give to His work we are not wasting our money.
When we befriend His needy ones we are not wasting our religion.
When we depend on Him to guide our thinking we are not wasting our minds.
When we depend on Him to show us what to do we are not wasting our deeds.
When we confess our sins to Him we are not wasting our redemption.
When we know Him we are not wasting our eternity.


And so, dear brothers and sisters who belong to God and are partners with those who are called to heaven, think carefully about this Jesus whom we declare to be God’s messenger and High Priest. Hebrews 3:1 (NLT)


Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version ® (ESV ®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation.  Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

"Think Carefully About This Jesus" copyright © 2011 by Gerald T. Johnson, Norfolk, VA.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.


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The Firstborn Among Many Brethren

by Jerry Johnson


Romans 8:29  For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Colossians 1:18  And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

Ephesians 3: 8-12  Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; 9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: 10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, 11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: 12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.


Truthfully, what is love?

Let's check in with ADAM and EVE
to see what their take on this is:

There really was
a time and a place
when man and woman
walked and talked
with their Creator
in the Garden of Eden
in the cool of the day!

Imagine, truthfully,
the depth of the communion
the intensity of the joy
the pleasure of the peace
the security of the camaraderie
and the brilliance of the glistening
holy Glory
that ADAM and EVE shared
as they basked in His beauty,
His majesty
and His pleasure
toward them.

We can only imagine
(if they were forced to think in these terms)
how they would define love
since they reveled every day
in His raw,

What communion!
What community!
What reciprocated care
and affection
and love
must have marked
those strolls in the Garden

EVE probably had no reference
of hardship
- on any level -
to inspire
any heartfelt gratitude
on her part
for the magnanimity
of her situation -
her life.

What is love without gratitude?

ADAM had known depravation:
he was alone
without a helper
who was just right for him.
But, given EVE,
did he lose sight of his PROVIDER
in the glistening beauty of "the provision"?
Did his helper become his god:
He had appreciation...
He had gratitude...
in distorted priority.

The creature loved the creation
more than he loved the CREATOR!

Sound familiar?

What is worship to the second fiddle?


lacking that appreciation
and the proper priorities
they threw paradice away
on the altar
of self-indulgence
and self-aggrandizement
and self-interest...
at the subtle suggestion
of a slick and slimy
predator (easy pick'ens to him).

But God

had a secret plan...

"the unsearchable riches of Christ"...

"the fellowship of the mystery"...

a New Creation...

the church...

in Christ Jesus!

the Christ...

in the church!


Ephesians 2:19-22 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.


© Copyright 2011, Gerald T. Johnson. All rights reserved. Used by permission.


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All the Paths of the Lord

Adapted from "Daily Strength For Daily Needs" edited by Mary W. Tileston, First Edition published in 1884.


8 Good and upright is the LORD;
therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
9 He leads the humble in what is right,
and teaches the humble his way.
10 All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness,
for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.
11 For your name's sake, O LORD,
pardon my guilt, for it is great.
12 Who is the man who fears the LORD?
Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose.

Psalms 25:8-12 (ESV)


Speak Lord, for Thy servant heareth,
    Speak peace to my anxious soul,
And help me to see that all my ways
    Are under Thy wise control;

That He who cares for the lily,
    And heeds the sparrow's fall,
Shall tenderly lead His loving child:
    For He made and loveth all.
- Anon.

It is not by seeking more fertile regions where toil is lighter
- happier circumstances free from difficult complications and troublesome people -
but by bringing the high courage of a devout soul,
clear in principle and aim,
to bear upon what is given to us,
that we brighten our inward light,
lead something of a true life,
and introduce the kingdom of heaven into the midst of our earthly day. 

If we cannot work out the will of God where God has placed us,
then why has He placed us there? 
- J. H. Thom

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Daily To Thy Fountain

by Betty Jo Mathis


Daily to Thy foutain, Lord,
My arid soul I'd bring.
Athirst for Living Water
From Thy eternal spring.

Daily to Thy fountain, Lord,
My weary feet would go.
Prone to stray from off Thy path,
They need Thy cleansing flow.

Daily to Thy fountain, Lord,
I bring my empty cup,
For others thirst around me
And I would bid them sup.

Had I not Thy fountain, Lord,
My roots had long since died.
For only at Thy fountain, Lord,
Parched souls are satisfied.


© Copyright 1989, Betty Jo Mathis. All rights reserved. Used by permission.


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The Paradox of Power

by Jerry Johnson

Eternity, that endless sunny day, awaits
With all the potential of God's Infinite Grace
For any who hold dear His timeless promise:
For all, from proud Peter to doubting Thomas,
He Is with you through the end of your story!
Your lamp flickers but His Light is your Glory,
Identified by Incorruptible Worth
Thru His gift of strainless, painless, laborless birth!

This world decays; its enduring gift is death;
The End we're chasing with ev'ry fleeting breath;
But the Call's from the other side of death's door:
"Honey for the bitter! Money for the poor!
Hold Forever in your hand - Gold of great Price!
Chains of pain are broken by His Sacrifice"
Gaze in His all seeing, ever-loving eyes
Whose most lighthearted moment confounds the wise.

The Rich young ruler - dejected, walked away;
Nicodemus at night - blind to Light of Day;
Pharisees - guilty of all that they condemn;
Temple priest - peddling ashes, trashes The Gem.
Pilate washed bloody hands - deaf to Truth's clear sound.
Judas' silver's worth in death is never found!
Mighty men kissing the manger Baby's hand!
Rock of Ages in a sea of shifting sand!

Taking stock of all the good we can muster,
The best is found wanting: diamonds lose luster...'s for fools. Children's glee are the Craftsman's tools.
His knife carves jewels. His fire the raging heart cools.
The path to His workshop the path to life anew;
He's the Perfect Chef and you're the brunswick stew;
Let Him work, see what He can change you into;
His Spirit woos for Him to live His Life in you!


© Copyright 2011, Gerald T. Johnson. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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Where Your Pardon Starts

by Jerry Johnson

Flames of Love licking at our hardened hearts:
The curse of sin ends where Your Pardon starts!

Bright Hope streaming into our darkest night,
Brilliant gleaming Holy Merciful Light:
Take up residence in my run down house,
Run out ev'ry snake, roach, spider and louse.

Flames of Love licking at our hardened hearts:
The curse of sin ends where Your Pardon starts!

Wake us up! Take our empty cup! Fill it!
Shake us up! Fake-life's guilt built up - kill it!
Make Life from the vain strife of "wished to be,"
Show my shallow heart why You fished for me!

Flames of Love licking at our hardened hearts:
The curse of sin ends where Your Pardon starts!

What mind can't choose 'tween The Rock or straw?
The kind that chooses satan's "shock and awe."
He who refuses the chaff foregoes the strife!
Oh, set our sandy feet on the Gold of Life!

Flames of Love licking at our hardened hearts:
The curse of sin ends where Your Pardon starts!


© Copyright 2010, Gerald T. Johnson. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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The Wilderness

by Jerry Johnson


O My Father, how You tower over me!
I, like a dingy wafting on a raging sea,
Look into Your boundless strength and love
And wonder how from You came me!
I cannot deny the difference that I see:
You in Your perfection and all the fault in me.
How here below to reflect the life from up above?
It is more a foggy fiction than solid reality!
And so I wonder in this wilderness of I, myself, and me.
Who can find the murderer in this self-wrought mystery?
How long will I stumble through this ego-centric waste?
UP! Be off! Away from ME and into HIM with haste!
John 15: 4-5 Abide in Me...for apart from Me You can do nothing.
Proverbs 18:10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.

© Copyright 2010, Gerald T. Johnson. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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All Fall

by Jerry Johnson


We know what we do
That we shouldn't do:
We run at the wall;
We start just to stall.
We know what we do...
...All fall.

Be good.  Do the right.
Don't lie.  Tell it right.
Don't dare drop the ball.
When hurting stand tall.
When we got it right...
...All fall.

Never surrender.
We can't surrender.
Act big though we're small.
No honor?  Use gall.
Rather than surrender...
...All fall.

Lying pretenders,
Crying pretenders:
Dead to the real call,
We bear our own pall.
Dying pretenders...
...All fall.

Grace destroys our throne,
The hopeless self-throne.
Some humbled by His love-maul,
Some refusing His love-call:
Prostrate at His Throne...
...All fall.

Every knee shall bow
Every tongue shall vow:
Jesus Christ is Lord.
Some to their own disgrace;
Some before their Lord of all:
Proud or humble, in either case...
...All fall.


© Copyright 2010, Gerald T. Johnson. All rights reserved. Used by permission.


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Friend of the Promise

Psalms 119:116 Uphold me according to your promise, that I may live, and let me not be put to shame in my hope!

Galatians 3:22 But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

Galatians 3:29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.

2Peter 3:13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

1John 2:25 And this is the promise that he made to us--eternal life.

John 17: 1b - 3 [Jesus] lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, 2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

Colossians 1:26-27 ...the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints.  27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.


Dear Friend of the Promise,

Look up, through your doubt and fear
With your discouraged, forlorn heart
Face streaked with despairing tear
Your dearest dreams blown apart
By unforeseen circumstance
And ripped relations 'round you.
Disregarding nat'ral chance
Look up, it's all you can do.

Lu 21:28
And when these things pass,
Then look up, He's standing by.
Lift your head up, free at last:
For your redemption draws nigh.

Colossians 3:1-4 have been raised with Christ,
Seek the things that are above,
Where He is.......He paid the price!.......
Now crowned at the right hand of Love.
Set your mind on things above,
Not on things that are on earth.
You died with the turtle dove,
With Christ in God find life's worth.
When at last you see the King,
Bringing you eternal life,
On True Life's gift you will wing
No guilt, no tears, no more strife.

In "Now's" raging tempest - STAND!
Gird your soul with His power!
You know Truth - He holds your hand!
Every context, every hour...
The Coming King lives in you!
Ruling Heaven...and your heart.
In both realms is worship due.
Trust Him, He will not depart.

Love in Christ, Jerry Johnson


© Copyright 2009, Gerald T. Johnson. All rights reserved. Used by permission.


The above Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Rose Full of Colors

by Lorna Fortuno


Growing into faith is like a seed planted in your heart,
and mature faith blossoming into a beautiful rose.
Red rose is for love meaning
love deep into your soul and undying love.
Jesus will never forsake you and he will never leave you.
White rose is for purity because
he washes away your sins.
Sins are forgiven and forgotten.
Blue rose is for sorrows because Jesus
turns your sorrows into joy.
Yellow rose is for the brightness
of the sun shining down on you and
lights your way into darkness
Pink rose is for a rosy friendship and smelling sweet.
Roses full of colors of love, joy, peace, and humility.


© Copyright 2009, Lorna Fortuno.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


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Fail to See the Wisdom

by Jerry Johnson


"Life is short," we're so nonchalantly told;
How fast the seasons pass to winter's cold!
The lessons we heard, yet unlearned, chide and scold:
We wasted so much on trash Vanity sold!
Where's that new suit that time did fade and fold?
We expect to be pressed, but not steamrolled!
Life's lessons are shallow if Youth is polled,
And age often numbed by time's finite mold.
We shirk with fear and fight the potter's hold
And fail to see the wisdom of God in our getting old!


Copyright, 2009, Gerald T. Johnson, Norfolk, VA. All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


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Afflictions, Though They Seem Severe

by John Newton


Afflictions, though they seem severe;
In mercy oft are sent;
They stopped the prodigal's career,
And forced him to repent.
Although he no relentings felt
Till he had spent his store;
His stubborn heart began to melt
When famine pinched him sore.
"What have I gained by sin, he said,
But hunger, shame, and fear;
My father's house abounds with bread,
While I am starving here.
I'll go, and tell him all I've done,
And fall before his face
Unworthy to be called his son,
I'll seek a servant's place."
His father saw him coming back,
He saw, and ran, and smiled;
And threw his arms around the neck
Of his rebellious child.
"Father, I've sinned--but O forgive!"
I've heard enough, he said,
Rejoice my house, my son's alive,
For whom I mourned as dead.
Now let the fatted calf be slain,
And spread the news around;
My son was dead, but lives again,
Was lost, but now is found.
'Tis thus the Lord His love reveals,
To call poor sinners home;
More than a father's love He feels,
And welcomes all that come.


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Children of God

by Lorna Fortuno


Follow in Jesus Christ's footprints
becoming a child of God.
Smelling the sweet sensation
of the glorious morning
Singing praise and worship songs
to the Lord above

Today is the day of salvation
Spread the good news to the lost
Show them your love
through your actions
Actions speak louder than words
Become fishermen fishing for the lost souls

Christian brothers and sisters
Unite as one Body of Christ,
One church,
One family,
We are all children of God


© Copyright 2009, Lorna Fortuno.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


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Soar In Jesus

by Jerry Johnson


There you perch on Hemlock limb
Lovely, little, sweet song bird,
Strug'ling in your trusting Him:
Was your last prayer really heard?
Your feet firmly clutch that twig
Of anxiety and doubt.
Faith, no more than tender sprig,
Faces flesh's fearsome shout!
The way of flight you can't see
With natural, earth-bound eyes;
We join prayer with reality
When His love we realize.
Soar in Jesus, let the limb go!
Faith without flying is dead.
Your heart the True Way does know:
Always better than your head.


© Copyright 2009, Gerald T. Johnson. All rights reserved.


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Dear Lost lamb of Holy Love

by Jerry Johnson


Love like yourself your neighbor!
Get off the self-saving fence
Cease legalistic labor
Stop the self-righteous pretense
He knows the fear deep inside
He hears every secret thought
It's foolish trying to hide
Or steal what's already bought
You're free from the prison cell
Satan drools over you for naught
Christ died, sheep to free from hell
Not just are sought!
"Love your neighbor as yourself!"
We shun the lesson He taught
Hide on the back of the shelf?
We're freest when we are caught
The Spirit's presence is real;
Christ in you: hope of glory!
No matter what you may feel,
Not self,
Let His love write your story.


© Copyright 2009, Gerald T. Johnson. All rights reserved.


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Abiding in the Vine?

By Jerry Johnson


If the branch is not attached
Drawing Life Flow from the Vine
What fruit will it fabricate
Then to duplicate divine?
Can we spurn the Sap of Life
And appreciate Life's worth?
Not straining out spurts of "good,"
Enjoying Love's natural birth! 
If the branch is firm attached,
Communion never ceasing,
Then the nature of the fruit
Will ever be increasing:
In Knowledge of God growing,
Transformation of the mind,
Character reformation,
Humbly giving, patient, kind,
Strong impact in our witness,
Having power over sin,
Secure in hope of heaven,
Holy Spirit full - within!


© Copyright, 2009 by Gerald T. Johnson.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


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All Who Truly Know Thee

By Jerry Johnson


Your joys bubble in the heart
Like stars sparkling in the sky;
Your peace gently rolls o'er us
Like white clouds billowing by;
Your hope gives strength in weakness
Like the sun gives light to day;
Your life quickens our spirit
Like mother's milk to her stray;
Your precious presence comforts
Like fire on a frozen night;
Your gentleness astounds us
Like the blind receiving sight;
Your love revives our parched soul
Like rain to drought stricken tree:
These are heavenly riches
To all who truly know Thee.


© Copyright, 2009 by Gerald T. Johnson.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


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What a Change!

by R. C. Trench (1807 - 1886)


Lord, what a change within us one short hour
    Spent in Thy presence will prevail to make---
    What heavy burdens from our bosom take,
What parched grounds revive, as with a shower!
    We kneel, and all around us seems to lower:
    We rise, and all, the distant and the near,
    Stands forth in sunny outline, brave and clear.
We kneel how weak; we rise how full of power!
Why, therefore, should we do ourselves this wrong
    Or others---that we are not always strong,
    That we are ever overborne with care,
    That we should ever weak or heartless be,
    Anxious or troubled, when with us is prayer,
And joy and strength and courage are with Thee?


