The Doubter’s Belief

This poem was written as a part of a last devotional I got to give in Jerusalem, at the Garden Tomb. I think that Thomas’ story is one worth taking a deeper dive into than we often do, and I hope this poem helps you think about him and his story in a different way, as well as testifying of the Resurrection and the faith it can bring.

The Doubter’s Belief

Seeing the stone rolled back, the body gone –
That was one thing.
But all these claims of coming to them while I was gone,
Of breaking bread with them while I was left alone,
Of a living body when I had seen him pale and lifeless in a tomb –
Be honest, how would you react?

It was hard to watch a week of them so happy.
It made it tough to be with them, sometimes.
But still, how could I believe
That Jesus, whom I walked next to in Galilee,
Would not also appear to me?
Was it truly real? Was, perhaps, the fault in me?

And if that apparition was that Jesus whom I loved,
What should I do?
Meet this week with those I think my friends?
Pray that he may show himself again,
That I may see and feel and know and follow to the end?
Or have I lost my only chance?

Uncertainly, I made my choice, I went and met with them.
Suddenly, a flash of light – my Lord to us appeared!
He wished me peace, I scarce could trust my eyes.
He bade me come and touch his hands, I cried.
To my doubt and faithlessness my Lord God had replied.
What greater answer could I ever need?

I know, now, my blessed Savior lives.
And though I should have trusted, should have known,
I will no longer be that man of doubt,
I’ll tell the world of Him, I’ll preach, I’ll shout.
My Lord, my God, He came to me, I’ll believe from this day out.
I’ll trust and follow Him forevermore.

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.

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)

Dehydration

Most people who know me know I really don’t like to be dehydrated, and so I carry a water bottle around all the time. When I realized the spiritual parallels, I decided to write this poem.

Dehydration

I notice quickly when I get dehydrated.
My mouth gets dry, I feel a headache grow,
My mind pushes me to go and drink,
And my body yearns to just be filled.

Because of this, I carry a water bottle
Just about everywhere I go.
I drink from it often, I refill it a lot,
Staying hydrated is important to me.

I notice, too, when I get spiritually dehydrated.
I feel sad, I lose perspective,
My life feels empty, blank, and unfulfilling,
And my spirit yearns to just be filled.

And yet, I don’t carry a spiritual water bottle,
A prayer or a scripture in my heart.
But Christ is more important than dead water,
And He will fill my cup to overflowing.

Charity is

Charity is
Smiling as a child reads slowly,
Slower than you could yourself,
Charity suffereth long.

Charity is
Not snapping back when someone snaps at you,
Being patient when people have had a hard day,
Charity is kind.

Charity is
Being happy when someone does better than you,
Because you see how happy they are,
Charity envieth not.

Charity is
Shoveling driveways early, before anyone would see,
Letting the service be an anonymous surprise.
Charity vaunteth not itself.

Charity is
Admitting you are wrong,
When your pride wants to put up a fight.
Charity is not puffed up.

Charity is
Mowing a neighbor’s lawn when they can’t pay,
Serving then when that service can’t help you,
Charity seeketh not her own.

Charity is
Seeing the child of God inside the addict,
The saint inside the sinner,
Charity rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth.

Charity is
Mary’s Son in the garden,
Bleeding and praying to do his Father’s will.
Charity beareth all things, believeth all things.

Charity is
The Man dying on the cross
Forgiving those who tortured and killed,
Charity beareth all things, hopeth all things.

Charity is
The Christ, living to bring you and I
Back home to live with Him.
Charity never faileth.

The Night my Savior Died for Me

I apologize for not posting a poem last week, I forgot until it was too late. This is the poem I meant to post last week, and I hope I will be able to schedule my posts a week in advance from here on out, now that I have a bit of a buffer of poems.

This poem was written as I tried to think up words that would go to the tune of There is a Green Hill Far Away that would carry a similar meaning.

The Night my Savior Died for Me

The night my savior died for me
I wonder if I cried
To know the infinite sacrifice
Paid to make me divine.

The day my Savior rose again
Did I shed tears of joy
That I, engraved upon His palms
Could live with Him someday?

Whene’er my Savior answers me
And my beseeching prayer
I feel again His love for me
And His belonging care.

The times my Savior lives in me
I love with all my soul.
I yearn to give my all to Him
And through Him, be made whole.

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.

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.

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