John Calvin Quote

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Hope is nothing else than the expectation of those things which faith has believed to have been truly promised by God.

From Romans 8:24-25:  “For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope.  For who hopes for what is seen?  But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”

Old Man Trouble

From the words of British pastor and theologian, Charles Spurgeon:  “The closer we are to the Shepherd, the safer we are from the wolves.”

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Encountering another of life’s setbacks

Visitor from the darkness shouts, “I am back”

 

Old Man Trouble comes knocking at my front door

Relentless, he desires to even the score

 

How will I choose to deal with adversity?

His darkness masks the sky over this city

 

Tackle straight forward what Old Man Trouble brings

Or . . . wait timidly for his continued sting

 

God’s Word teaches us and brings us hope:

 

We all live preciously in God’s perfect sight

He gathers us in His loving, Holy might

 

Past—present—future . . . from the Great I Am

Making it through turbulent seas for each lamb

 

Through desolate wilderness, God shares a way

Bringing rivers of hope to this life’s gateway

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Looking Old Man Trouble in his doom-filled eyes

With faithful courage, my hope begins to rise

 

Life waits to see . . . who will finally blink first?

With God’s living water, quenching my parched thirst

 

Listening, following God’s steadfast handbook

His love will save me with a whole new outlook

 

Bringing Godly fortitude, when needed most

Old Man Trouble defeated, nothing to boast

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From Isaiah 43:2-3:  “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.  For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”

Walking in Confidence

From Romans 15:13:  “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

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Life’s journey suddenly growing cold

Living under clouds of uncertainty

No longer feeling confident and bold

 

Even confident people possess fears

Overcome by unplanned dilemmas

Feeling much like the rest of our peers

 

Our faithful prayers will be heard

God’s will scatters those stormy clouds

Never lose hope, listen to His Word

 

As neighbors, our love supports each other

Through our steadfast encouragement

Children of God, true sisters and brothers

 

Tackling problems on life’s clipboard

Filled with determination and courage

Walking in confidence with our Lord

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From the words of German-Dutch Christian author, Thomas a Kempis:  “Oh, how great peace and quietness would he possess who should cut off all vain anxiety and place all his confidence in God.”

Surrounded by Blue

From Philippians 4:4-7:  “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.  Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near.  Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

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Normally for many

This world looks full and bright

Cups overflow with blessings

But then, dark dims the light

 

From this window, world turns blue

Hope was filled with each seed

Life’s harvest seems in doubt

Farmers’ fields fill with weeds

 

Harsh rhetoric and gloom

Positivity hides

Lost in negative times

With whom shall we abide?

 

There has to be a way

Let’s not fight over masks

Turning blueness to light

Remind us of our tasks

 

Jesus, the Bread of Life

Fills our empty hunger

Leading us to His peace

Hearts feeling much younger

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There are days during this Covid pandemic in which I feel at a loss.  The roller coaster ride of life suddenly takes a dark turn, and I feel left at the gate.  This poem was written following one of these “blue” moments in my life.  Together, we can continue to share prayers and encouragement with others.  God’s peace!

Calming Our Fears

From the words of Dr. Martin Luther King:  “Courage faces fear and thereby masters it.  Cowardice represses fear and is thereby mastered by it.”

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Worry arrives with concerns never to come

Building upon past fears, stoking future ones

Life’s landscape fills with looming mountains

Instead of gentle molehills, fear gathers and stuns

 

Concerns about future challenges come forth

Transforming into worries, fueling more fear

Darkest clouds come together and gather

Who will grab the wheel and start to steer?

 

Waiting for our Lord, He renews our strength

Living by faith, His Word restores our soul

Rejoicing in hope, patient in suffering

Renewed by the Spirit, we feel more whole

 

God always walks with us, seek Him in prayer

Darkest valleys ahead, His love casts out fears

With compassion for our sufferings, hear His Word

Comforted by His rod and staff, God never veers

 

Asking of our Father, seeking His counsel

Bringing clearer witness, through His precise scope

His guidance renews our hearts, calming fears

His wisdom touches minds, filled with Gospel hope

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From Mark 5:35-36:  “While He was still speaking, some people came from the leader’s house to say, ‘Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?’  But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, ‘Do not fear, only believe.'”