Copied from "Life on the Highest Plane" by Ruth Paxson, Vol 3, p. 156.


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by Jerry Johnson


You look down upon the glaring reality:
Your mortal flesh has birthed immortality
Proving God's Word can do anything He wants Him to.
And you're still not sure what you're supposed to do.
Should you bow and cry or stand and shout?
Poor Joseph certainly hasn't figured it out.
But, there He lays, wrapped in cloth and mystery:
A feeding trough cupping monumental history!
Do you feel a crisis now?  Do you question your worth?
Gazing at pure Miracle, stained with His afterbirth?
How will you raise God's Child in a way that pleases Him?
How can you rear Perfection when you are stained with sin?
Fear not dear Mary, from your worries you can cease!
For you have given birth to your Savior - Yeshua, Prince of Peace!


© Copyright, 2008 by Gerald T. Johnson.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


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The Twenty-Third Psalm


The Lord's my Shepherd, I'll not want.
He makes me down to lie
In pastures green; He leadeth me
The quiet waters by.
My soul He doth restore again;
And me to walk doth make
Within the paths of righteousness,
E'en for His own name's sake.
Yea, tho' I walk thro' death's dark vale,
Yet will I fear no ill;
For Thou art with me, and Thy rod
And staff me comfort still.
A table Thou hast furnished me
In presence of my foes;
My head thou dost with oil anoint,
And my cup overflows.

Goodness and mercy all my life
Shall surely follow me;
And in God's house forevermore
My dwelling place shall be.


(from "Spiritual Life Songs", Abingdon Press)


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A Prayer for Only the Lord Knows Who

by Jerry Johnson



Please accept my paltry praise:
You are so very kind and patient
It is extremely easy for me to take You for granted
To take advantage of Your provisions
Waste the life You have given me
On petty pleasures and laziness.

I thank You with all I can muster
For not abandoning me
In favor of more productive children...

...and more obedient children.

You are so merciful!
You are so tender!
You are so affectionate!
You are so forgiving!
You are so generous!
You are so faithful!
You are so understanding!
You are so wise!
You are so kind!
You are so patient!
You have such self-control!
You are so strong...yet so meek!
You are so lowly!
You are so gentle!
You are so humble!
You are so honest!
You are so holy!
You have such heart!

I want to be like You!

Your Name Here



© Copyright, 2008 by Gerald T. Johnson.  If you would like to copy this poem, please contact Mr. Johnson at 757-714-3133.


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Give Me a Mountain

Shirley Nesbit Sellers


Give me a mountain, God,
A mountain created for scaling;
Let the upward climb
Take the whole of my time,
Leaving no thought for turning or failing.
Give me a mountain, God,
That will help me to look above,
That will bind my soul
To a higher goal,
To the teaching of truth and love.
Help me find a mountain, God,
On which others will trace my feet
And will follow me there
To sweet, fresh air,
Where heaven and humans meet.
There must be a mountain, God,
Close by, that I pass day by day.
So near must it stand,
I could take your hand
And begin my ascent right away.


Copyright 1997, Shirley Nesbit Sellers.  All rights reserved. 


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The Holy Spirit

Philip P. Bliss, 1875


The Spirit, oh, sinner,
In mercy doth move,
Thy heart, so long hardened,
Of sin to reprove;
Resist not the Spirit,
Nor longer delay;
God's gracious entreaties,
May end with today.
Oh, child of the kingdom,
From sin service cease:
Be filled with the Spirit,
With comfort and peace.
Oh, grieve not the Spirit,
Thy Teacher is He,
That Jesus, Thy Savior,
May glorified be.
Defiled is the temple,
Its beauty laid low,
On God's holy altar
The embers faint glow.
By love yet rekindled,
A flame may be fanned;
Oh, quench not the Spirit,
The Lord is at hand.


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As the Wind Blows

Susan E. Rose


"He stilled the storm to a whisper;
the waves of the sea were hushed."  
Psalm 107:29


The wind blows in bitterness
in its relentless tear...
well then, close thy door.
But it rattles the shutters
and brushes limbs
upon the panes...
draw then thy shades.
Under duress the creaks
and groans
of what was built
threatens to tumble...
turn then within,
pray softly in song...
whisper, assured.
Breathe the Presence
thou hast come to know,
and trust...
love back He whose Love
defies the intensity of any storm,
yet within a gentleness
of a fawn's first touch with life.

Cease the battle
of the gale...
let go, and let the winds
thus blow...
and watch then,
the stars,


© Copyright, 2007, Susan E. Rose, N. Dighton, MA.  Used by permission.


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Hold High The Torch

Nelle D. Bradley


Hold high the torch!
You did not light its glow--
'Twas given you by other hands, you know.
'Tis yours to keep it burning bright,
Yours to pass on when you no more need light;
For there are other feet that we must guide,
And other forms go marching by our side;
Their eyes are watching every smile and tear
And efforts which we think are not worthwhile,
Are sometimes just the very helps they need,
Actions to which their souls would give most heed;
So that in turn they'll hold it high and say,
"I watched someone else carry it this way."

If brighter paths should beckon you to choose,
Would your small gain compare with all you'd lose?
Hold high the torch!
You did not light its glow--
'Twas given you by other hands, you know.
I think it started down its pathway bright,
The day the Maker said:  "Let there be light."
And He once said, who hung on Calvary's tree--
"Ye are the light of the world."...Go!...Shine--for me.


"Hold High the Torch" published in "The Youth's Companion," April 1923 by permission of Mrs. Nelle D Bradley, Interlaken, N.Y.


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by Betty Jo Mathis


The "holy season" it is called by books and Christmas cards--
This time when lights and holly are gracing homes and yards,
When anxious Christmas shoppers are thronging store and street,
Rejoicing that the credit card the Christmas bills will meet.

But in spite of lights and holly, of wreaths and gorgeous trees,
My inner man refuses to be satisfied with these.
And sad to say, this season brings the carnal out in me
When money, time and patience are taking wings to flee.

I find myself frustrated when tradition lets me down
And instead of peace and joy I often wear a frown.
And so each year I learn the lesson all should know,
That days and seasons never cause the inner man to glow.

True holiness comes from above where Christ must still entreat,
"Father, let Thy weak one know in Me she is complete."


© Copyright, 1980, Betty Jo Mathis, Lagrange, WY. Used by permission.  All rights reserved.


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You Say I Have No Choices?

by Jerry Johnson


A few years ago I attended a meeting related to care facility work, and the young speaker made the comment that she had no intention of ever living in a nursing home. Her reasoning was that all of a person's choices are taken away when they go through the doors of the facility. At that moment, a vision burst into my mind of so many of the nursing home residents whom I have come to know and love in the course of the ministry God has allowed me to share in. They feel all of their losses deeply, but they maintain their high character and grace, even in the worst of circumstances. Invariably, I find that their strength lies in the many years they have labored faithfully for the Lord. As the speaker made her point, the first few lines of this poem began to flow in my mind. While she continued her speech, I quickly penned this poem to honor these sweet, faithful Christians. 

It is the cry of my heart to see the Christian community . . . all Christians . . . take up their responsibility and do their part to encourage and strengthen the hands of these precious saints now living in care facilities, often forgotten by the religious public. 

I don't set my own alarm clock,
    Haven't seen it for many days.
The open curtain at my window
    Lets in unwanted rays.
I guess my roommate is a sweetie
    But she sure does have her ways.
I've forgotten my dear home address:
    Good memories now a haze.
A lotta neat people pop in to visit
    But no one ever stays.
No need to fuss about the noise at night,
    I found it never pays;
And the rigmarole to get my prune juice
    Is a daily, tangled maze.

Oh yes! I let go of many things:
    Choices . . . and control of my own fate!
But there's choices I won't surrender
    In this lonely, forgotten state:

I choose to keep my smiling face:
    Won't let depression take my heart.
I'll pray for the crying souls at night:
    While nurses struggle I can do my part.
When my children call, I'll make small talk
    When they don't have much to say;
I'll make them laugh and giggle;
    I'll understand when they cannot stay.
I'll choose to keep my patience
    When the shower is too cold.
I'll not complain or grumble
    When the burger's three days old.
I'll talk to poor Miss Sally in the hall
    Though she never talks to me.
I'll wait with a real sweet smile for that nurse
    Who comes so grudgingly.

And, so don't you see . . . . . ?
I still have my choices!
    This power you cannot take.
My attitude is still mine to mold . . .
    And I'll mold it for Heaven's Sake!


© Copyright, 2005 by Gerald T. Johnson.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


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Faith REALIZES Reality

by Jerry Johnson


Faith is realizing GOD things.
Realizing them in the warp and woof
What we know as true.
What we KNOW as true.
What we KNOW as TRUE.
the promises of God
in actual shoe leather;
caramel-IZING onions.
is to make REAL.

Faith is the only way we can participate with the TRUTH that
Jesus Can Fix Anything!
Think about it.
Do you believe it?
Faith is the currency
of the Kingdom
by which we appropriate in our lives
all that God wills for us.
Faith is the foundation
on which we
for God
for our neighbor
for our enemy
Do you believe it?
This is a good way to see for yourself if you are a
or a
The truth will set you free
in reality.
Realize it!

© Copyright, 2007 by Gerald T. Johnson.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


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The Seed Cries Out

By Bill Edwards


Deep within the hardened earth lays a dormant seed.
And the seed cries out. . .
The rain begins to fall.  At first it bounces off the hardened, thirsty earth as if it were Ballerinas leaping in time to passionate rhyme.
As each one jumps, they then return to earth to lay down their life that others may live.
And the seed cries out. . .
In the distance, the seed hears the pitter-patter of Ballerina feet that dance the dance of life and sing forth the song of hope for new life to the buried seed below.
And the seed yearns...
The seed is yearning; filled with passionate anticipation of the coming resurrection, fully persuaded that it will come, yet finding itself clothed in the angst of its longing for new life that seems so close yet so far away.
Ah, this music has played before!  The pitter-patter of Ballerina feet has touched emotions deep within that beckon the desire for new life yet hopes have been dashed as its life giving purpose never reached the seed.
And the seed cries out...
"I have a voice, yet it is still not heard!"
"I have a purpose, yet it seems just beyond my grasp, just beyond my understanding!"
And the Ballerina's dance and the long awaited promise of life they bring begins to permeate the surface.
And the seed cries out. . .
"Come to me and wait no longer."
"Touch me that I might be known!"
"Cover me that I might know love!"
"Release me that my voice may be heard!"
"Saturate me that I might die and new life spring forth like a Pheasant flushed from the brush."
And though the seed is dead, it instinctively anticipates life for it was created with this craving deep in its heart.
And the seed cries out. . .
It awaits the freedom that it instinctively knows is its own.  It instinctively knows that it was created to burst through the hardened earth to display the glory of the One who created it.  It instinctively knows that its new life is to nourish many yet it has yet to experience its purpose.
And the angst lingers... 
And the time is near...
And the Ballerina's dance...
And the seed cries out...


© Copyright, Bill Edwards, Virginia Beach, VA.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.


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Asking Forgiveness

by Brenda Brannen


Lord, remember when I rebelled and didn't do Your will,
And convinced myself it was no big deal?
Before, I wouldn't have been hard to convince.
I wasn't totally on Your side; I was straddling the fence.
Now, I'm trying to recognize
What's good and perfect before Your eyes.
And sometimes that's a sacrifice,
But I know you paid a greater price.
Your Word says, "Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
And your plans will succeed," and I know that's true.
So, Lord, I ask forgiveness for not following Your directions.
Please forgive my disobedience and my willful rejections.
Help me as I continue to search for You,
Knowing You are "near to all who call on You in truth."
Thank You for forgiving my sin,
Restoring fellowship, and for peace within.
Please help me to see with enlightened eyes,
"To run the race," and win the prize.

Proverbs 16:3, Psalms 145:18, II Timothy 4:7


© Copyright, Brenda Brannen, Bryan, TX.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.


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Author  Unknown


If you have gone a little way ahead of me,
Call back -
'Twill cheer my heart
and help my feet along the stony track;
And if, perchance, faith's light is dim,
because the oil is low,
your call will guide my lagging course
as wearily I go.
Call back and tell me
that He went with you into the storm;
Call back,
and say He kept you when the forest's roots were torn;
and the earthquake shook the hill,
He bore you up
and held you when the very air was still.

O Friend, call back and tell me,
for I cannot see your face;
They say it glows with triumph
and your feet bound in the race;
But there are mists between us,
and my spirit eyes are dim,
And I cannot see the glory,
though I long for word of Him.
But if you'll say He heard you
when your prayer was but a cry,
And if you'll say He saw you through
the night's sin-darkened sky,
If you have gone a little way ahead,
O friend, call back -
'Twill cheer my heart and help my feet along the stony track.


Special thanks to Betty Jo Mathis for sharing this poem with us.


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He Did Not

by Jerry Johnson


He did not ignore our debt
He did not condemn us for our debt
He did not lie to Himself about our debt
He did not desert us because we owed Him a debt
He did not require us to pay anything to cover our debt
He did not consider our debt to be too expensive for Him to pay it
He did not consider what we deserve to outweigh His interest in us
He saved us
He forgave us
He died for us
He justified us
He sanctified us
He did not forget us
The only One
Good enough
Perfect enough
Pure enough
Righteous enough
To point a finger at us and condemn us
Did not condemn us
He died for us


© Copyright, 2007 by Gerald T. Johnson.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


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The Faithful Servant's Plea

by Karin Barr - 05/07/07
(edited for Christian Concourse)


Give me a mind to work, O Lord, until the job is done.
Though the task be meek or small, and the labor void of fun.
You know the hills and the obstacles that wear me down each day;
Keep me on the path You've chosen that leads me in Your way.

Forgive my heart from sinning as I whine and challenge You
For all the thankless tasks I have everyday to do.
Teach me how to offer them - a sacrifice of praise -
And put them on the altar as a fragrance of Your grace.

Not by sense of duty drive me to complete my tasks,
But from a heart o're flowing as the days fly past.
"Contentment" is the virtue that wears blisters on my hands,
And "Peace" the compliment to the chores that Christ demands.

Willfully submissive to my Master's call,
Let me be the one who gives You my all in all.


© Copyright, 2007 by Karin Barr.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


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The Gospel

by Jerry Johnson


Jesus Christ from the Father sent
Delivered us from the curse of sin.
He is the virgin-born Son,
The Only Purely Begotten One.
Fully God, fully man.
He is omnipresent,
In the person of the Holy Spirit today.
Jesus Christ lived on Earth in such a way
That man might see
Who God is in reality.

He demonstrated how much love
His Father has for all mankind.
Leaving His royal throne above,
Leaving the Glorious Realm behind,
He came and paid the awful price
That we deserve for sin and vice. 

Folks like you and I
Spoke and talked with Him,
Folks like you and I
Touched Him and walked with Him.
Some hated, some envied, some questioned why.
But Jesus lived a perfect life
In the sight
Of The All Seeing Eye.   

In the Father's appointed time,
His religious enemies arrested The Light.
And convicted Him - in darkness, blind -
Turning Him over to Roman Might
Taunting God the Son to give them a sign,
Mocking His Name, killing Love in spite. 

The Father brought Christ back to life
By the Holy Spirit's power
In the early morning hour
As He promised, on the 3rd day:
Darkness could not put Him away. 
By hundreds He was seen
Before ascending thru the cloudy screen
Returning to the Heavenly palace pristine.   
All receive Him in their heart who believe it
Thru the same resurrecting power of the Holy Spirit.

