Every Beautiful Thing

A friend told me the other day about something suicidal people do sometimes, make a list of things they have to live for. It reminded me of a line from the 12 step book about making a similar list of things you value in your life and how much your destructive behavior hurts those things. If you do struggle with either suicidal thoughts or addiction, please seek help.

Every Beautiful Thing

Every beautiful thing
Is worth changing for.

Any glorious sunset
Can only truly be enjoyed
When the peace of the colors
Is matched by the peace in your heart.

The latter of success is not worth climbing,
And the height reached will be found lacking
If you leave behind honesty or integrity.

No race is truly won
If you placed first
But left pain and hurt in your wake,
Stepping over and past others to make it.

It’s a hollow victory
To conquer in the greatest battles in the world,
But be conquered within the silent chambers of your soul.

The moments before falling asleep
Are full of a happy peace when your life has earned it.
And only then.

In the end,
Every beautiful thing
Makes my life worth changing
For the better

God is

God is

God is
the water turned to wine
at the pleas of the mother,
duty and love bringing power forth.

God is
the whip, cleansing the temple,
the rage at defiled holiness,
and the tempest of love making it clean.

God is
the mud, dripping off of the no-longer-blind man’s eyes,
the tender mercies of love,
the healing of his touch.

God is
the tears shed over Lazarus,
the sorrow of a life gone for now,
only tempered by dreams of eternity.

God is
the laughs of the children
He always suffers to come unto Him,
however busy the world gets.

God is
the nails, painful reminders of the evil
in the hearts of the friends and enemies
who He was pierced to save.

God is
the blood that dripped from the cross,
collecting on the earth it was shed to save,
as the parched voice cries for mercy.

God is
the empty tomb, wept over
when you just want some small solace among the heartache
but even that seems gone.

God is
the scars graven eternally onto perfect hands,
proof of just how deep
love goes.

A Convicted Christian

A somewhat well-known quote, attributed to Jimmy Carter, is “If you were charged today with being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?” I was thinking about this the other week and wanted to put it into a poem.

A Convicted Christian

Brought in before a judge and jury,
Accused of faith in God.
The lawyers introduce the case,
And witnesses are called.

Friends and family, boss and more
Bear honest testimony,
And the jury deliberates
To decide if I am guilty.

Would witnesses all testify
That I spoke like a Christian?
Speaking with kindness, joy, and love,
And when others speak, I listen?

Or would people recall the epithets
And mean things that I’ve said?
Instead of Christlike language and care,
Did harsh words come out, instead?

And would the evidence show clearly
That I often read of Christ?
Would my scriptures, worn and well-marked,
Show who I turn to for advice?

Or would a dusty, unmarked book
Show how much those words matter?
No well-worn knees of pants to tell
To whom I turned in my disasters?

Could I testify, under an oath
Of times I lived by faith in God?
Of covenants kept under pressure
And faith maintained despite the odds?

Or would my life show a fair-weather Christian,
Believing when things go well,
And almost-lived moments of faith and trust,
When storms begin to swell?

Would the judge throw out the case,
For no evidence to convict me?
Would the jury reasonably doubt
That I was truly guilty?

Or would the evidence stand firm,
In a swift and clear conviction,
That I believe in God and live His word —
In short, that I’m a Christian.

Stay in the Boat

Our lesson in church today was about the talk Stay in the Boat and Hold On! by Elder M. Russell Ballard.

  1. Stay in the boat

Drifting down the river,
I see the calm stretches, but
Warned of the rapids ahead
I stay in the boat.

  1. Always wear a life jacket

Rowing in sync over white water,
Gratitude hits me at the lack of fear,
From having the safety of a team, and
The reassurance of a life jacket.

  1. Hold on with both hands.

When others take a turn at the oars
And the river bounces the boat,
It’s holding on with both hands
That turns the fear to joy.

Dont forget to stay in the boat!

When the rapids end and the boat pulls in,
I will be glad, with my crewmates and guide,
To have sailed through life’s rough river
And to end in joy and peace.

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?

The more you know

The more you know

The more you know
        Of the rough journey,
        Of the struggles few see,
        Of the refiner’s bright heat,
        Of the scars from rough times,
        Of the sadness that smiles conceal,
        Of the traumas and unjust treatments,
        Of the disappointments and discouragements,
        Of the hopes and dreams and secret wishes,
        Of the love in hearts not often shared,
        Of the good deeds and promises,
        Of the true joy of sweet smiles,
        Of the planted seeds of faith,
        Of the sacrifices of love,
        Of the hearts touched,
The more you forgive.

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

The Man Who Climbed the Mountain

The Man Who Climbed the Mountain.

I went to climb a mountain
To see the lofty view,
But the journey turned out to be more difficult
Than I expected it to.

I started up the path
And soon I saw a field of flowers.
I plucked a few, I smelled the scents,
And lost a couple of hours.

I began along the path again
But soon the path grew very steep.
I slowed, I wandered back and forth,
Night fell, and I had to leave.

The next day I started up again,
Committed to reaching the top.
Past the flowers, up the climb,
Determined not to stop.

The path turned thin, along a cliff
And I almost turned back to the base.
It took me hours, step by step,
To conquer my fear in that steep place.

I passed flowers in the final stretch,
Walked along cliffs, climbed paths quite steep.
It wasn’t as hard as it was at first.
Then, finally, I reached the peak.

I saw the view a different man
Than the one who started out the climb.
I conquered my distraction, laziness, and fear,
And in the end, that is what made the view so sublime.

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)

Taking you for Granite

This week’s poem isn’t a spiritual one, but a fun poem inspired by a pun I heard about taking things for granite, instead of for granted.

Taking you for Granite

I think you’re really gneiss,
You’re a pretty coal person,
I’ll always sand(stone) by you,
You shale always be my friend.

CHORUS:
You are marbleous,
I’ll always lava you,
You are my rock,
And I won’t take you for granite,

It’s sedimentary, my dear Watson:
You set my heart on (sa)phire,
Of quartz, I like you a lot,
And I think I always shale.

I chalk it up to fate
That life pressed us together,
Though it didn’t take much heat or pressure
For my heart to metamorphosize into loving you.

You’re really quite o-clay,
I can’t express how cool you ore.
I hope you’re not ruby awakened
When I say that ge(ode), you’re so fine.