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

When Trying isn’t Enough

I wrote this a few months ago and found it on my computer today. It is meant to be a song, and some day I hope it will be.

When Trying isn’t Enough

I stumbled one more time,
and fell, the bitter dust to eat
I push with arms too weary
to bring me to my feet.

I tried and tried to stand
and I’ve failed so many times
Everyone has some last chance
and I think this was mine.

CHORUS: What do I do
when trying isn’t enough?
When my tired arms can’t lift me
and my voice is hoarse and rough
from calling for help
that doesn’t seem to come.
What do I do when I try
and it isn’t enough to get me home.

Shaking hands reach out
for another mirage of hope.
but the water disappears
and I gasp with my parched throat

“I’ve traveled many miles
in this desert, in this heat,
Is this to be forever?
Is there no crust for me to eat?”

CHORUS

As I give up hope,
I rest, despair now overwhelming
then a shadow falls on me
and I see an arm extending.

“I’m here to help, I’m here.
Let me care for you.
Your Brother will not leave
and will always be true.”

CHORUS’: I turn to you
When trying isn’t enough
When my tired arms can’t lift me
and my voice is hoarse and rough
I’m calling for help
and my Friend has come
I’ll lean on you when I try,
You are enough to get me home.

Not Too Much to Ask

Not Too Much to Ask

My God gave me my everything.
Everything that makes me bright and happy.
I’m truly in His debt, He loves me so,
My love for others is not too much for Him to ask of me.

He gave me every breath I breathe,
My body, with such detail and quality,
My every moment is because of Him,
To spend those moments helping others is not too much for Him to ask of me. 

He guides me onward, leading me right,
I travel on His paths to mountains I can’t yet see.
He leads me away from rocky roads of pain,
My heed to His directions is not too much for Him to ask of me.

I know that I can live with Him
Because He died for me on Calvary. 
My hope was paid for with his broken heart,
My living to come back home is not too much for Him to ask of me. 

He gave me my heart, my mind, my strength,
And asks so little in return from me. 
And yet, to Him who gave me everything,
I will give whatever He asks of me. 

Will you let Him in?

I wrote this on my mission. To make our house (well, apartment) feel homier, I hung up a lot of gospel art pictures, and on our bathroom door hangs the picture of the Savior knocking on a door. As I was walking by right before personal study, I saw the picture and the line “Will you let Him in?” came into my head, so I wrote a poem about it.

Originally written July 02, 2018

Will you let Him in?

Standing at the door and knocking firmly always stands
With piercing eyes and loving words and open arms, a man.
He waits for you to hear Him there and open wide the door
And when you let Him in, He’ll do as He has done before.

CHORUS: Will you let Him in, into your heart?
Will you let Him in, into your life?
Will you let Him in?
Will you let your Savior in?

Will you let the master Healer lift you off the ground?
Will you let Him take you home, where warmth and love abound?
Will you set your heart free from the sins that hold it down,
And offer up your life to Him, the King with Calvary’s crown?

CHORUS

Will you let the Savior have a place within your heart?
If you let Him in, then He can heal you, He can start
To change your life and make you fit to live with Him again,
So open up the door, and choose to let your Savior in.

CHORUS

Jesus at the Door (Jesus Knocking at the Door), by Del Parson

Gratitude Day 5: The Plan of Salvation

One of my favorite verses in the Book of Mormon, as well as one we are studying this week for Come Follow Me, is Ether 12:4. In that verse, Moroni teaches that “whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God.” In short, our faith in God leads us to hope for and seek something better, His plan is for us to become like and return to Him. I want to #GiveThanks for the Plan of Salvation and it’s impact on my life.

This poem is kind of based off of one of my favorite poems, Choose Something Like a Star, by Robert Frost; and one of my favorite quotes, which I first heard from President Thomas S. Monson, in his devotional Decisions Determine Destiny: “Ideals are like stars; you will not succeed in touching them with your hands. But . . . you choose them as your guides, and following them you will reach your destiny.”

The Plan of Salvation

I walk along life’s paths,
with many blind corners,
many unknowns ahead,
and few road signs —
I often get lost.

The only things constant are
the world changing around me,
and the ever unchanging stars.

Some travelers I’ve met on my journey
have told me that the stars should be guides —
“You can’t walk far enough to reach them,
but they’ll always lead you true.”

Others say — “Stars are useless,
all that matters is the path.”
Though if you don’t know where you’re going,
there are so many paths to take,
and I don’t know where to go.

I try to follow the stars.
They remind me that, in the chaos of the universe,
something is eternally true,
eternally pointing
to a final destination
where God knows I belong.

I’m worth it

My poem this week came while thinking about my friend who struggles a lot with low self-image.

I’m worth it

If God can see

All the times I failed,
When I didn’t live up to my hopes,
All the moments I regret,
Or should regret but don’t,

All the ways I’m weak,
When I topple to Satan’s breezes,
All my lifetime of mistakes,
Choosing the world first, not Jesus,

All the times I stopped trying
To do what I know I should,
All the times I rebelled,
And I shunned God and what is good —

If God can see all this in me
And still loves me enough to die for me,
Maybe I can love myself, too.

Hugs & Cookies

I’ve had a couple of experiences this week where friends were struggling with problems I didn’t know how to help with, or even how to begin to comfort them. While making cookies for one of my friends, I realized that even if I can’t do anything to really solve their problems, I can do a little bit, through cookies and hugs and many other ways, to bring a little bit more joy to this world. Even though I can’t do everything, I can do something small that matters.