We must humble ourselves before Him,
Admit our rebellion, repent of our sin,
Believe and keep on believing in Him,
And welcome His Holiness to live within. 
As His obedient children
Thru His Written Word following Him,
Taught and assured by His Spirit within,
We live totally new ways of living
Embracing His promise of eternal life
And forgiveness of sin. 
He died for you - live for Him!


© Copyright, 2007 by Gerald T. Johnson.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


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The Psycho-Tempest-Maze

by Jerry Johnson


The Tempest

A highly complicated psycho swirl:
The Tempest screaming 'round our storm swept head.
The maze of living in this hard core world:
Relations, temptations, confusion bred!

The Swamping

Relationships breed fear of our fellow man;
Temptations, fed by lusts, bite our own hand;
Confusion fed by doubt is sinking sand:
This psycho-tempest-maze is a la-la-land!

The Sinking

Relations sick make us harlots from fear.
Temptations bred make us rebels in deed.
Confusion's lies make us deaf in the ear.
Our being surrenders to lies' deadly seed.

The Calming Sea

Let all your relations be ruled by Love;
Free temptations with the Law from Above.
Wash confusion with the Word of the Dove:
Let it always be Truth you are thinking of.


© Copyright, 2007 by Gerald T. Johnson.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


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Agonies of a Pauper and a Whelp

by Jerry Johnson


Your Word, Lord, says, "Be anxious for nothing."
I assume You believe that it's possible to be.
Your Word says, "I can do all things through Christ."
and You simply say you strengthen ME.

Your Word says, "All things work together for good..."
at least for those who love You, Lord.
Your Word says, whosoever believes in You
Will not die but live forevermore.

Your Word says that everybody You set free
No matter what, is really free indeed.
Your Word says, "...all things, that we ask in prayer,
BELIEVING, we shall receive."

It goes on and on, Lord:  all of these absolutes.
How can I experience these things
With so few degrees from higher learning institutes?
What wise old sage can I sit under?
What book can I read that will help?
For you know, in faith, I'm a pauper,
In courage, I'm just a whelp.

I believe You know what You're talking about
But to apply it all...Dear Father, I really need Your help!!!


© Copyright, 2007 by Gerald T. Johnson.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


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Peace -- Be Still

By Cynthia Sadler


Jesus is in my presence during the day
And He is the essence of who I am
When the pain seems to gain,
Even with the medicine, I cry out in pain,
The Lord reminds me that He bore it on the Cross for me
And the pain surely wanes.

During the still of the night as I lay alone,
I have my nightlight to look at, at the end of the bed.
And it's my Savior holding the one sheep of the ninety-and-nine.
And as I lay in bed, I feel His arms about me, holding me;
And as I nod off to sleep, I Know
I am one of the ninety-and-nine.


Copyright © May, 2004, by Cynthia Sadler.  All rights reserved.


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Special Necklace

by Knydra Pepper


I wear a special necklace,
It embraces my neck so tight.
A symbol of two branches,
Crossing to save my life.
Proud of the God I worship,
I wear it for all to see.
The cross on which my Savior died,
Happened on this special tree.


© 2006, Kyndra Pepper, Texas, USA.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


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Kiss The Father's Measuring Rod

by Jerry Johnson


How far better to humble myself
Than be humbled by the mighty hand of God!
Why think I it better for my health
To live in denial, shame and stealth
Than to kiss the Father's measuring rod?

Oh! far better to trust His Chastening Grace,
Receive His crushing Will with full embrace,
Than believe the Deceiver's winking nod!
For satan pumps me full of sweet affirmation
As long as I'm given to prideful reservation
And thumbing my nose at God!

Is "chance" the only help we get?
Is "success" just a better bet?
Can I honestly concede no regret?
If not, am I really learning yet?
For the Truth's not foggy, it is set:
Mercy and Truth - on the Cross in me - have met.


31  The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise.  32  He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding.  33  The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.  1  The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.  2  All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.  3  Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.  4  The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.  5  Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.  6  By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil. Proverbs 15:31 - 16:4 (KJV)

Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Ps 85:10  (KJV)


© Copyright, 2006 by Gerald T. Johnson.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


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From Psalms 133

by Jerry Johnson


Oh, how full of wonder,
how full of beauty:
when the Body of Christ
bathes in the glorious light
of loving unity
in the fellowship of the Trinity!
It is sweet anointing oil
flowing down
from head to toe
soothing every member,
washing away every woe.

It flows from the Spirit of Life
Pouring out the veins of Christ
Springing from the Heart
Of the Father of Lights:
The precious dew of fellowship
Soaking lonely parched souls
No longer doomed in the desert
Of isolation, fear and unbelief.

Oh, YES!!!
In the swirling glory and pleasure of
Intimacy, friendship and love
in God's sweet presence...
There the King commands
The ultimate blessing,
For the Body of Christ;
There the Almighty
Eternal Life


© Copyright, 2006 by Gerald T. Johnson.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


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Only in the Sweet Abyss

by Jerry Johnson


All the past,
With all it's conglomeration of memories and experiences
Like enmeshed vapor trials in the sky,
Like sand castles washing away in the surf,
Like scars marking memories of a lot of bloody pain and danger,
Like the breathless dog exhausted from chasing his just-out-of-reach tail,
Like recurring dreams about passing the point of no return....

I mean ALL of the past:
What we think is good,
What we think is bad,
What we think is important,
What we think is insignificant;

All the future,
With all it's jumbled expectations
Like buckets of sweet morsels in the candy store nagging at our insatiable appetite,
Like proposing to tight-rope over Niagara on a wet noodle,
Like volunteering for first flute when we really don't know which end to blow,
Like buying a pair of very expensive new shoes that we can't try on first,
Like planning on going to a bully's birthday party without a present....

I mean ALL of the future:
What we look forward to,
What we dread,
What we think we can control,
What we know we have no control over;

All of it
Has meaning,
and good fruit
Only in the Sweet Abyss
Of the endless
love of God.


© Copyright, 2006 by Gerald T. Johnson.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


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The Lord is my strength and my song."
 Exodus 15:2


Sweet Prelude


What tear of yesterday
or want of tomorrow yet,
can hold fast the peace found
in this moment Lord,
but none.
For Your Presence Holy
softens the harshness,
lightens the burdens,
and changes the perspectives
in which one becomes entangled.
Delighted in the freedom
of being who I am,
and feeling the radiance
of Your Love,
lifts me above my worn-out jeans
and ratty sneakers,
for you still take my hand
and grasp it in that way that only
You can.

You show me the daybreak
as no other,
and the sunset,
and all that the world holds
between the two.
And it is You I call
in those starlit hours
when sleep escapes and I cannot.
Blessings abound
since that day I awoke
with a heart anew and opened eyes,
and even in life's trials
Your Presence never fails
to leave my breath lacking
and my sorrows with comfort.
You are my joy complete and my reason.
Let me sway then to the
rhythms of this life
till tomorrow
for the music I hear
is Thine,
and the prelude sweet.
Susan E. Rose


© Copyright, 2005, Susan E. Rose, N. Dighton, MA.  Used by permission.


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Faith is an issue for all of us. As humans, doubt is a greater part of our nature than we would like it to be! But why?



I wonder why, when 'faith' is an issue,
So often then, we reach for a tissue,
To mop up the tears of doubt you see,
That assail us now, both you and me.

For on the one hand, we trust God with our all,
On the other, human doubt, our faith does stall!
"Will He or wont He?" we are wont to think,
Our faith, once so strong, begins to sink.

"You've always proved faithful to me, my Lord,"
While former blessings, I wish I could hoard!
Each new level requiring greater trust in Him,
Memories of past successes faded, now so dim.

If today's faith was the same as in the past,
Our belief in Him, just simply wouldn't last.
It would just be our own strength that had won,
Not that of our Lord, Jesus Christ the Son.

Now, today's challenge is to break new ground,
Then our faith in Him, it will be truly found.
Oh Lord, please help me in my unbelief!
You've come through again - what a relief!

Put simply, it's the way God's faith works,
Though to our human spirit, it still irks!
So if now, we are to mature and grow,
Trusting Him's, the only way to go!

© David Tait, New Zealand.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.  Browse other poems by Bro. Tait at his extensive Christian website:


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Not so sure I want to go to heaven any more!
For what I see here, shakes me to the core.
What if heaven was to be the same?
Who would there be to blame!

Not so sure I want to go to heaven any more!
When all I see is raging arguments to the fore.
What if heaven was to be the same?
Who would there be to blame!

Not so sure I want to go to heaven any more!
For we fight on earth and resentments store.
What if heaven was to be the same?
Who would there be to blame!

Not so sure I want to go to heaven any more,
Down here, splits and divisions are folklore.
What if heaven was to be the same?
Who would there be to blame!

Not so sure I want to go to heaven any more!
Disagreement's so rife, just become a bore!
What if heaven was to be the same?
Who would there be to blame!

So maybe I should go to go to heaven now,
To see how God deals with our sacred cow.
Surely heaven can not be the same?
There would only be God to blame!

So how about building His Kingdom on earth?
There's a radical thought, has some worth!
Surely church wouldn't be the same?
When God's kingdom, to earth came!

My friend, we simply have the choice,
To disagree, or speak with one voice.
To defend to the end where we come from,
Or get on with it, and build His Kingdom.

His Kingdom now, has is to be within you see,
Comes as we let Him deal with you and me.
When we go on to seek His heavenly will,
Division and strife, His will, will kill!

The kingdom that disagreement sows,
Is built by treading on other's toes.
But the heavenly kingdom that God does see,
Is founded upon co-operation and unity.

Will you help ease God's frustrations,
By taking the gospel to the nations?
Putting aside, that which does now divide,
The salvation message, others to provide.

Not one has entered through division and strife,
For words spoken in anger do not bring life.
Theological argument hasn't saved a single soul,
Nor a dearly held doctrine made a seeker whole.

But what works every time is a witness of love,
Putting aside the jackal to become the dove.
Yes, as we build His Kingdom on earth you see,
Together, we can all look forward to eternity.

© David Tait, 21 July 2004.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.
Browse other poems by Bro. Tait at his extensive Christian website:


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The Shoes

Susan E. Rose


The shoes were not my own,
but when You asked me
to slip them on,
I did.
My feet fairly swam
in the enormity. . .
and when I tried to walk,
You know what happened.
I was awkward to say the least,
my gait clumsy,
unsure, and painfully slow.
And blister they did,
from the incessant rubbing
of the fit not quite so.
And oh, at times I walked
right out of them,
found myself
upon the pavement. . .hmmm,
but then to my surprise,
I missed those shoes,
and scurried to put them back on,
with a deep sigh of contentment.
What was the growth
that made them right,
when did it happen,
and how?
I was fully grown when those shoes
were placed in front of me,
or so I perceived,
but the gift of the shoes,
and they were a
splendid gift
by the way,
changed the way I thought,
the way I felt,
about You,
and about the world I was existing in.
Yes, I was existing.

Tomorrow I may awake to
a new pair of shoes,
and though I still may look
upon them with a degree of trepidation,
I'll look at them and know
they are a gift.
I shall put them on, and yes, perhaps,
stumble about foolishly
for awhile.

But I know now Lord,
the shoes You place
before me,
shall always, be a perfect fit.

Susan E. Rose


© Copyright, 2004, Susan E. Rose, N. Dighton, MA.  Used by permission.


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Mark Phillips


A tug-o-war for territory strains
the rugged resolve.
Desperate determination gives way to
and frightened hooves of heartbeats
that trample tested affection.
At once the pull places my heart
in the reception line of grace.
Tugged again, outside I wait, doors closed
and soundproof, excluded and dazed.
My feet dig in mud,
hands scraped, blood-caked, resist,
groan, gain and lose. I won the day,
lost the night, not gaining more than
yesterday's daybreak.
Tired, tired, sweat and crying,
when best has failed, failure's best.
I'd trade my trying for a brighter
day or surrender to quit the game.
But did I forget, facing the game alone.
Teammate and triumph sure surround
the One who calls.
I face foes solo
and fall all too soon.
Quit the trying,
tried the crying,
called to One who joins my joy.
The rope released, the game now ceased,
His hand in place of mine.
Heart cry to heaven, tug-o-war
to prayer-o-peace and surrendered solo.


Taken from "The Journal For Jesus' Sheep", Vol. 7, No. 1


© Copyright Mark Phillips. All rights reserved. Used by permission.


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Teach me Lord to Let

by Jerry Johnson


Let love be genuine.  Romans 12: 9 (ESV)

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.  Matthew 5:16 (KJV)

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus  Philippians 2:5 (KJV)


Lord, teach me what it means to "let!"
What it means to allow what's inside to get
To the surface for others to see...
To see the love You give so free
By Your Spirit living in me.
Teach me what it means to "let!"
Without the legalistic strain and sweat,
What it means to allow Thy light to shine;
May it glow, this little Light of mine,
Not for my glory, for all is Thine!

Teach me what it means to "let!"
Free to release Your selfless mindset
Over my thoughts to rule and reign
That the humble Cross I might gain
Never minding the sorrow or the pain.
Teach me, Lord, to Let!


© Copyright, 2006 by Gerald T. Johnson.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


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And wherever he went - into villages, towns or countryside - they placed the sick in the marketplaces.  They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched him were healed."    Mark 6:56


The Cloak

by Sue Rose


What sorrow would fill your
cup this day,
and spill with tears thus shed...
as sobs, not withheld
engulf your heart?
The earth, though wondrously
filled with gifts divine,
spares not its rod on those
who walk its face.
Within the imperfections
of one's life,
there dwells the source
of perfect love and grace.
He whose cloak we're free to touch,
whose soulful eyes implore
of us to seek Him out,
be not a figure reached by
saintly men alone.
The dust upon your face,
He sees beyond;
the heart that bleeds for
what He holds...
its yours;
hence bleed no more.
The cloak;
not only may your fingers
brush its silk...
He'll take it off
and warmly wrap the soul
that trembles so;
for all He has...
He gives to you, with joy.


Susan E. Rose


© Copyright, 2004, Susan E. Rose, N. Dighton, MA.  Used by permission.


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"Then the peoples around them set out to discourage the people of Judah and make them afraid to go on building."  Ezra 4:4


All Will be Well

by Susan E. Rose


The face of discouragement, and fear,
lie intertwined in the thicket
of life.
Disguised at times as
practical advise,
that which would keep you
from being a fool...
or would it?
The Lord's destiny
is not of this world,
for this world lay fallen.
Is that which be upon your heart,
of His word...
test the spirits,
discern the will of your Maker 
and boldly go forth.
He will send the affirmations,
only as needed.
When your steps wobble,
the Hand will be there...
look for it,
it won't be far,
and in amazement,
found within the peace
upon your heart...
you will know.
Wait then, in patience,
and think not that He has
deserted you,
or the plan,
for both are alive
with the fire of the Spirit.
At the eleventh hour
He rides upon
the chariot,
and all will be well...
yes, all will be well.


Susan E. Rose


© Copyright, 2004, Susan E. Rose, N. Dighton, MA.  Used by permission.


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Wide Open

Bernard of Clairvaux (?) d. 1153
Translated by Charles Porterfield Drauth, 1870
edited for Christian Concourse by J. Johnson


Wide open are Thy hands
Paying with more than gold
The awful debt of guilty men,
Forever and of old.

Ah, let me grasp those hands,
That we may never part,
And let the power of their blood
Enflesh my stony heart.

Wide open are Thine arms,
A fallen world to embrace;
To take to love and endless rest
Our whole degenerate race.