Hope Overcomes Fear (Haiku Series #83)

Fear

Stormy clouds approach

Life’s storms threaten with darkness—

Christ quiets the wind

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With Us

Jesus promises

Another Advocate comes—

The Holy Spirit

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Hope

Jesus walks ahead

Emmanuel, God with us—

Coming to save us

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Embracing His Hope

Gleaned from some recent entries in my journal, this poem serves as a reflection of life as seen through many of the blog posts which I have recently read.  

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Our lost, troubled world

Rocked by oppression

Arriving overhead

Dark skies ask questions

 

God’s living Word shouts

Straighten our actions

Fueling empty faith

Healing infractions

 

Our Father shares His peace

Do you now feel it?

Discouraged hearts climb

Do you now see it?

 

From lofty heavens

God’s work perseveres

Lasting hope dries up

Years of tear-filled fears

 

Reminded daily

Our Lord’s grace-filled truth

His presence proclaims

Lasting light of truth

 

Navigating storms

Embracing His hope

Never stop dreaming

Through God’s telescope

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Hand in Hand

From Matthew 14:25:27:  “And early in the morning He [Jesus] came walking toward them on the sea.  But when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, ‘It is a ghost!’  And they cried out in fear.  But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, ‘Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.'”

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Dreaded Covid arrives, knocking at her door

Daughter takes refuge on a hospital floor

 

Fear challenges faith during this trying hour

Daughter and mother seek God’s love and power

 

Through their journey of faith, walking together

God steps forward, quieting stormy weather

 

Hand in hand with God, crossing scary tightrope

His love sustains their faith, resurrecting hope

 

Mother and daughter’s prayers, never alone

This hellish scourge flees at last, sending her home

 

Singing praises of thanksgiving, with glad hearts

Walking hand in hand, their life journey restarts

 

Kneeling before a Holy, mighty Father

Feeling the Lord’s love, like a great grandfather

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From Psalm 92:1-2:  “It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night.”

Suffering No More

Reading from Psalm 38, one finds David’s words as he asks for God’s healing.  This poem’s verses bring to the forefront an active voice with feeling, praying, finding, healing, praising, and seeing.

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Feeling darkness

Feeling unknown

Feeling empty

Feeling alone

 

Praying with faith

Praying this Psalm

Praying for hope

Praying for calm

 

Finding God’s love

Finding what’s heard

Finding new life

Finding His Word

 

Healing these wounds

Healing this soul

Healing my heart

Healing me whole

 

Praising Father

Praising accords

Praising heavens

Praising my Lord

 

Seeing the Cross

Seeing the light

Seeing Christ’s love

Seeing God’s might

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From Psalm 38:15:  “But it is for you, O Lord, that I wait; it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer.”

Failing Once Again

woman in gray tank top showing distress

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Failing once again

Life’s troubles bomb away

 

Whom shall I turn to?

 

Failing once again

Darkness moves ever closer

 

Where is the light?

 

Failing once again

Shame swallows me up

 

How can my spirit be restored?

 

Failing once again

Life’s torments engulf me

 

Why . . . why?

 

Failing once again

Loneliness surrounds my heart

 

What recourse do I have?

 

Failing once again

Life’s hour glass, now nearly empty

 

When will I be free?

 

selective focus photography of hour glass

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Failing once again . . .

 

Turning to my Heavenly Father

Never thinking of me as a bother

 

From a Cross, Salvation’s light sheds hope

Pulled up from the Pit by a Holy rope

 

Kneeling before the Savior, sins and all

Humbling following Him will be my call

 

Through a broken body and shed blood

By Grace alone, escaping life’s flash flood

sky sunset person silhouette

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The structure of this poem features dual parts.  In the beginning verses, the reader is taken to a much darker place.  Using themes of sorrow, darkness, and hopelessness presents a challenge to both the reader and the writer.  In answering the questions found in the poem, the ending verses are structured around common Christian themes of hope, joy, light, and rebirth.