The Blessings of Life

How often, when I see a rose
Do I remember the Creator who made it?
How often do I pause in gratitude at the beauty
And ponder how blessed I am to see such a rose?

How often, when I see a person
Do I remember the Father of all mankind?
How often do I pause in gratitude of the people I know
And ponder how blessed I am to be together?

How often, when I’m in a trial
Do I remember the Ultimate Trial on the cross?
How often do I pause in gratitude of my Savior
And ponder how blessed I am in my Brother?

How often, in my busy life
Do I remember the things of deep importance?
How often do I pause in gratitude to God
And ponder the blessings of life?

With Tears of Joy

With Tears of Joy

I look up at the narrow road to heaven,
And look at my feet, wand’ring from the way.
I look back at the gospel path, where true joy can be found,
And wish that I could make it back to stay.

CHORUS: I stray from him, I fall away, I wander,
This covenant path seems too hard to complete.
But if He lets me try again to reach Him,
With tears of joy, I’ll wet His blessed feet.

I thought this gospel road would be so easy,
And trials would be small bumps on the way
But seeing all the mountains and the cliffs I’ve yet to climb,
I want to turn around and walk away.

CHORUS

I stumbled on the road again, exhausted
Unable to move on through my despair.
A hand reached down and wiped away a desperate, pleading tear.
Then I looked up and saw my Savior there.

CHORUS

His Lifting Power

Originally written Nov 27, 2017

His Lifting Power

Christ died to let me try again,
To heal the broken law.
But I think it’s also more than that,
And I ponder what God saw

In me to give me His sacrifice,
Infinite in power
His eldest son to die and suffer
Alone for me in his final hours.

And I can’t help but think of how
The Atonement has two sides
Not just to lift me up —
Though from sinner’s depths I’ll rise —

But to push me up, enable me
To reach celestial heights.
To become all that God wants of me
Takes more than just my might.

And so I thank my God
For the potential of us all
And the Infinite Atonement
Lifting me each time I fall

And lifting me yet higher —
For that is God’s great plan
The “why” of His Atonement —
“the immortality and eternal life of man.” (Moses 1:39)

More Like My Savior

During sacrament meeting today, I was reading the words of “I Stand All Amazed,” probably my favorite sacrament hymn. I pondered about the author, Charles H. Gabriel, someone who must have done a lot of pondering to be able to put such thoughts into words. I read a little bit about him, and found out he actually wrote a lot of hymns in his lifetime. I found one called “More Like the Master” that I really liked, and this poem is based on that one.

More Like My Savior

More like my Savior I would be,
More like the Man who died for me,
More courage to face the world standing with Him,
More strength to love those who are mired in sin.

More like my Savior, I consistently pray,
More gratitude, for blessings each day,
More humble, to follow His guidance and word,
More meek, to learn lessons from my loving Lord.

More like my Savior, I’ll learn and grow,
More determined to follow Him back home,
More willing to ask for His help when I fall,
More able to trust He’ll be there through it all.

Names of My God

My poem this week is one I wrote on my mission.

Originally published Dec 04, 2017

On a mission, I am blessed to see how the gospel blesses people in so many phases of life, from being a young adult to raising a family to being old, and from everything from sickness to heartache to searching for truth. The gospel’s got you covered. This fits in interestingly with the fact that Christ has so many names throughout the scriptures for the many different things He does. He is the bread of life for those seeking bread, and he is the Lord of Hosts for those needing protection and vengeance. His perfection doesn’t mean he just perfectly fills one role, rather, it means that He meets our needs perfectly through the many roles He plays.

Names of My God

It’s easy to see that Christ has many names
Throughout all of sacred writ.
As he ministers and administers,
Scriptures bear record, and use names that try to fit:

The Lord is my Shepherd when I, like a sheep, have gone amiss,
He leadeth me in paths of righteousness when I try to find my way,
He becomes my leader when I need, badly, to be led.
I can always trust my Shepherd to never lead His sheep astray.

Jesus is my Savior from sin and from death.
He’s always there to save me from aching guilt and pain-
He will save me from the valley of the shadow of death,
And I’ll keep following Him, my Savior, again.

Christ- my Redeemer- paid my eternal debt
Nothing left unpaid, no deed left undone.
Every time I come up short, He makes up the difference
And every time I lose, I can trust in what He’s won.

My Messiah is God’s Firstborn, my Eldest brother,
My perfect example, my greatest role model,
He is the perfect one to look to, to know
How to act, how to live, how to stand up tall.

He is a God, the Creator of everything,
All-knowing, all-powerful, all-wonderful.
Though heavens and earth shall pass away,
He will still be there, greater than they all.

A great rabbi, a teacher of the truths of eternity
He taught of Heaven, of a Father full of love.
He helped those around him, in life (and all of us, now) to understand
That His gospel is for each of us, from a Father up above.

Whatever I may need Him for-
For guidance, truth, answers, or just a helping hand-
He is my God, my Shepherd and Savior,
Redeemer, Brother, Teacher, and my Friend.

Christmas Stars

Stars are something that always pique my sense of wonder and amazement. And I think they make a wonderful metaphor for Christ and some of the lessons we can take from this Christmas season.