Lord, I am sad and poor,
But boundless is Thy grace;
Fill with Thy transforming Spirit
For which I seek Thy face.

Draw all my mind and heart
Up to Thy throne on high,
And let Thy sacred Cross exalt
My spirit to the sky.

To these, Thy mighty hands,
My spirit I resign:
Living, I live alone to Thee,
Dying, alone am Thine.


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God Feels

by Jerry Johnson


God feels

The nest we build for the Turtledove

A soft resting place for the Lord:
The sweetness in our heart,
The sincere love,
The patience and the kindness,
And all the goodness
That emanates
From what we do on our part
With the Grace He bestows
From Above.


A turbulent, troublesome home for Him:
The bitter attitude
Of unforgiveness,
The habit of being rude,
The stark selfishness of pride,
Presuming on Him for a free,
Unqualified ride,
Trampling on His Son's blood
Dripping from the tree.

So, don't you see?

God feels


© Copyright, 2005 by Gerald T. Johnson.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


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New Wine, New Skins

by Betty Jo Mathis


New wine in old skins?
It simply cannot be;
New wine must have new skins
To be active, fresh and free.

New wine in old skins
Will burst through rigid bounds
And wine and skin together lay
Wasted on the ground.

New life in worn out rites?
Confined by man made bars?
Eternal life in static rules?
What fools we mortals are!

New life demands new creatures,
Cleansed, elastic, free,
Eager to expand and grow;
Father, work this change in Me!

"Men do not put new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wineskins burst, and the wine pours out, and the wineskins are ruined; but they put new wine into fresh wineskins and both are preserved."   Matthew 9:17


© Copyright, 1980, Betty Jo Mathis, Lagrange, WY. Used by permission.  All rights reserved.


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"We live by faith, not by sight."
2Corinthians 5:7


A Deepened Faith

by Susan E. Rose


Tomorrow's mountaintop,
amidst the meadow of blessings,
is inspired not
within the imagination,
but upon the Promise.
Perseverance to one's call,
amidst strife,
and within the confines
of the dark world,
is discovered to be limitless
at His hand.
Possibilities abound,
and chains that bind are found
to be no more
with eyes that truly see.
The heart beats not of
flesh and blood only,
but in a strength and fortitude
of the One it lives for,
as His ways
are discovered with wonder
and delight.

The prince of darkness steps back,
as if in shock...
and the land,
pristine and new,
lies before you.
Make your way upon it
for the Lord.
He awaits the first footsteps
of a deepened faith.


© Copyright, 2004, Susan E. Rose, N. Dighton, MA.  Used by permission.


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Jesus, the Conqueror Reigns

by Charles Wesley


Jesus, the Conqueror, reigns,
    In glorious strength arrayed;
His kingdom over all maintains,
    And bids the earth be glad.

Ye sons of men, rejoice
    In Jesus' mighty love;
Lift up your heart, lift up your voice,
    To Him who rules above.

Extol His kingly power;
    Kiss the exalted Son,
Who died, and lives to die no more,
    High on His Father's throne.

Our advocate with God,
    He undertakes our cause,
And spreads through all the earth abroad
    The victory of His Cross.


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A Dear Old Dame

Rewritten by Herm Haakenson - Original Author Unknown


In yesteryear when things moved slow
And life was simple here below,
There lived nearby a country town
A dear old dame named Betty Brown.

She had not much, but anyhow
She got along, she and her cow,
This bovine beast could oft annoy
But still was Betty's pride and joy.

On Sundays it was off to town
In feathered hat and finest gown,
She loved God's word and naught would do
But Sunday find her in her pew.

She loved to hear the pastor preach
And listened breathless when he'd teach
But the thing that really made her day
Was when she'd hear her pastor pray.

His words of warning and earnest pleas
Could bring a sinner to his knees
But the crowning moment of Betty's day
Was when the pastor said, "Let's pray."

When strangers she would chance to meet
While walking down her hometown street
She'd smile, greet them, and always say,
"Come, hear my pastor preach and pray."

One wild and windy winter night
Poor Betty's heart was filled with fright.
Her cow got tangled in her rope,
Almost strangled, little hope!

She called her pastor, the good man came
Wishing to please this dear old dame.
He viewed the scene that before him lay,
While Betty pleaded, "Pastor, pray!"

Now Pastor knew not what to do,
Praying for cows was something new,
But as she put him to the test
He promised her he'd do his best.

He closed his eyes and bent his head
And these are the words the pastor said:
"You poor old beast, you look so bad
And your poor old Mrs. looks so sad.

If you live, you live; if you die, you do,
And that will be the end of you."
The pastor left, the cow got well
And ever after Betty would tell
Of that winter night, explaining how
Her pastor's prayer had saved that cow.

Time marched on and then one day
No pastor at church - to Betty's dismay!
He had an abscess, very bad,
Poor old Betty, felt so sad.

She made her way to Pastor's house,
Where she was met by Pastor's spouse,
Who led the way to Pastor's bed
Where Betty grasped his hand and said,

"Oh, Pastor, I remember now
When I needed you for my sick cow,
I never really learned to pray
But I learned the words you said that day.

"They worked for my cow and saw her thru
I'd like to say them now for you."
She cleared her throat and bent her head
And these are the words that Betty said,

"You poor old beast, you look so bad
Your poor old Mrs. looks so sad.
If you live, you live - if you die, you do,
And that will be the end of you!"

A chuckle started in his belly
His whole frame shook like a bowl of jelly.
He laughed until he thought he'd choke
And all at once his abscess broke!

Betty left - Pastor got well
And ever after he would tell
How in his hour of pain and strife
Betty's prayer had saved his life!


The Lord called Herm Haakenson home in 2002.  He leaves the ongoing nursing home ministry of  The Sonshine Society behind as his legacy.   This is a great resource for affordable nursing home ministry tools! Large print hymn books, large print devotional books, a book of Bible lesson plans, large print scripture books and pamphlets, large print tracts and greeting cards. Contact them at:  P.O. Box 327, Lynnwood, Washington 98046-0327 (Founded 1976). Phone: (425)-353-4732. Website:


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Romans In Rhyme

by W. E. Evans edited for Christian Concourse by J. Johnson.


The Apostle Paul, in the regions beyond,
    Had heard of the Romans' faith,
How, with zeal abounding, they had preached the Word. 
    Till it was heard in every place.
Then, his heart set aglow by their love for Christ,
    He resolved to stablish them more.

So, a visit he planned, and a letter he wrote,
    That from him it should go on before.
This letter we read, and in it we find
    That the Gospel is fully explained.
So lets study it now as the Spirit reveals
    The Truth that is in it contained.

Paul's greeting comes in seventeen verses
    And he tells of his setting apart.

Then a word of the Son by whom the Gospel came,
    And of the longing he has in his heart.

He gives his text "The just shall live by faith"
    With accent on the "just".
Paul learned it by living it 
    And thus learn it we must.

Of God's wrath against sin the Apostle then speaks
    And reveals some excuses by which man fairly reeks:

First, "I know not God" some might declare;

Then "I am better then heathen", others might dare;

"I am beloved of God" the Jews might aver;

But they keep not the law so their plea is not fair.

Their excuses are false, can be seen without fail

And all shall be lost if works must avail.

But a way without Law God's plans do entail
    And thanks be to Him, His Word must prevail.
Since the broken Law's penalty we must fulfill.
    The Son did it for us according to God's will.

By accepting in faith His work for us
    We can stand before God in righteousness.
This God calls being justified
    For behind the Lord Jesus our sins doth He hide
Nevermore to look on them 
    For His Dear Son has cancelled our sin.

For both Jew and Gentile it doth avail
    And for all eternity it must prevail.

Some examples we have now to help us more
    And these we find in Chapter Four.
The Jews counted much on Abraham --
    Was he saved by Law, or like any other man?
Well, as we read in Genesis
    His faith in God was his righteousness.

David also tells us this:
    Showing -- without works -- a righteousness;

Now Abraham shows that it is for all --
    Not just for those who under Law did fall;

And for us Abraham's great faith is shown:
    That it is all we need to be made God's own!

In Chapter Five we have some things
    That our grand position brings:
Peace, grace, hope of glory, and mercy for the path,
    God's love in our hearts, and salvation from wrath.

Another thing is now expounded,
    For by Adam the human race was founded.
And as Adam thru sin received death as his due,
    So we, his children, were born dead to God too.
But now -- by God's grace and free gift in His Son --
    We live eternally by the obedience of One.

So have we new life which the Son for us bled,
    Thus a new path we must evermore tread,

For God doth now see our old man as dead,
    And we must ever now by the Spirit be led.

In Chapter Six we see these things God doth give,
    And blest are we if in them we will live;

As unto sin once Christ's life did He give,
    And now unto God He forever doth live:
So we being dead with Him can claim the same blessing
    And live unto God in Whom we are resting.

Now of a warning the Apostle doth tell
    And heed it we must if all will be well!
If we yeild unto sin then we are its servants we see,
    So to live unto righteousness we very careful must be!

In Chapter Seven we learn of the grandeous things
    That Christ's work for us, in great goodness, brings;
How, freed from the Law by the body of Christ,
    We now serve Him, risen together, in newness of life!
How the Law was good -- but it was only given
    To show sin as the cause that from God we are riven.
And, even now the old nature tries to keep us from living
    By God's way for us, as in His Word given.

Paul shows us two ways that we can take
    It is up to us the choice to make

If we walk in the Spirit, vict'ry we'll have over sin;
    But if after the flesh, mis'ry we'll have within.

A cluster of blessings is now set before us!
    How our poor hearts should sing as in a great chorus.

If God's Spirit is leading us His children are we
    And heirs of His glory, O wondrous to see.

He witnesses in us, teaching us all
    That God is our Father and thus Him to call.

And when we are burdened and His blessed face seek
    The Holy Spirit helps us, and for us will speak.

And now, blessing of blessings, our poor hearts do praise
    A God who is faithful where our faiths' eyes do gaze:
For we learn that once saved we can never be lost;
    For our God ever keeps us regardless of cost.

Paul's burden for Israel is next brought to mind:
    In Chapters 9, 10 and 11 tis the Jews that we find.
Not all who are Jews can call Abraham father;
    Only those with his faith can around him thus gather.
There can be no complaint about God showing mercy:
    He is absolutely soverign without controversy.
And out of all Israel He has saved a few,
    But not only Jews: He saves Gentiles too!

For the rest sought salvation by the works of the Law
    And thus they did at that Stumbling Stone fall.

Of the righteousness of God the Jews did not know,
    They sought to work out their own and this with great show.
The Apostle then shows that all that they need
    Is just simply unto God's Word to give heed.
For that Word does explain very simply indeed,
    The truth about Christ, their Messiah -- David's seed;
And that the Gospel is not for the Jews all alone.
    But both Jew and Gentile, whoever will come.

But first the Glad Tidings must in their ears ring,
    For the Prophets of old had told of these things.

And this Good News, this Gospel of Grace,
    Israel refused and with God lost their place.
Although, God must be to His promises true,
    Not casting away, those He foreknew:
But always thru the years, He has a remnant kept,
    And even now there are Jews among the elect.
How wondrous are the riches of God's knowledge and wisdom:
    Israel's fall was so Gentiles could come into God's kingdom!
Unbelief's branches were broken from Israel's olive tree,
    And Gentiles' wild olive branches we in place of them see.
So the Gentile has the blessing for Israel intended,
    Till that day comes when their blindness is ended.
And when, in God's time, Gentile fulness has come
    The Deliverer shall appear and the Jews will come home.
Then will Israel's branches be back in the tree
    And all thru this world great blessing will be!

The Apostle now turns from exhorting the Jews
    And speaks to all who have received the Good News.
He exhorts that in view of all of God's grace,
    To give our bodies to His service is surely our place.
In the work that He gives us let us therein abide,
    And let not our hearts be lifted in pride.
But rather let us live together in love
    And manifest to the world we are born from above.

For us to do this, there are a number of things
    That the Apostle now before us brings:
Personal things that we must let grow
    Paul would first have us to know.

Then, how the Christian reacts to the laws of the land.
    Or how each one of us must take our stand.
We learn that God has the civil powers ordained
    Thus our hearts must be ever in obedience maintained
For they are God's ministers for the good of all,
    And if we do evil upon us their wrath must fall.

And love is the greatest thing of all:
    For if we have love we fulfill all the Law.
Let us now realize that salvation is near
    And the time at hand when the Lord shall appear.
Let us walk them as children of light
    In the lusts of the flesh let us take no delight.

 Now a word about fellowship and the brother whose faith is weak:
    Tho he hasn't full knowledge yet, to receive him is meet;
It isn't right for us to judge him for his master we are not
    For all of us have one Master, and Christ's Judgment Seat our common lot.

For whether our brother sees as we do or not
    Let us not before him put a stumbling block:
For the main thing in God's Kingdom is
    In the Holy Ghost to have peace, joy and righteousness!
And let us remember no matter what state we're in
    That whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

Now Christ, to the Jews, their Scriptures He fulfilled
    And of both Jew and Gentile His Church would He build.
And Paul was Christ's minister this work to perform
    And of these things he would the Romans inform.

Now of some personal things he has to say
    And beseeched the Romans that for him they would pray.

Then the love Paul has for the saints in Rome
    Is seen as by name he salutes each one.
And lastly a warning to the faithful Church
    To mark those who would God's doctrine besmirch.
For they are Satan's agents sent to deceive
    And keep the saints from God's Word to receive.

With a prayer and a promise the Apostle closes
    This letter, which for the saints, God's blessings discloses.
And O! reader, a final word to you:
    Be zealous to study and God's Word to do;
For many a blessing is lost to us
    Thru indolence or just plain laziness.

Wallace Evans graduated in 1993 to his reward in Heaven.  


Copyright © 1993 by Christian Concourse.  All rights reserved.


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Rabbits, the Snake, the Oyster and the Dove

by Jerry Johnson


This story is true;
although it would not be true to you
in any world other than the real world
(not the world we are lying in)
(not the world we are dying in). 
There are briar patches that move about
and inflict wounds and bruises on one another
as they jostle and hustle and bustle about --
aimlessly, though with great sincerity
at times
and professing the most important and lofty signs
of purposes and goals and reasons and rhymes. 

Inside each briar patch is a rabbit. 
A little fearful infant rabbit
living in each briar patch
trying to figure it all out,
cut, bleeding, scratched,
and making a crying sound
with all the roughhousing going on around.
And all the little rabbit wants to do
is just get close to
the other rabbits known to be hiding out
in the briar patches around about----
But the thorns and the twisted briars
all around on the outside,
and smiley face masks over wounded liars
all around on the inside
(all the bad rabbits' habits
of the little fearful infant rabbit
slapping and flapping
like incessant rain on the brain)
just make the rhyme and the reason of it
all too confusing
to possibly understand and figure out and overcome. 

So...sooner or later the little fearful infant rabbit,
hides mostly
and darts out
only when absolutely
and even then
sometimes not at all.

Then there's the snake -
cunning and wise
to the rabbits' habits,
just loped over a tree limb
just outside of the rabbit hole in a briar patch
just waiting very patiently
just blended in real well
just knowing that the rabbit will not come out
unless there is nothing
for the little fearful rabbit to be scared about.

So, eventually,
the rabbit comes bouncing out
suspecting nothing
and turns into an oyster. 

That's right! 

A perfectly good gross slimy smelly oyster
with a hard rough ugly shell
outside the briar patch. 

And the snake drops
and harmlessly
upon the oyster
and turns into a dove
before he hits the ground
and lights silently,
almost unperceptively
beside the oyster
and slips a small piece of sand
in the shell of the oyster:
"Jesus loves you. 
He gave His life in ransom for your soul. 
Trust Him with your life. 
Cast all your care upon Him for He cares for you. 
Ask Him to forgive you of your
offensiveness to Him -
He will forgive you and clean you of
all the offensive sin
and come into your soul
and heal you
and teach you
and feed you
and give you gifts."