Note: if you are seriously struggling with the things mentioned in this poem, please seek help.

Hugs & Cookies

When Addiction shreads your life apart,
And nothing matters more then your next fix,
Let me hug you untill you know you matter,
And let fresh cookies remind you how reality tastes.

I have no cure for Depression,
No way to stop the bleak, oppressive thoughts,
But I’ll bring you cookies so you know life’s not all bitter,
And hug you so you know there’s someone there.

When Anxiety’s crippling thoughts have you trapped
In a downward spiral I can’t break you from,
I’ll hug you until you remember someone else exists,
And bring you cookies, so you know somebody cares.

Loneliness will tear you down to worthlessness, to dust
And I don’t know how to build you back up.
But I can bring you hugs to show you that you are not alone,
And cookies to remember me by when I’m gone.

I am no Atlas who could lift
The Stress from off your shoulders.
But cookies can distract you for a bit, help you relax,
And hugs make the load lighter, I have found.

I’ve never been Assaulted, Abused, or Cast Aside
I don’t know how to heal such deep scars.
But if you want, I’ll hug you so you know real love exists,
And bring you cookies so you know others truly care.

When good friends Take Their Lives, and forever leave us,
I cannot bring them back, though I may wish I could.
I’ll bring you cookies, so you know you’re not in this alone,
And hug you so you know your pain is felt and heard.

I can’t do very much against the struggles of this life,
I’m just one man, and the world is just so big.
But my love is real, please see that in my cookies and my hugs.
I’ll do my small part to bring you joy.

For the hard times

For the hard times

When the night falls, 
Or the power goes out, 
When the alarm feels heavy 
With the morning’s weight

When the sadness comes 
And won’t go away 
Or the overwhelming world
Drowns all hope

When all the future
Seems empty and black
When the hard times come, 
Remember:

Night isn’t forever 
Day will always come,
Hold on to hope’s spider-silk thread 
And take one step forward 

Trust

Sent home from my mission Aug 28, 2017

Trust

As I stood on a mountain
He said to me:
“come to the edge.”
and I didn’t because I feared I would fall.

Again He smiled, and beckoned to me:
“come to the edge.”
“No.” I said, “I’ll fall,
I don’t trust myself there.”

Comfortingly, He reached for my hand
I took it, He said:
“come to the edge, and trust me”
I trusted Him, so I followed.

I saw the view, the world,
and as I turned to Him to thank Him
He pushed me off the edge—
and I flew.

The next time that I stood there,
I remembered my flight—
the joy of the view
and the thrill of the hight—

And I thought it’d be wonderful
to do it again,
so I went to the edge
and jumped.

But I fell and didn’t fly!
and as the ground came up to meet me
my thoughts turned to a Savior
who left me all alone

I pleaded for someone to come to me
and saw him there besides me
He told me, “take my hand,
and I will do the rest”

“It’s all in your hands now”
I said, as I grabbed and held on tight
and right before we hit the ground—
we started to fly.

I’ve never left my Savior since,
but still, I’ve often thought—
why could I not do alone
what He did for me?

I’ve realized I’m not strong enough
and need my dear Savior near,
in Him I put my trust and faith—
I put it all in His hands.

The Village of Krasnodosch

Sent home from my mission, Oct 08, 2018

I thought of this poem this week while listening to a conference talk describing the Jewish seder. Jewish families not only set a place for Elijah, but fill his cup to the brim and send a child to the door to see if Elijah is there. (Hosanna and Hallelujah—The Living Jesus Christ: The Heart of Restoration and Easter, by Elder Gerrit W. Gong) I think this tradition is a great example of living with faith. 

My poem this week, tentatively titled “The village of Krasnodosch” (crass- no- doesh, roughly translated as “red rain”), is a story I heard in sacrament meeting once in Ivano-Frankivsk. I put the story to verse, because I think it fits really well. The speaker used it to point out the difference between mere hope and faith. It reminds me of a quote I heard once, that “faith is what we choose to act on every day”. I liked the story and I hope you’ll enjoy it, too!

The Village of Krasnodosch

There once was a small village
With the name of Krasnodosch.
The people there loved God, and they
All followed him with hope.

One spring, the people planted fields,
But then, no rain did fall.
One week turned to two, then three,
The fields weren’t looking well. 

The people all decided they would gather
Together on the next day
And pray that God would send them rain,
So the drought would go away.

The day was hot and cloudless
As the crowd started to form,
But one young girl walked up with an
Umbrella on her arm.

They asked her why, she said, “Well,
Aren’t we here to pray for rain?”
They shrugged, and all together,
They prayed, and then they prayed again.

They prayed for several hours,
But the rain still didn’t fall.
The crowd started to go back home,
But with hope, hearts were full.

“Look!” Said the umbrella girl,
“A cloud!” The crowd all turned
And saw far off a tiny thing,
The name “cloud” barely earned

They watched as it grew closer, and
They watched as it grew big.
They wondered if this answered prayers,
And each sure hoped it did.

The cloud stood right on top of them,
But not a drop fell down
“Schwoop!” the girl’s umbrella went,
But some began to frown

Then, after a while, a drop,
Then one more, two, and then,
Someone opened heaven’s floodgates-
It began to pour down rain.

The town ran home, glad but wet-
Their hope was not in vain.
The umbrella girl, she walked home dry,
For she had prayed in faith.