Christmas Stars

In the bustle of the trees
The presents, the wrapping,
The parties, the traveling,
The fun and the family,

Don’t forget the stars. 

The stars that remind you 
Of the first Christmas,
And of the shepherds who left their flocks
To witness the Lamb of God.

The stars that belong together,
And remind us of the Shephard’s flock.
There are lambs left to be gathered
Even when the tree is packed away.

The stars that point us ever onward,
That show to us the Way,
Our path back home,
And the covenant mile markers.

The stars that I hope we each see,
This Christmas season,
As we reflect on the Light of the world,
And our sky He lights with stars.

Gratitude Day 7: My Redeemer

I wanted to finish this week by talking about one thing I’m especially grateful for. Though I may not always remember to thank Him for it, truly everything I have is from God. I want to focus on one aspect of that, and #GiveThanks for my Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, and all that He has done for me.

I thought a very applicable passage to use in a poem on expressing gratitude to the Savior is Micah 6:6-8, one of my favorite Old Testament passages.

My Redeemer

How can I thank the Man,
Who, stooping with my heavy cross,
Ascended to the hill
Where He died?

How can I thank the Man
Who suffered every pain I know,
Every broken bone, every wounded heart,
All my hurt inside?

How can I thank the Man
Who lived to teach me how to live,
Setting an example, often lonely,
So I could have a stalwart guide?

How can I thank the Man
Who drunk the bitterest of cups,
Who has mourned when I have wept,
And comforted when I’ve cried.

How can I thank the Man?
Ten thousand rams are not enough,
Nor ten thousand rivers of oil,
However deep, however wide.

How can I thank the Man?
I’ll do justly, I’ll love mercy,
I’ll walk humbly with Him,
And forever with Him abide.

Gratitude Day 6: The Scriptures

I apologize for not posting this yesterday, I had a rough night:

One thing that has consistently been a source of strength and light in my life is the scriptures. If I turn to them with a willing and open heart, I am very often able to receive answers to the questions I have, even if they may not be the answers I want. I want to #GiveThanks for the scriptures.

Scriptures

Whatever you are feeling,
Whatever’s in your heart,
Someone else has felt it too,
And recorded it, in part.

Have you ever just felt lonely?
Moroni knows how that is.
His family dead, his life in danger,
You can read how he lived.

And what about discouraged?
Alma and Amulek have this addressed:
Read of how they carried on
When in prison, with seemingly no success.

When you feel like everyone’s against you,
Nephi’s got your back.
His brothers murmured and even beat him,
But read how his kindness never lacked.

And any feeling you’ve ever felt
Has been felt by our Savior, dear.
Read how He died so you can live,
When you need Him, He’ll be near.

These heroes of the pages
Really lived, and really felt
The emotions that I’ve gone through,
I can read, and look to them for help.

The man who wasn’t crucified

In church today, during sacrament meeting, one of the speakers made a comment that he heard once from a Baptist Preacher: “Jesus had to be treated like Barabbas for Barabbas to be treated like Jesus.” I thought that was an intriguing thought, and I turned it into this poem. 

The man who wasn’t crucified

Imagine yourself as Barabbas. 
Facing certain death
For your mistakes and crimes:
Murder, sedition, and insurrection.

Suddenly, guards bring you out in chains. 
The crowd is angry, but not at you —
At a strange, quiet man,
Who doesn’t look like a criminal. 

Pilate asks who the crowd will free,
And somehow, they call your name. 
In disbelief, but also relief, you walk away,
Chains unlocked, now a free man. 

Maybe you later go watch the man on the cross,
Dying instead of you. 
Or later hear stories of how he lived
And did miracles for the poor. 

Maybe you later change your life
When given this second chance,
And try to live as that man, Jesus, no longer could,
To make up for his unjust death.

One thing I know, that fateful day,
When the innocent man died,
Barabbas was not the only man
Whose life was saved by Jesus’ death. 

The Jerusalem News

I was reading through my old mission notebook and found this fun little poem. I thought it was a cool way of saying that if we aren’t willing to open ourselves up to Christ, no amount of evidence will change that.

The Jerusalem News

Originally written 9/19/2018

The daughter ran home excitedly,
“Dad, I saw up on the road
a man who healed the sick
and cast out devils from the poor!”

The father looked up at his girl
from his morning Jerusalem News
and said “Sweetie, I’m sure it’s false
and a scam, it isn’t true.”

She came back another day,
“Dad, the man I talked about,
raised his friend from up the dead,
he stood and walked around!”

The dad sat, unimpressed,
with the morning paper and said,
“It’s all a fake, I’m sure of it.
I know what I’ve read.”

The daughter trudged in sad one day,
“That wondrous man of miracles —
they took him, now he’s dead.
It’s just so unbelievable.”

“Serves him right,” the father said,
“He taught odd, new things.
He said he was the Son of God,
he said he was our King.”

A few days later, she ran inside,
bursting through the door:
“He came back! He’s risen!
He came to life once more!”

The father shook his head.
“He can’t even stay dead right.”
He turned back to his newspaper
and read in the morning light.

Those who look and come to Christ
see the miracles He’s done,
see Him as who he really is —
God’s miraculous son.

But those who look no further
than the things they read or hear
Never get the wonderful blessing
of having their Savior near.