So the sand of the sea
begins to annoy
and irritate
and stimulate
a lot of soul searching
and questioning
and wondering
and longing...
...and before too long...
...a pearl of great price!

A soul winner is wise,
That is:
Wise as a serpent,
Harmless as a dove.


© Copyright, 2005 by Gerald T. Johnson.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


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The Greatest Science Fiction Motion Picture Production

by Jerry Johnson


The Greatest Science Fiction Motion Picture Production
Of all that Hollywood has produced
Is less than the nothing of pot smoking pipe dreams
Compared to the simple, plain, unadulterated Gospel Truth
Found myself in hopeless plight:
Deaf, dumb, numb and without sight!
Killed by wrong and killed by right!
Longed for day and loved the night!
I sure could not save myself
Lump of clay on Potter's shelf

He slowly stirred my senses
Eroded my defenses
Uncovered my pretenses
Then covered my expenses
My death He died by Himself
Took me from the Potter's shelf
Gave me ears to hear Him speak
Talks to me, He's, oh, so meek
Shows the Way for me to seek
He is strong, for I am weak
My life He hid within Himself
Live saint from lump upon a shelf
By His will I stand today
With His strength: trust and obey
Slowly growing come what may
In my heart He's here to stay!
One with Him, not by myself
Joining throngs from Potter's shelf!


Copyright, 2005 by Gerald T. Johnson.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


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Have Thine Own Way, Lord


This poem is taken from "Our Hymn Book" - one of the free resources available from Christian Concourse for nursing home ministry - click here for more information.


Adelaide A. Pollard was convinced the Lord wanted her in Africa as a missionary. She tried to raise funds to go, but was unsuccessful. It was in this uncertain state of mind that she attended a prayer meeting. There, she heard an elderly woman pray, "It's all right, Lord. It doesn't matter what You bring into our lives, just have Your own way with us." At home that night, much encouraged, she wrote this hymn.


1. Have Thine own way, Lord!
Have Thine own way!
Thou art the Potter, I am the clay!
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still.


2. Have Thine own way, Lord!
Have Thine own way!
Search me and try me, Master, today!
Whiter than snow, Lord, wash me just now,
As in Thy presence, humbly I bow.


3. Have Thine own way, Lord!
Have Thine own way!
Hold o'er my being absolute sway!
Fill with Thy Spirit 'till all shall see
Christ only, always, living in me.


But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.  Isaiah 64:8



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Bleeding with Acceptance

by Michael Barlow


Pregnant with praise,
Christ's church is in the birthpangs of worship
Preparing to deliver the seed of glory to God.
The Sword Of Kindness penetrates through
The callous and tough skin of rejection 
And causes the church to bleed with acceptance.

Bursting with purity, 
The Holy Ghost marshals His troops into battle formation,
Preparing them for the rough road ahead.
Obstacles are everywhere 
And only the Spirit's power knows the way home.
Because of blind foolishness
Many will fail to receive the sight of deliverance
Offered by God.

Crippled by sin and faithlessness
(Instead of putting the flesh in the coffin of repentance
And conducting funeral services over dead works), 
Many continue in the darkness.
Don't be without sight and light
Or you may find yourself in the pit of despair
In these troublous times ahead.

Pray unceasingly
And be alert.


© Copyright, 1993, 2004 by Christian Concourse Ministries, Inc.  All rights reserved.


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by Ed Strange (Edited for Christian Concourse)


Running to and fro,
seeking here, seeking there.
Be still . . . be still . . . be still, says The Lord!
For I will speak into your life
that which the Spirit of Truth will reveal.

for many voices will say to you,
"Come, go this way,
turn to the right,
turn to the left"
but it will not be My voice, says the Lord.
For I will speak to you in My Word,
yes, even by My Spirit as you are quickened.
Yes, even as you tremble
at My Word
will I reveal My will unto you.

Many are they that call upon idols
and cast their hope upon life's fortunes
but their end is ceaseless toil
and a downcast spirit;
for they say,
"Woe is me for I am undone and my life is full of calamity!"
Is it not your ways that bring strong rebuke?,
says The Lord.
Is it not your halting between the door and the altar that causes your burden to remain,
and the worm to destroy the garden
I have planted in you by My Holy Spirit?

run not,
but arise,
says The Lord
and praise, yes, worship, yes, lay your burden down
and carry it no longer.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Rejoice in The Lord!
Place your trust in The Lord,
lift up your hands,
and lift up your gifts unto Me,
and I will lift your burdens and bring you great joy!!!


© Copyright, 1996, 1999 by Christian Concourse Ministries, Inc.  All rights reserved.


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Wings Into Eternity

by Jerry Johnson


with the Master walking along,
every Word of His a song,
to the aeroplane of the King
for the trip longer than a lifetime long

awaiting there is Agelessness
awaiting there is Painlessness
Death defeated, without sting
awaiting there is Tearlessness
i am OH SO happy with Him...just to be...
...what an endearing personality!

have no doubt He can fly the thing
that wings me out of time into eternity

i fail...and grieve.  You are ever true!

let the angels teach me to spirit-sing
the ancient ode of love that's ever new
and who will pay the priceless fare
to break the bonds of sin's despair
to boldly board His aeroplane to wing ?

Who indeed!  The loving Lamb so fair! 
to the aeroplane of the King
Death defeated, without sting
have no doubt He can fly the thing
let the angels teach me to spirit-sing
to boldly board His aeroplane to wing

© Copyright, 2004 by Gerald T. Johnson.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


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I Was A Wandering Sheep

by Betty Jo Mathis


I was a wand'ring sheep,
I did not love the fold;
I did not love my Shepherd's voice,
I would not be controlled.

I was a wayward child,
I did not love my home;
I did not love my Father's voice,
I loved afar to roam.

The Shepherd sought His sheep,
The Father sought His child;
He followed me o'er vale and hill; 
O'er deserts waste and wild.

He found me nigh to death, 
Famished and faint and lone;
He bound me with the bands of love. 
He saved the wand'ring one.

Jesus my Shepherd is;
'Twas He that loved my soul,
'Twas He that washed me in His blood,
'Twas He that made me whole.

'Twas He that sought the lost,
That found the wand'ring sheep,
'Twas He that brought me to the fold,
'Tis He that still doth keep.

No more a wand'ring sheep,
I love to be controlled;
I love my tender Shepherd's voice,
I love the peaceful fold.

No more a wayward child;
I seek no more to roam;
I love my Heavenly Father's  voice;
I love, I love His home!


© Copyright, 1992, Betty Jo Mathis, Lagrange, WY.


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The Kiss of Jesus

by Jerry Johnson


Blithely presuming on God,
Numb to His Son's intercession,
Indifferent to the daily presence of the Holy Spirit,
The redeemed soul trips along in the morass of its faithless state.

Patiently, the Father works in her life,
Lovingly, Christ calls to His wayward wife,
Skillfully, the Holy Spirit wields the Surgeon's knife:
Unselfishly, God sustains her thru the fruit of doubt and strife.

To the perfect will of God Almighty
There is not an acceptable, logical alternative;
But the slimy, lusty, subtle serpent entices relentlessly
For her to focus on, grasp at anything short of His plan for her.

Oh soul, the tenacity of Satan is nothing
Compared to the longsuffering of your loving Christ!
He has great designs for you, like a diamond in the rough!
Though you falter and fail and shrivel with fear when things get tough.

You will see one day the glory that you miss
When He suddenly shows Himself with a loving kiss!
Just that real, the Holy Spirit waits to reveal to your thirsty heart
That all you seek and strive for, all you long for you will find in His embrace!


Copyright, 2004 by Gerald T. Johnson.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


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Hiding in Thee

A song by William O. Cushing and Ira D. Sankey


O safe in the Rock that is higher than I,
My soul in its conflicts and sorrows would fly;
So sinful, so weary, Thine, Thine would I be;
Thou blest "Rock of Ages," I'm hiding in Thee.
Hiding in Thee,
Hiding in Thee,
Thou blest "Rock of Ages,"
I'm hiding in Thee.

In the calm of the noontide, in sorrow's lone hour,
In times when temptation casts o'er me its power;
In the tempests of life, on its wide, heaving sea,
Thou blest "Rock of Ages," I'm hiding in Thee.
Hiding in Thee,
Hiding in Thee,
Thou blest "Rock of Ages,"
I'm hiding in Thee.

How oft in the conflict, when pressed by the foe,
I have fled to my Refuge and breathed out my woe;
How often, when trials like sea-billows roll,
Have I hidden in Thee, O Thou Rock of my soul. 
Hiding in Thee,
Hiding in Thee,
Thou blest "Rock of Ages,"
I'm hiding in Thee.


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I've Caught the Wind

by Betty Jo Mathis


     The wind blowest where it listeth,
And thou hearest the sound thereof,
    But cans't not tell whence it cometh,
And whither it goeth:
    So is everyone that is born of the Spirit.  John 3:8

    I chased the wind for many years -
Sought in vain, with puzzled tears.
    The wind was real - I heard its sound,
But whence it source?  And whither bound?

    I saw its mark on radiant faces
But feared to claim its gentle graces.
    I'd rather search in things of earth
Like homes and lands and noble birth.

    But when at length I quit the chase
And fell, exhausted, to my face,
    Despairing of all human worth,
Ready at last, for Spiritual birth -

    That wind I'd sought, I now could see
Had been, mysteriously, seeking me!
    My soul revived, my search could end
Amazed I stand - I've caught the Wind!


© Copyright, 1997, Betty Jo Mathis, Lagrange, WY.


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All We Need Is Jesus

by Damon E. Wyatt
Edited for Christian Concourse by Jerry Johnson


     To cover the scars of the human race;
To cleanse man's sins, his wasted life.
    Divine pardon from the great disgrace!
All we need is the Cross of Jesus.
    His blood to cure the plague of sin:
The blighted rot without, within
    The dying souls of sinful men.

All we need is the Grace of Jesus.
    His love to lift our feverish hopes
To show what life is all about;
    To harmonize discordant notes.   
All we need is the Light of Jesus.
    His glory will shine in our dying hour;
Will show the way when we're beyond
    All earthly hope or human power --
All we need is the Way of Jesus.

    His way is ours in the loom of time;
Heaven's splendor will forever shine.
    God's truth is yours as well as mine:
All we need is the Word of Jesus.
    Come unto me, I am the way;
The night is coming, this is the day.
    No time to waste, please don't delay;
Salvation is found in Jesus!


© Copyright, Damon E. Wyatt.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


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The Jobs

by Jerry Johnson


I saw, as in a movie screen,
The wolverine-like beast
With two sets of black bat-like wings,
Red beady eyes,
Sharp, hand-like eagle talons on all four feet,
Snarling and drooling
Thru vicious needle-sharp teeth.
Something I could not imagine.
The beast flew down out of the movie
Snatching from somewhere
A little, defenseless baby bunny,
Flew back into the movie
To nonchalantly do
What I couldn't imagine:
Gripping the little bunny
By the nape of his neck
It sunk a set of talons
Into his exposed chest.
What I couldn't imagine:
It ripped flesh and bone with twisting talons
Just enough
To inflict the most pain and torment,
But not kill the furry ball.
What I couldn't imagine:
With no remorse or reason,
With no emotion,
It dropped the wounded bunny
Like wasted tissue
In the garbage can!
What I couldn't imagine:
It flapped its four black wings again,
Down out of the movie:
Returned again
With a little baby fuzzy, duckling.
What I couldn't imagine:
He did the same, merciless thing again:
Maiming innocent little creatures senselessly;
   Over and over and over
In the movie.
I could no longer stand it!
I "willed" myself into the picture screen.
I "willed" a dagger into my determined fist...
...As fast as I could move...
...Was extremely slow motion.
What I couldn't imagine:
It just ignored me
As I struggled dreadfully slow with the knife.
When I finally got the point to the beast's chest
I plunged it in with all my might.
What I couldn't imagine:
I pulled the blade out
presuming some success. 
I might as well have pushed my finger in a pillow!
And the mauling beast just disregarded me
As it continued on its horrible way.
I stopped the horrifying movie
Like a nightmare.
I lay on my sweat soaked pillow
Stunned and terrified.
When I finally caught my senses
I asked:
"Lord, I think you just showed me something.  What was it?"
"It's not your job to go against the devourer.
That's My job.
It's your job to help the rabbits."
This I saw in the movie,
and I
testify of
The power of God
And His redeeming love,
And His everlasting mercy:
Spread abroad through our hearts
To the downcast
The broken
The weak and wounded souls,
The Jobs that God allows into our lives.
This I didn't imagine.
P.S.:  You know the sorry reputation of Job's comforters...

© Copyright, 2004 by Gerald T. Johnson.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


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Diamonds In The Rough

by Betty Jo Mathis


I watched him there in denim,
his old boots all worn and scuffed;
Just a common sort of guy,
but a diamond in the rough.
I saw him at his labor,
for his work was lowly stuff;
But I heard no squawk nor whine
from this diamond in the rough.
His pay was only av'rage,
but he claimed it was enough.
"Wealth's not found in earthly things,"
said this diamond in the rough.
If other guys got nasty
he just calmly took their guff.
One who sparkled while he served,
was this diamond in the rough.
For underneath the denim,
though some thought of him as gruff,
Was a man in tune with God,
a real diamond in the rough;
A man who knew his weakness,
one who never tried to bluff.
Would God there'd be more like him,
more of diamonds in the rough.


© Copyright, 1992, Betty Jo Mathis, Lagrange, WY.


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O Could I Speak the Matchless Worth

Samuel Medley, 1739 - 1799


O, could I speak the matchless worth,
O, could I sound the glories forth
Which in my Savior shine,
I'd soar and touch the heavenly strings
And vie with Gabriel while he sings
In notes almost divine.

I'd sing the precious blood he spilt,
My ransom from the dreadful guilt
Of sin and wrath divine!
I'd sing his glorious righteousness,
In which all-perfect heavenly dress
My soul shall ever shine.

Soon the delightful day will come
When my dear Lord will bring me home,
And I shall see his face;
Then with my Savior, Brother, Friend,
A blest eternity I'll spend,
Triumphant in his grace.


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by T. W. Smith


Buried beneath the rubble
that once was my heart
Your precious Word lies.
A valuable artifact,
once discarded like
a dirty sock at the end of the day.
A valuable artifact,
now needed more that ever.

The Holy Spirit:  God's Archaeologist
digs through the many layers of rubble
so that His precious Word
may be rediscovered within me.


© Copyright, 2003 by T. W. Smith.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


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Christian Concourse

by Jerry Johnson


These things that God invites us to:
The fellowship,
The other's burden bearing,
The one another caring,
The confessing of our sins,
Loving in word AND deed
(enemies and friends),
The teaching that we need,
All the gifts to exercise,
The "Body Life" to realize,
His special presence in our midst,
The hospitality,
The generosity;
They all are a call
to every lamb
For whom He paid THE PRICE:
Come.  Gather.
Join regularly
On the Concourse of Christ.


© Copyright, 2003 by Gerald T. Johnson.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


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One Heart

by Jerry Johnson


On the Lips of the Master,
Pleadings to His Bride;
On the Body of the Master,
Blood and water down His side;
From the Hand of the Master,
A gentle beckon to His rest;
With the Spirit of the Master,
A wooing to His breast;
From the Eyes of the Master,
Tears with His cries;
In the Word of the Master,
Only Truth never lies;
From His bond with His Children
He will never part;
And His call to all who seek Him:
Be of one mind, One Heart!


© Copyright, 2003 by Gerald T. Johnson.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


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The Doorway

by T. W. Smith


Sitting here staring
at my fresh empty plate,
I begin to contemplate
all the good things I've been given.
Why just the other day,
I saw a boy
Who didn't even have a toy
with which to play.
Even the clothes he had on
were almost gone:
Ragged Jeans, and a shredded t-shirt.
Why, the look in his eyes, even
revealed a deep, deep hurt.

Why?  Why?  Why didn't I even try
to offer to share some of my blessings?
I could have been the doorway
through which Jesus wanted to walk
into his needy life.

Sitting here staring
at my freshly empty plate,
I begin to contemplate
my own selfish sin.
I could have been the doorway
through which Jesus wanted to walk.


© Copyright, T. W. Smith.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


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All Too Often

T. W. Smith


Lord, only You can quench my thirst.
But, when my throat is dry,
and my lips are cracked,
do I turn to You first?
No, all too often,
I drown myself in selfish sin,
as I earnestly try
to do for myself what only You
can do for me.  All too often,
my selfishness leads me astray
when I need only to humbly pray.
I once heard You sincerely say
"Of whatever you ask in prayer,
believing, you shall be the receiver" *
Yet all too often, I live as if I
did not believe these words to be true
even though I know You cannot lie. **
Knowing this, I truly know that You
would love to quench my spiritual thirst
when my throat is dry,
and my lips are cracked
If only I would humble myself and ask.


* Paraphrased from Matthew 21: 22
** "cannot lie" is quoted from Titus 1: 2 (KJV)


© Copyright, T. W. Smith.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


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"Man of Sorrows" What a Name

Philip P. Bliss, 1875


"Man of Sorrows!" what a name
For the Son of God who came
Ruined sinners to reclaim!
Hallelujah, what a Savior!

Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned He stood,
Sealed my pardon with His blood;
Hallelujah, what a Savior!

Guilty, vile, and helpless we,
Spotless Lamb of God was He;
Full atonement! can it be?
Hallelujah, what a Savior!

Lifted up was he to die,
"It is finished," was His cry;
Now in heav'n exalted high,
Hallelujah, what a Savior!

When He comes, our glorious King,
All His ransomed home to bring,
Then anew this song we'll sing,
Hallelujah, what a Savior!


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He's Watching

by Betty Jo S. Berry


When the stormy winds are blowing
And the rains begin to fall;
Remember our LORD is with you
All you need do is call.

HE will carry you over the river
To a much higher ground;
There will be no reason to worry
For our FATHER is ALWAYS around.

Just know HE loves you dearly
And is the creator of ALL mankind;
There will ALWAYS be times of darkness
But don't let that fog up your mind.

As the dark clouds hover over
You'll be given strength anew;
For HE's watching very closely
As HE cares for ME and YOU.

HE's always right there !!!


"But thanks be to GOD!  HE gives us the victory through our LORD JESUS CHRIST."  [ I Corinthians 15:57 ]


© Copyright 2000, Betty Jo S. Berry.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


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Calling Falling on Leavened Ears

by Jerry Johnson


"My God!  My God!  Why hast thou forsaken me?"
Hear my cry, oh God.  Attend unto my plea!
He was wounded for OUR sin, you see!
He was bruised for OUR iniquity!
On the edge of the crowd at the Cross we stand quietly
And way off in the far, far distance, you and me,
Can barely hear His still, small prophecy: 
"Beware of the leaven of the Pharisee!"
hear our prayer Oh Lord
even rote and mundane mumblings
of the frivolous and bored
hear our prayer Oh Lord
even selfish ego rumblings
of the fatly over-stored
hear our prayer Oh Lord
even childish fitful stumblings
of the fully immatured
hear our prayer Oh Lord
even numbness to your humblings
of the hard-to-be-restored
hear our prayer Oh Lord
even silly sing-song fumblings
of the ones in Sin Sea moored  
hear our prayer Oh Lord
even dry lifeless crumblings
of the ones the beast has gored
hear our prayer Oh Lord
even foolish dumb bumblings
of the lashed by satan's sword
hear our prayer Oh Lord
even babbled pitied jumblings
of the drunken bottle poured
hear our prayer Oh Lord
even meteoric grumblings
of the walled in and undoored
hear our prayer Oh Lord
even incoherent tumblings
of the parachuteless cord
hear our prayer Oh Lord
even ethered coma numblings
of the windless sail unoared
Hear our Prayer Oh Lord
even gatherings of the dumblings
of the crowd wholly unaccord
God loved the world this way: He gave His Son for YOU!
"Father forgive them for they know not what they do!"
Who hath believed our report?  Pray, tell me, WHO?
"Love Me in word AND by the deeds you do."
"Traditions of men, make the Word of God of no effect." 'Tis True!
Nominalism and Materialism are nasty earplugs, too.
Beware of the leaven of the you!

© Copyright, 2003 by Gerald T. Johnson.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


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Matthew 18:21-35

by Mark C. Chase


Forgiveness?  Indescribable
In magnitude of worth;
It's price tag's shape is of a cross
With a 70 times 7 girth.
That's 70 times 7 forgivings
Peter was loath to start,
But when he did he knew he'd changed
Down deep within his heart.
Forgiveness is for needy souls.
Forgiven, we're set free.
Yet bear in mind that forgiveness
Is supremely Calvary.
But troubled hearts and guilty minds
Unforgiving all these years
Still feel sins white hot crippling scars
And frequent bitter tears.
Say!  Why should I forgive that one?
It really was their fault!
I don't see pardon as an out,
My ego would revolt!
Nor should I give another chance,
I'll hate them if need be;
Humanly, they'll pay the price
For what they did to me!
"Forgive them Father, for my sake
They know not what they do."
Cause when I gave my life, my all,
I paid for their sins too!
Yes, If they'll ask with sincere heart
It's just as well as done.
Now, can we help mankind to see
What forgiveness cost God's Son?
He had to satisfy the Law,
His Blood to pay sin's price,
Before forgiveness could be given
'Took His total sacrifice.
So privileged we are by God,
"Forgiven," hear Him say.
To know accepting Him, His Word
Forgave our hell-bent way.
Forgiving empties out the heart
Of hate and jealousy,
Of envy, bigotry and blame;
Sin's endless tyranny.
Forgiveness?  Indescribable
In magnitude of worth;
The price tag's shape is of a cross
With a 70 times 7 girth.


© Copyright, 1986 by Mark C. Chase.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


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Easter 2000

by Patricia Van Scoyoc


Ending the curse of death, He arose
After-life in heaven we all could know
Sin no longer has its hold
Tell the story, be brave, be bold
Enter in a new era of God's grace
Remembering again we shall see His sweet face


© Copyright, 2000 by Patricia Van Scoyoc.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


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Not All the Blood of Beasts

by Isaac Watts, 1709


Not all the blood of beasts
On Jewish altars slain,
Could give the guilty conscience peace
Or wash away the stain.
But Christ, the heavenly Lamb,
Takes all our sins away;
A Sacrifice of nobler name,
And richer blood than they.

My faith would lay her hand
On that dear head of Thine,
While like a penitent I stand,
And there confess my sin.
My soul looks back to see
The burden Thou didst bear
When hanging on the cursèd Tree,
And knows her guilt was there.

Believing, we rejoice
To see the curse remove;
We bless the Lamb with cheerful voice,
And sing His bleeding love.


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God Saves With All His Heart

by Jerry Johnson


"Yes, I will rejoice over them to do them good,
and I will assuredly plant them in this land,
with all My heart and with all My soul."  
Jeremiah 32: 41


Tho racked in the howling surge of demonic constructs and circumstances;
Under the weight of all the unholy contradictions of "luck" and chances;
When bathing in the muck of endless, mundane, boring chores;
In the face of satan's fiendish screaming, screeching unrelenting lures;
O, yet I clutch the cause to trust our loving, gracious Lord:
For no weapon formed against it can survive the mighty slash of His Holy Sword!

And no mischief of the evil one can destroy what His Word decrees restored!

I share with many being the object of His affection and His unfailing love,
For Christ has placed in me the Holy Seed from His Father up Above.
No matter what the temporal circumstances, what I feel or what I see,
I rest secure to know the Eternal Word of God is effective and resident in me!

And tho the journey continues, someday I will see Him and I will be as He!
And because of the beauty of His handiwork He will dance and sing over me!

The Lord God is in your midst!
The Mighty One will deliver you!
He will rejoice over you!
You'll find peace in His love,
And He will sing,
And be joyful about you!
Zephaniah 3:17


© Copyright 2003 by Gerald T. Johnson.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


God Saves With All His Heart (annotated) 

by Jerry Johnson


"Yes, I will rejoice over them to do them good,
and I will assuredly plant them in this land,
with all My heart and with all My soul."  
Jeremiah 32: 41


Tho racked in the howling surge of demonic constructs and circumstances;
Under the weight of all the unholy contradictions of "luck" and chances;
When bathing in the muck of endless, mundane, boring chores;
In the face of satan's fiendish screaming, screeching unrelenting lures;
O, yet I clutch the cause to trust our loving, gracious Lord: 


John 6:37  All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.


For no weapon formed against it can survive the mighty slash of His Holy Sword!  


Isa 54:17  No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.


And no mischief of the evil one can destroy what His Word decrees restored! 


Ro 8:38-39  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39  Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


I share with many being the object of His affection and His unfailing love, 


1Jo 4:10  Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.


For Christ has placed in me the Holy Seed from His Father up Above. 


1Pe 1:23  Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.


No matter what the temporal circumstances, what I feel or what I see, 


1Pet1:3-9  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4  To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 5  Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.  6  Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:  7  That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:  8  Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:  9  Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.


I rest secure to know the Eternal Word of God is effective and resident in me! 


Gal 2:20  I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.


And tho the journey continues, someday I will see Him and I will be as He! 


1Jo 3:2  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.


And because of the beauty of His handiwork He will dance and sing over me!


"The Lord God is with you.
The Mighty One will save you.
He will rejoice over you.
You'll rest in His love.
And He will sing
and be joyful about you."
Zephaniah 3:17


© Copyright, 2003 by Gerald T. Johnson.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


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In Darkness

by Betty Jo S. Berry


When you're walking in the darkness
And you don't know where to go;
Put your trust in GOD, our FATHER
For you see, HE loves you so . . . 
Cast out ALL fear and frustrations
Lean only on HIS love;
There is no other stronger
Than our FATHER up above . . .
Even though the way is lonely
And the sadness so hard to bear;
When we focus on our SAVIOR
HE"s the one who WILL take care . . .
HE WILL lead you through the tunnel
And sometimes HE'LL carry you;
For you see, HE has the power
And HIS love WILL comfort you . . .
We are ALL just merely humans
We are weak and sadly frail;
And we MUST look up to JESUS
So HE can guide us down the trail . . .
In our flesh we ALL are stubborn
And we want to do our thing;
When we learn to turn to JESUS
It's a lovely and joyous ring . . .
For you see HE REALLY loves YOU
And HE knows just what is best;
NEVER try to be HIS master
Or you'll find you'll fail the test . . .
+    +    +

"The LORD WILL brighten my darkness."
2 Samuel 22:29


© Copyright 2001, Betty Jo S. Berry.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


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Amidst Us Our Beloved Stands

by:  Charles H. Spurgeon


". . . Jesus came and stood among them and said:  "Put your finger here; see My hands . . . ."  John 20:27


Amidst us our Beloved stands,
And bids us view His pierced hands;
Points to the wounded feet and side,
Blest emblems of the Crucified.

What food luxurious loads the board,
When at His table sits the Lord!
The wine how rich, the bread how sweet,
When Jesus deigns the guests to meet!

If now, with eyes defiled and dim,
We see the signs, but see not Him;
O may His love the scales displace,
And bid us see Him face to face!

O glorious Bridegroom of our hearts,
Your present smile a heav'n imparts!
O lift the veil, if veil there be,
Let every saint Your glory see!

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The Cold Within

by James Patrick Kinny


May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Romans 15: 5-6


Six humans trapped by happenstance, in bleak and bitter cold;
Each one possessed a stick of wood, or so the story's told.

Their dying fire in need of logs, the first man held his back,
For of the faces round the fire, he noticed one was black.

The next man looking cross the way, saw no one of his church,
And couldn't bring himself to give the fire his stick of birch.

The third one sat in tattered clothes, he gave his coat a hitch;
Why should his log be put to use to warm the idle rich?

The rich man just sat back and thought of the wealth he had in store,
And how to keep what he had earned from the lazy, shiftless poor.

The black man's face bespoke revenge as the fire passed from his sight.
For all he saw in his stick of wood was a chance to spite the white.

The last man of this forlorn group did naught except for gain,
Giving only to those who gave was how he played the game.

Their logs held tight in death's still hand was proof of human sin:
They didn't die from the cold without - they died from the cold within.

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A Willing Sacrifice

by Jerry Johnson


"Whenever the Holy Ghost sees a chance of glorifying Jesus, He will take your heart, your nerves, your whole personality, and simply make you blaze and glow with devotion to Jesus Christ."  [Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, July 2nd.]


Precious, loving Intimacy of Life
Flood me with your Peace!
Wash me of my foolish strife;
Cause my screaming lusts to cease.

Take me, drag me thru the tomb of Your correction;
Let me see the price you paid.
Bring me to the gleaming hope - The Resurrection:
A new creation You have made!

Fill me with the New Life of Your Sweet Affection!
Let my being, on Your altar, lovingly laid,
Be a service of glad, constant, willing action:
In labor - diligent, in trials - staid.


Ps. 19: 14 - Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my Strength and my Redeemer.


Romans 12:1 - I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.


© Copyright, 2002 by Gerald T. Johnson.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


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Unruly Heart

by Mark Phillips


("Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly as God in Christ forgave you." Ephesians 4:32 [The Message])


Uruly heart that cowers when threatened and
devours when attacked
can you not for one hour forget
the sword-tongue silence that slit
my soul and bled its passion dry?
Do you, Christ, bid the wounded soul extend the hand?
Write the soft note unanswered?
Embrace with empty arms of the ones who carried
the sword?
I stew.
I do not boil.
I am set at medium heat to avoid outbursts
from the dormant volcano beneath my
unlucky scars.
If I boil, let passion return.
If I erupt, let it be in heat-love and
not fiery destruction upon homes that dwell
near the lava flow.
Unruly heart with steam that seeps through the fissures
When will you heal? Or explode?
Or simply die forever dormant, safe,
but without fire.
Can passion return to the wounded heart?
renew me,
mark p.


© Copyright, 2000 by Mark Phillips.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


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My Father, My Mother and I

by Jerry Johnson


Before my time . . .
My mother walked the streets at night;
She was poor and outcast, diseased.
Plying her wares -- a social blight --
A "thing" to those she sought to please.
In the dreadful mornings, when the sun shone bright
She sulked away in sullen shame,
Hoping sleep, wicked guilt would tame.

Now the King who ruled the daylight
Was Love epitomized.
Only those who never met Him
His kindness criticized.
He was meek and He was humble
Though no man dared try His might.
He was handsome beyond comparison;
From His eyes . . . came healing Light.

Early, as my mother scurried
For her ragged bed through the morning dew,
The mighty King's great procession
Turned onto the city avenue.
She cast a shameful glance his way,
When her eyes met his - she could not lift a shoe.
Oh, the horror when his chariot stopped;
Oh, the amazement as he spoke: . . ."I would love to marry you!"
So into His chariot He lifted her
As she clutched her ragged shawl.
He put his strong arm around her:
At His side, no chance to fall.
To His glorious castle He took her
And He proudly announced to one and all:
"This is my lovely bride, prepare her,
To the guests of the wedding feast send out the call!"
In elegance and innocent charm
In a glistening white wedding dress
My beautiful mother adorned His arm
As she walked the aisle with no regrets.
Unreserved, without alarm
She sincerely did profess
Her past ways were wholly gone
She would love her King . . . with faithfulness.

Now the King who ruled the daylight
Was Love epitomized.
Only those who never met Him
His kindness criticized.
He was meek and He was humble
Though no man dared try His might
On her hand He placed His ring,
In her wounded heart . . . His healing Light!

As time passed . . .

Now the King had one great servant
Who was greater than them all.
He was mighty, he was beautiful
But his arrogance was his fall.
And he thought to have the King's new wife.
He knew her past . . . her young resistance would be small.
So decked with his brilliant, gleaming robes
He cornered her alone one day in the hall
He whispered, I have caught your wondering eyes
Admiring my physique --
For love like mine your memory cries.
Now I'm sure the King is kind and sweet
I know he really tries
But it is my touch that you seek.
Wander with me 'neath the blue skies
Of the wilderness for a week!
My mother fell for his scheming ways.
They fled into the wilderness.
Indulging in the horrible deed for days . . .
Her satisfaction turned to emptiness . . .
And too late she found it isn't worth the lonely wage it pays!
Now the great servant disdained her highness
As he hurried off he laughed: "I'm leaving, only the King's condemnation stays!"

The day that devil left her . . .

She found herself alone and lost
The desert now her home.
If only she had counted the cost;
If only she had known!
Oh, the misery of the desert morning frost!
Oh, the scorching of the sun at noon!
But the King's love that she had tossed
She discovered wasn't dreamed . . . she'd have His baby soon!!!
I was conceived in love and security
I was born in hopelessness and shame.
Though my mother was awash with iniquity
We still carried my Father's kingly name.
We wondered among my mother's former kind;
She dragged me from sordid place to place;
A helping hand, a pleasant word we could not find:
Her old friends hated . . . the light upon my face.
I was rejected and felt forsaken
For my own mother wished me dead:
For she felt it better if I were taken
Than to face the hopelessness ahead.

We scrapped, we scratched, we crawled
As the desert fed us worthless sand.
The uselessness of fighting left us both appalled.
What a meal we ate at the hateful servant's hand!

Then, one day we met a messenger.
From the King's palace he had come.
He said the King had lost His wife to sin,
But He knew she was carrying His son!
He said the King would take her back again!
For He searches every day.
On His mighty white steed He rides the clouds.
When they see Him they can call Him -- He will turn their way.
The herald didn't know us
In our rags and blistered skin.
As he left to go on preaching
We could not believe the flicker of hope he left within.
So we turned back to the desert
With tears of hopelessness streaming from our eyes.

And the wilderness was still laughing when I saw . . . the glimmer in the skies.

Through the thick, dark, brazen overcast
A shaft of light did pierce.
Though incredulous, our heart leaped inside at last
And our sorrow turned to joyful tears.
Behold, the Mighty White Steed
And my Magnificent Father held his reins!

We cried, we screamed: "Dear Jesus!!!! Dear Jesus!!!"
They were gone: . . . the guilt, the sorrow, the pains.
His face in that instant burst
With living, loving Light.
He seemed overjoyed to see us
As resurrected by the sight!

Our guilt and that devil had lied to us --
He never wished us any harm!
And swooping low, rushing toward us,
He safely lifted us . . . with His mighty arm.

And now . . .

As born again, my mom and I
With Him safely ride from condemnation freed;
Winging for Home thru the clearing sky
Upon His Mighty Steed.
For in His loving eye
I see now my destiny:
In His Amazing Grace to abide
In every word and deed.

Now the King who rules the daylight
Is Love epitomized.
Only those who never met Him
His kindness criticize.
He is meek and He is humble
Though no man dare try His might
He is handsome beyond comparison;
From His eyes come. . . for soul and spirit . . .
Everlasting, healing Light.


© Copyright, 2002 by Gerald T. Johnson.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


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We Are Building


We are building in sorrow and building in joy,
A temple the world cannot see;
But we know it will stand if we found it on the ROCK
That will hold thru all eternity.

We are building day by day, 
As the moments glide away,
Our temple which the world cannot see;
Every victory won by GRACE
Will be sure to find its place,
In our building for eternity.

Every deed forms a part in this building of ours,
That is done in the name of the Lord;
For the love that we show, and the kindness we bestow,
He has promised us a bright reward!

Then be watchful and wise, let the temple we rear
Be one that no tempest can shock;
For the MASTER has said, yea, He teaches in His WORD,
We must build upon the solid ROCK.

We are building day by day, 
As the moments glide away,
Our temple which the world cannot see;
Every victory won by GRACE
Will be sure to find its place,
In our building for eternity.

Taken from an old hymn book titled: HYMNS: OLD AND NEW, 
R. L. Allan & Sons, 141, 143 Sauchiehall St., Glascow, England, selection 47.


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Turn To Him

Betty Jo S. Berry


How I wish that I could help you
In some small way that you could know;
The depth of love and anguish
That my heart strings really go . . . 
How I wish that I could lessen
Some of your pain and stressful heart;
Carry part of your heavy burden
That's grown larger from the start . . .

HE has promised to sustain us
HE's our shelter and hiding place;
HE's our great and loving protector
HE's the winner of the race . . .
So turn to HIM for comfort
ALWAYS telling HIM your needs;
Knowing that HE hears YOU praying
From distress you WILL be freed . . .


"He that followeth ME shall not walk in darkness"
[John 8:12]


© Copyright 2002, Betty Jo S. Berry.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


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On That Center of the Universe Night

by Jerry Johnson


Our Father, which art in Heaven:

What pride?
What passion?
What pain?
did you feel stirring, competing in your chest
when the little virgin girl finally found her rest
(from her journey, from her labor 
and from explaining to her neighbor
she had no idea, no special insight
about what the Son of God just might look like)
on that center of the universe night
when the hay trough beamed with eternal Light
and angels sang "Peace!" to shepherds watching little lambs 
carefully kept for their bloody slaughter on the altar 
ineffectually atoning for man's 
incessant sin.

Could a Heavenly Father feel pride in the birth 
of His little infant Son?
Could His heart swell inside for the worth
of this solitary One?
This Only Begotten Deity?
This Baby expressing One in Three?

What was on our Father's Mind 
injecting Divinity 
into the morass of time
bathed in afterbirth?
What pride?  Indeed, what worth!

Did passions swirl in this Father's chest
as His ancient Son suckled His mother's breast?
Did the ironies overwhelm this Father's calm:
One with an Infant holding worlds in His palm,
the flesh and blood essence of innocence,
the ultimate image of impotence,
thrust in the savage and heartless gore
of a world swamped in supernatural war?
A Babe is called to the ultimate price, 
dwarfing the gift of gold and spice:
whatever it takes!

What passion? Indeed, what stakes! 
Can we compare the Father's tears to rain
as we contemplate the foreseen pain
to be borne by this little bundle of joy and peace
Whose ultimate sacrifice will all sacrifice cease?

Though Creator's Love defies it, 
though self-righteousness decries it,
though Satan's child denies it,
Father's omniscience knows
His Babe, deity wrapped in swaddling clothes,
tortured and murdered at the enemy's hand,
would pay the King's ransom for helpless, ragged man. 
Redeeming Infant here by priceless Grace above!  

What pain?  Indeed, what Love! 

© Copyright, 2001 by Gerald T. Johnson.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


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by Patricia Van Scoyoc


Bountiful blessings from above
Lavished upon us with a Father's love
Eternity could only be better
Savior and Father and us together
Sing praises for all he has done
Indeed he gave us his only Son
Nothing else would he withhold from us
Giving gifts that do not rust
Simply believe, obey and trust


© Copyright, 2001 by Patricia Van Scoyoc.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


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by Jerry Johnson


Please read Acts 27: 9-25


Leader, Loving, Fearless Wisdom,
        follow Thee now,
        we must:
Tho weather drive our vessel
        and betray
        our foolish trust;
Tho now our own hands
        cast off tackle
        once relied upon;
Tho nights be long and starless,
        and the days
        without a sun;
Tho all hope of our salvation
        be dashed
        by wind and wave;
Tho we heed You not in comfort,
        nor seek Thee
        'till our grave.
Oh, Forsaken Leader,
        'tis no wonder
        You abstain,
'Till our efforts be exhausted
        and we turn
        to Thee again.

Oh, Jesus, how we shun Thee,
        as the travelers
        did Your man!
Please, tarry with us longer,
        help us trust
        Your loving hand.


© Copyright, 1984 by Gerald T. Johnson.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


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You Can Walk Away

by Betty Jo S. Berry


Have you ever felt so lonely
So completely down and out;
And the strangest part about it all
You don't know what it's all about . . .
These are times of weakness
When SATAN has gotten through;
Trying to break your walk with GOD
Which means so much to you . . .
Just knowing that this too WILL pass
And you CAN walk away;
And feel just like you did before
Just get on your knees and pray . . . 
For GOD will surely speak to you
And let you know HE's there;
And take you in HIS loving arms
And you WILL know HE cares . . .
All things are possible with GOD!!!


"Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down:
for the Lord upholdeth him with HIS hand."
[ Psalm 37:24 ]


© Copyright 2001, Betty Jo S. Berry.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


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Jesus at the Playground

by Jerry Johnson


Tootlin' in his mighty caddy
Headin' for the battle of important work,
The wholly man slammed on brakes
and gave the wheel a jerk:
Was that really Jesus?
Back at the school playground?
As he threw the car door open
His crusty heart began to pound.
He ran up to the Saviour thinking,
"What is He doin' here?
"Good Master, can I ask you?"
He blurted without fear,
"Why in this everlovin' world
would YOU, of all, be found
"Leaning on this chainlink fence
By this vacant school playground?"
"Shhhhhhh," He whispered,
And with a gentle motion of His calloused hand,
He gestured, authoritatively, to the man
Beside Him there to stand.
"I looked all over town for You.
After a while I just plain quit!
"You know all the church work I do.
I figured You'd show when You saw fit.
"Who'd of ever guessed you'd be leaning
 on this empty playground fence?
"I'm running my fool head off for you,
But you're not even tense!"

"Shhhhhhh," again, He whispered,
Taking the wholly man's hand,
"Quietly wait here beside me.
In a moment you will understand."

Wait!?! You say? Wait?  Man . . . !
Who is going to save the hoards out there lost?
"I've got all Your nagging sheep to feed!
And fund raising to cover YOUR costs!

A lingering gaze from the Master's eyes,
A squeeze upon his anxious hand,
And the wholly man got the point:
Not suggesting, Christ was giving a command.

So . . . they stood there, One, patient;
The other stewing over wasted time.

It happened without warming:
The recess bell began to chime!
With a CRASH! the school doors opened
As though they had been kicked! 
A horde of balls of energy
In all directions, lickity-split.

As He watched the playing children 
Jesus' face lit up with pure delight.
Amazement turning to disgust,
The wholly man could not believe his sight:
Here was Jesus all intense
Watching these foolish children play.
Not a soul was being witnessed to;
Not one kid knew how to pray!
"Jesus, these young'uns have no understanding
About hard work or sin or evil or hate;
"And the tithes would amount to nothing
If we passed the offering plate!
"No church buildings would ever get built
If we left it up to them to do!
"And rather than making an improvement
The place'll be worse off when they're thru!"

Jesus looked down on the wholly man,
"Would you please listen to yourself?!
"My children are not commodities
For you to count sitting on the shelf!
"My work is not just about new buildings
Or homilies on the psychology of hate.
"Now consider the end of your religiosity.
Stand quietly there.  Watch . . . and wait."

The preacher knew Christ might be right.
He accepted that he'd been put in his place.

The Master's attention returned to the children,
Love beaming from His face.

Just then, the wholly man saw her
A little girl, sitting on a motionless swing:
Other children's games did not amuse her,
Their toys, right now, were not her thing.
She looked where they were standing,
And in a moment, time joined eternity:
When she saw Jesus, she called to Him:
"Daddy, will you come swing me?"
His whole body beaming with joy,
As seeing no other sight, hearing no other sound:
The Master ran to swing his child
Two hearts with infinite love together bound.

The wholly man stood there in shock
As he took in the stark, cold reality:
That Jesus would rather play with His child
Than toil and struggle and jerk and fight with he!
That old crusty heart began to melt.
He ran, clerical garb flailing in the wind,
Joyfully took a swing beside the little girl, 
His religious war was over, fighting at an end. 


© Copyright 2001, Gerald Thomas Johnson, Norfolk, VA.  All rights reserved.


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to pray

Viola Eaton


Do you feel alone or neglected?
What are you expecting of life today?
The load is so heavy
Your feet are so weary
You can't seem to see the way.

Ask the Lord to unlock your heart
and help you to pray.
No special words, place or style are needed
to get the message to stay.

Learn to take one step at the time
discover the unknown --
Watch at the cross road; ask help to
choose the right one -- pray.

Be assured there's a wonderful road where peace,
hope and comfort abide.
Knowing by now that our living, listening
and loving God hears the prayer.

You have said, "Come unto me all ye who are
weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest."
God, forgive me of my mortal weaknesses
help me each day to pray.


© Copyright 1997, Viola Eaton.  All rights reserved. 


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Life - Only Once

Author unknown


Life only once we can live it
Oh! what a great solemn thought;
Soon will our journey be over.
Soon will the battle be fought.

Oh, what shall it profit
Riches and pleasures to gain?
If your own soul is the forfeit,
Shall it not all be in vain?

Life, as the flowers that are blooming,
Withers and passes away;
All its great glory is fleeting--
Only the joy of a day.

If you are heavily laden,
Tired of a life that is vain,
Jesus has promised to save you,
If you will yield to His claim.

Will you now choose to obey Him,
Yielding yourself to His call?
This is the choice that will save you,
Making Him Lord of your all.

Oh, what shall it profit
Riches and pleasures to gain?
If your own soul is the forfeit,
Shall it not all be in vain?


Taken from an old hymn book titled: HYMNS: OLD AND NEW, 
R. L. Allan & Sons, 141, 143 Sauchiehall St., Glascow, England, selection 47.


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Crowded Out

Author unknown


Is Christ crowded out of your busy life,
With the toiling that each day brings?
With the strain and stress of the cares that press,
You've no room for the King of Kings?

No room in the inn for the Christ child blest,
In a manger so low He lay,
In the hearts of men o'er and o'er again,
There's no room for Him still today.

The foxes have holes and the birds have nests,
But no where for His head divine,
Had the Son of man -- should He come again,
Would He find a place in your heart and mine?

The hearts of the ones whom He died to save
Is the home where He seeks today,
By His life bought, yet He is crowded out,
And "Away with Him," still they say.

There is coming a day in the great sometime,
If for Christ you have never room,
You will knock and wait at the pearly gate,
"Crowded out," there will be your doom.

Crowded out, crowded out,
You've no time for His service you say.
While for pleasures and business you always have time,
Is Christ crowded out today?


Taken from an old hymn book titled: HYMNS: OLD AND NEW, 
R. L. Allan & Sons, 141, 143 Sauchiehall St., Glascow, England, selection 29.


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Bring me back, Lord Jesus!

by Jerry Johnson


Bring me back to the mystery,
Lord Jesus,
Revealed thru Your Life in me,
Bring me back to that Holy Ground,
My Master,
Where atonement in Your Blood is found
Where faith's eyes began to see;
Where hope first grasped eternity;
Where unselfish love is crowned,
Replacing greed with charity;
Where heed is given to the clarity
Of the unveiled mystery
Of the gospel's simplicity:
"Christ in you, the hope of glory!"

Tell me again, Lord, the Old, Old Story
Write on my heart Your every sigh!
Seal my memory with every 
Movement of Your loving eye.
Bring me back to the mystery,
Lord Jesus,
Of Your life revealed in me!


© Copyright 2001, Gerald Thomas Johnson, Norfolk, VA.  All rights reserved.


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See Only Thee!

by Jerry Johnson


Oh, Father, I cry out to You: 
Your Voice within me
In this mess I'm going thru
My soul's security . . .
At times, my scourging too!
You love . . . longsufferingly!
Oh, Father, I cry out to You!
Old idols, hauntingly,
Scream, enticing me to do
What you are teaching me
I must choose not to pursue.

Oh, the choices that I see
Let them all come from you:
The secret -- see only Thee!
Only Thee in my want's view! 
Oh, Father, I cry out to You!
Cleanse me of my sin.
Fill my desire with You within!


Copyright 2001, Gerald Thomas Johnson, Norfolk, VA.  All rights reserved.


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What a Friend

A golden hymn of the church by Joseph Scriven and Charles C. 
Converse.  Taken from "Devotional Hymns" published by Hope Publishing Co. in 1941.


What a Friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and grief to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged,
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness,
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy-laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Saviour, still our refuge -- 
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer;
In His arms He'll take and shield thee,
Thou wilt find a solace there.


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Snow Hill

by Mark Phillips


I've got a date with my daughter and a snow hill on Saturday...

("Are there any among the fallen gods of the nations that can make rain?
Or can the heavens give copious showers? Art Thou not He, the Lord our
God? We wait for Thee, for Thou doest all these things." Jeremiah 14:22)

Saturday I will cross the frozen river with the
sponge-crunching of new dry snow pillowing
from under my boots.

Saturday I will climb the snow hill traced with
primary trails, secondary borders, elementary lines
at cross purposes with fall-line.

Saturday I will feel my nose-hairs freeze,
hear my snowpants swoosh,
breathe my artic breath
and dare the laughter to stay inside
on a day created for dads and daughters.

Saturday I will take my seven year Sarah spinning,
squealing, sliding, sledding on toboggan-ready snow.
Each time she'll climb
the hill behind me knee-deep in repeat footprints.

Saturday we'll meet with clouds and cushions,
we'll spy a rabbit's den or guess where the muskrats live.
Our hill, the snow hill, is the frontier, the forest,
the playland of wonder, the cup of cheer.

Saturday we'll climb the hill exhausted,
for a final slide clear to the bottom,
down the steep face, eyes shut tight,
over the icedam jump, holding tight,
plowing the final pile of fluff at the edge
of the river and ice.

And if we hit it just right our final run,
we'll slip halfway home on the river's roof
with giggles heard halfway across the neighborhood.

Saturday, just before unpiling our layered suits
on towels on the floor to the smell of chocolate
and marshmallows,
I'll turn to the hill, our playland free,
and with the deepest breath breathed all day
be glad I have Someone to thank.

every breath, every snowflake is a gift of grace,
mark p.

© Copyright 2001, Mark Phillips.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.

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by Barbara Spicuglia


I am hanging in the balance
of what is and what should be
with unceasing moans and murmurs
to the King who spans this breach.

The gap, it's far too wide,
the pain too great to bear.
My heart and mind aren't strong as His,
yet I come to Him in prayer.

Now my eyes are on His face.
He whispers in my ear,
gives me a long, loving embrace.
I rejoice that He is near.

What He spoke in silence
I ponder in my soul.
I watch and wait for Him to act,
learn of His ways and will.

One lesson there is for me:
He alone is in control.
Whatever happens, He is Lord,
and His faithful love consoles.

Countless doubts ever arise:
do I really know His voice?
I've much to learn by tested faith.
I'll yield:  my daily choice.

Through all and in all
Jesus Christ is Lord indeed.
God's will be done, His kingdom come,
let all for His glory be!


© Copyright 1991, Barbara Spicuglia.  All rights reserved. 


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Little Ones of the Master 

by Jerry Johnson


I had the honor of getting to know a dear sweet lady a few years ago. Though a precious, weathered saint of God, she never preached great flowery sermons; never won a city full of heathens to Jesus; she never impressed anyone that I know of with being all that spiritually mighty. But what I learned from knowing her was God's perspective of His little children. He doesn't keep score the way we do...He's looking on the heart. No one took note as she faithfully read her little devotional book and kneeled beside her bed most every morning for fifty years to ask God to somehow get her through each day. She was never the Bible teacher at church; she always went to learn. But the Lord gave me the honor of seeing into this magnanimous soul. There I found a rare, solid-iron, death-defying faith in her Savior. The time came for me to stand, shocked, beside what I knew to be her deathbed. I asked God what I could say. I felt He didn't want ME to say anything. I asked HIM what HE wanted to say. He replied in His tender way to my heart, "Suffer my little child to come unto me." I wrote this poem that night.


They're precious, innocent, trusting, sublime:
Little ones of the Master,
Unaged by the passing of time.
Believing beyond any hope of reason:
Little ones of the Master,
Warmed from within, this winter season.
Passing their mem'ries, their faults and cares,
Little ones of the Master
Feel pain only their Father shares.

A moment's suffering a lifetime long,
Little Ones of the Master
Bear their cross with a silent song.
Touching everyone, holding no one firm,
Little ones of the Master
Lean on Him their hopes to confirm.
Wordless, they defy the doubts of mankind:
Little ones of the Master
Are a shout of eternal rhyme!

Bold at the threshold of Destiny's door:
Little ones of the Master,
Childlike, embark from mortal shore;
For they, most clearly, hear the call from across the sea
To the little ones of the Master:
"Suffer My little children to come unto me."


© Copyright 2000, Gerald Thomas Johnson, Norfolk, VA.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


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He Sings 

John and Laura Olmstead


What was I clinging to when I clung to anything but you?
What strange vine intoxicated my ailing soul?
What enchanting voice bespelled me and took me
From the only pursuit worth my time, my heart?
What sort of body eclipsed the shine of you?
What stole my eyes from the beauty of your glory?
How foolish now it seems, that for a moment,
For a flash of time - did rotten meat taste fresh?
What insanity possessed me to seek the living
Among the dead? The sweet from a bitter root?
Why, any fool would choose to eat a well cooked feast
Rather than rotten garbage.

Why ate I garbage?
What once attracted me has lost its savor
When set beside the bread of heaven, the light of life,
The song of the Father, the dance of Heaven.
The crass, insipid garbage of the world
Stands out in sharp relief.
The Life of Christ, the life in Christ, Christ my life
- He beckons me.
Bubbling like a joyful stream, He sings.
So I join Him, skipping, a calf from the stall;
And behind, the phantom voices fade to nothing.


© Copyright 2000, John and Laura Olmstead.  All rights reserved.
Used by permission.


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Victory Song 


by Audrey Lieving (written just before she went to be with the Lord in 1986.)


© Copyright, 2000 by Darlynn S. Johnson.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


Verse 1 
The tombs of famous people are scattered here and there, 
We honor them in memory, their deeds we often share, 
But there's a tomb now empty, that held a royal King. 
His deeds made life worth living, our people rightly sing.

Empty! Empty! The tomb of Christ my Lord. 
Risen! Risen! As promised in His Word. 
Coming! Coming! The angels gladly sing. 
Victory! Yes, Victory! I serve a risen King!

Verse 2 
He gave his life on Calvary for all the sins of men, 
He arose to life victorious for a life that never ends. 
He's coming back to empty our tombs for evermore, 
And gather all his family to heavens golden shore.

Empty! Empty! The tomb of Christ my Lord. 
Risen! Risen! As promised in His Word. 
Coming! Coming! The angels gladly sing. 
Victory! Yes, Victory! I serve a risen King!


© Copyright, 2000 by Darlynn S. Johnson.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


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What We Miss 

Mark Phillips


("Jesus said to his disciples, "Don't be worried! Have faith in God and have faith in me." John 14:1)


we miss the dark earth between our fingers
for fear the pests will devour our garden.
we miss the delight of pearly raindrops
encircling our mind for fear of shrinkage.

we fear missing a beat, and never dance,
we fear missing sour notes, and never sing,
we fear tripping on cracks, and never skip,
we fear losing it all, and never win.

we miss the quiet silence of His presence
for fear our hearts cannot be trusted.
we miss the sweet safety of His Spirit
encicling our souls for fear of sacrilege.

we fear we may offend, and never laugh,
we fear displeasure's look, and never smile,
we fear His hot anger, and never pray,
we fear losing it all, and never win.

Oh, holy Fear,
cast out fear forever from this heart
You've made to

And before each breath I'll drink Your love,
and drown each irritation and care,
and before each thought I'll see Your face
flushed with love,
see Your hands
pierced in love,
see Your feet
shod with love,
hear Your voice
speak in love,
know Your words
call in love,
and never fear the fear
that love has made an end of.

moving on minus the fear :-)
mark p.

© Copyright 2001, Mark Phillips.  All rights reserved.  Used by permssion.


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Matthew Barlow


Christ visited the Church one Sunday morn
And cried out passionately,
I Have Somewhat Against Thee."
Have you forgotten why I came down
To hang on that infamous cross?
I suffered and died and bore your sins
To save that which was lost.

Yet there you sit, complacent and sheltered
Satisfied with the status quo.
While all about you the land is filled
With young people who need me so.
Have You Lost The Vision I Gave To You,
The Commission To Build My Church?

Will you crouch there, afraid to soil your robes
While my youth go down the drain ?
When time merges into eternity
And I return to claim my Bride
You could lose your place in my Kingdom above
Because of Indifference,... Apathy,... and Pride.


© Copyright 1965, Matthew Barlow.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


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by Margaret Park


"Send me," I said in my blindness,
So willing to be used of the Lord,
"Wherever I can, I will serve Thee,
Just use me by deed and by word."

God looked in my heart, but still loved me,
In spite of all that He knew,
That in pride and self-love I would serve Him,
My "goodness" would ever shine through.

And I, in my pride and my blindness,
knew not that hidden away,
Were sins that would keep me from living,
And serving the Lord in His way.

So God in His tender compassion,
In mercy and love: His way,
Began His miraculous working
To fashion this vessel of clay.

"Send me," I said in my blindness,
He sent me, but not to the field,
Instead, to the desert He led me,
Until all of myself I did yield.

Until, not in joy did I see Him,
But out of despair I did cry,
"Dear God, there is no good in me,
My God, oh my God, stay nigh!"

And God, in His tender compassion,
In mercy and love: His way,
Enfolded my heart in His keeping,
And there I will forever stay.

"Oh God, no longer in blindness,
I offer myself unto Thee,
For I have nothing to offer,
But, Lord, I ask, live Thou in me."


© Copyright 1989, Margaret Park.  All rights reserved.


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Lonely Lamb 

by Mark Phillips


So grateful for a patient and searching Shepherd...

("And if he manages to find it, I assure you that he is happier over
that one than over the ninety-nine that did not stray." Matthew 18:13)

Lonely lamb,
did restless feet take you to careless canyons,
did reckless scenes carry your gaze to the next horizon?
Was it innocence, ignorance or blunt bravado that
took you from the paradise provided with vast provision,
fast attention,
to the eerie bottom of the cliff-face where predators
stalk your unseen fear.

What shivers shook your wooly frame with lost privilege,
isolated terror,
echoes of enemies behind every windformed silhouette
of sandstone thieves.
Each breeze bore hotwind to the canyon floor
where you cowered at its hostile whisper.

Lonely lamb,
did the laughter disturb your newly acquainted fear,
was the coyote calling to the hunt of dusk, or
was it joy?

Lonely lamb,
were you dizzy from the dance the Shepherd did
with you atop his shoulders, skipping over rocks,
whirling in the sand, leaping the bushes,
singing the song that echoed above the clouds
to thrones and throngs.

Little lamb,
was it you I saw so close to the shepherd's heels,
lying at His feet, nuzzling His sunbaked cheeks
while the 99 fed with contentment?

mark p.

© Copyright 2000, Mark Phillips.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


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Gethsemane Garden Trees 

Shirley Nesbit Sellers


The winds rustled softly the whispering leaves
In the Master's lone retreat;
And the trees sighed low at the Savior's woe
As he knelt in prayer at their feet.
Gethsemane's darkness could not conceal
The drops of blood on his brow;
Nor could the sound of the night winds drown
The courageous words of his vow.
The trees spoke softly, lest Jesus hear
And feel he was not alone,
For who could know that the winds that blow
Bring to all trees word and tone?

The thorn tree spoke from an inner source
Of wisdom, sad and deep,
"If they press me down on his brow--a crown,
I forever and aye shall weep!"

"I remember his smile," said the olive tree,
"When he tasted my fruit in the morn,
When his lovely face showed peace and grace;
And now it is sad and worn."

The oak tree swayed and seemed to bend
In its helplessness and grief,
"If I could but fight, I would set things right!
I would alter their unbelief!"

In the darkness they could not see the tree
That spoke then in whisper low,
But they heard it say, "That is not the way
The Master's way to show.
"We must be like him, both brave and strong,
Yet silent must we be;
We must trust our friend, knowing grief will end
When they nail his hands to me."

The Master rose from his place of prayer,
and his smile turned night to day,
While the silent trees and the sighing breeze
Heard his footsteps fade away.


© Copyright 1997, Shirley Nesbit Sellers.  All rights reserved. 


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As Faithful as the Sonrise 

by Jerry Johnson


Through the morning mist
I see His lovely light
My soul feels heaven kissed
As my mind absorbs the Sight.

Whatever mood or fancy
Tries to crowd into my view
His eyes, with love a-dancin',
Firmly grip my heart anew.

As faithful as the Sonrise
Ev'ry morning He is here.
Cloudy day or clearing skies,
Ev'ry moment He makes dear.

Not an apparition
Of lingering dream's deceit
But more solid recognition
Than the soil beneath my feet.

For Jesus is the wholesome power
For ev'ry unknown dawning day.
Thru ev'ry trial in every hour
He always knows the way.


© Copyright 1998, Gerald Thomas Johnson.  All rights reserved. 


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Gift of Love 

by Barbara Spicuglia


One day long ago,
the world was spinning 'round.
The people came and went and they
lived their lives, but they were bound
by every deed and word they spoke:
they did not know true love,
but on that day our Father saw from above.
He said:
"Now is the time; I've waited long.
Do you think they will be ready?
Now is the time; I'll sing my song of love:
I'll give my Son."

And so the Father sent His Son
to live a life of love.
His name is Jesus Christ our Lord,
but you know, living wasn't enough.
He shed His blood on a cross:
the Lamb slain for our sin,
and on the third day
He rose again!


John 3:16
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.


© Copyright 1992, Barbara Spicuglia.  All rights reserved. 


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First And Best of the first and best 

by Michael Barlow


Obfuscated by the past
I reach out to the God of Clarity for relief.
His strength is the first and the best strength of the first and the best strength;
and His wisdom and greatness are the first and the best wisdom and greatness of the first and the best wisdom and greatness.
Because I journey from the valley of sorrow to the summit of joy,
I recognize that God is moving
from the pinnacle of greatness
to the peak of wisdom
to the acme of love
as my time races from one overlook to another.
the center of wisdom
has infallible and incorruptible wisdom
and greatness
and love.
His joy
is found in the hearts of those touched by His power.
His infallible mind
perfectly provides all the new nuances of wisdom
necessary to sustain victory in His kingdom.
His perfect creativity
has produced life that will thrive and grow in value throughout the ages ahead.
Trust in His infallible grace and have faith!


© Copyright 1992, Michael Barlow.  All rights reserved. 


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