Place of Grace – Meridian – for my children

I never finished this, but it was an idea for a poem or song or something to give to my children. It expresses the things I plan to share with my kids when I take them to visit Meridian State Park someday. I’ll tell them the story of how I came to know Jesus. I’m so excited about that day! These words capture some of the emotions I feel as I think about telling them.

Anyway, maybe I’ll finish it someday, but I wanted to go ahead and post something so I wouldn’t lose it.

This is a couple of years after I came to know Christ, but it still floods my mind with memories of that day. Lots of the same people in this pic.

Come let me show you this place, this place full of grace.
Come let me show you the spring where we sat and listened to the quiet
And the outcropping where we waterbombed the bus.
Let’s go walk the carpet of bluebonnets
and run past the bees on the trail of Mesquite
As a child I ran these trails and stepped on a snake
These vines scratched my legs but helped heal me too.

We played frisbee golf and waterballoon volleyball
Chased Bulldog to soak him
James Garner taught us the Scriptures under the tree.
Ross Senter spoke around the campfire.

Let me show you the grace in this place.

Come watch the horizon swallow the sun
Breathe in the lights. See the milky way run
From up on the ledge and above the lake
Lets watch the sky. and see the stars come awake.

Come hear distant voices from the lake down below
Let’s sit and sing and wait – take it slow
If we’re lucky we’ll see a star fall from space
Here in this place – this place full of grace

And this is where I sat and sang and cried
Around the campfire On the night I gave my life to Christ.

This place is so dear. It’s a place I want you to know
Whether this place or that place, I want you to have your own place full of grace.

A Leader’s Poem and Prayer

POEM by Sir Francis Drake:

Disturb us, Lord, when we are too well pleased with ourselves,

When our dreams have come true because we have dreamed too little,

When we arrived safely because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord, when with the abundance of things we possess,

we have lost our thirst for the waters of life;

Having fallen in love with life,

we have ceased to dream of eternity

and in our efforts to build a new earth,

we have allowed our vision of the new Heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,

to venture on wider seas where storms will show your mastery;

Where losing sight of land, we shall find the stars.

We ask You to push back the horizons of our hopes;

And to push into the future, in strength, courage, hope, and love.


“Lord God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading and your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

America Lament

Eagle We had to write a lament for class the other night about America. Anyway, when we got to class, Dr. Loken asked for us to read them to the class. I’m pretty comfortable getting in front of people and preaching or doing music or whatever, but for some reason, I wasn’t very comfortable with this. Anyway, I just told myself, to get over it and do what needed to be done. Some of the other people had really good ones, which made me even more nervous, but I just jumped up and did it anyway.

Here’s what I read:

Eagle’s Wings

Once soaring across the sky,

It’s wings now clipped, the bald eagle cries.

Once flying in freedom and majesty,

Now grounded by sin. What a tragedy.

The American dream, it doesn’t make sense.

Two and a half kids and a white picket fence.

Is that all we want? All we imagine and desire?

What about God? Aren’t His dreams much higher?

We sing “Land of the free and home of the brave,”

We fought for freedom to worship, but use it to misbehave.

I don’t see bravery at all anymore,

Except when it’s sin that we’re standing for.

We have an American idol who’ll be famous and rich,

But he’s not what our forefathers dreamed of as they sailed from the Brits.

We celebrate independence on the fourth of July.

But what of dependence on God that we deny?

On all of our money it says “In God we trust”

But it’s for money itself that our citizens lust.

We’re proud of our government – the world’s largest democracy,

But it’s turned out to be nothing but hypocrisy.

America the beautiful, that’s what they say,

But that beauty will fade, when God we betray.

Our wings have been clipped by our sin with a sting.

But if we wait on the Lord, we’ll rise up on Eagle’s wings.

In the end, I’d say it went pretty well. Don’t know if it’s really something I’d say I was real proud of, but it was certainly a beginning for me.

Pregnancy and Poetry

Arttorijoy I just thought I’d write about the strangest Bible class I’ve been to so far. It really wasn’t strange because of Dr. Loken, but because of me. About 10 minutes before I entered my class on the Psalms the other night, Miranda called me and said that she was pregnant. WooHoo!!! I’m gonna be a dad! Amazing!!!! I’m gonna be a dad! God is blessing me with a child of my own!!! I will have the opportunity to understand more fully the love that God has for me as I love my child unconditionally. I will learn how it must feel for Him to take care of my needs and I’ll get to learn how to love someone else more like the way He loves each of us. There’s no question – I’m clueless as to how this is gonna impact my life. I know it’s gonna be an amazing blessing, but I also know there are some tough roads to walk ahead of me. Lord, help me.

Anyway, all these thoughts are just racing through my mind as I try to concentrate on how the book of Psalms was put together, how there are 5 main sections, and how some are considered laments, and others are joyous, and others are for specific occasions like when kings were enthroned, and how this one was blah, and this one has a subscript that explains its blah, blah, and it wasn’t long before my mind was hearing blah, blah, "you’re gonna be a father," and blah, blah, blah, and "that’s a huge responsibility", and blah, blah. . . . . . . . . .Oh finally, a break – I’ll go call my mom!!!!

With a little grin on my face. . . ."Hey mom – yep – she’s officially pregnant!" I think her word that night was "Ecstatic!!!" Anyway, she says, "be sure to call your sister." (I found out later, that she had an ulterior motive – she was making sure that I’d be talking to Brenda next, so that she could call and tell my brother.) Anyway, I call my sister, Brenda, and tell her the good news and she’s all excited that she’s gonna be an aunt again. She also tells me that she and Schonn are getting ready to buy a new house. (Gosh, God is good – He’s blessing all of us in so many ways.)  Next I call my brother, Roger, and it takes him a while to answer, but when he does, he says, "Congratulations!!!" That’s when I figured out what mom had done. Roger said, she called and said she just had to tell someone. I’m gonna have to give her a hard time about that one later.

OK – break’s over – Psalms, blah, blah, You’re gonna be a dad, acrostic psalm 119, blah, you were just a crazy sinner, and now you’re gonna be a dad, congratulations, blah, blah, read your favorite psalm to the class,  hmm. . . . favorite psalm? which one is about being a Father? maybe 103? I dunno. . . .

I’m not sure what else we really talked about in class, but I do have good notes that I can look back over. Hopefully it’ll all come back to me when I need to know it.

I looked around at some of the Psalms to find a favorite and Ps 103 captures what I was feeling that night the best, but I also found a poem on-line that pretty well says what I’m feeling about being a Father. I changed almost all of it to fit my circumstances better, but a few of the lines are certainly not mine. Maybe we can call it my "modern Psalm" or something.


My heart seems to beat a little faster these days.

Maybe it’s the thought of my life changing in so many ways.

I’ve heard so many tales of sleepless nights,

And tests of patience taken to new heights.

Yet my excitement grows as we count down each week,

For I know soon we will finally meet.

I have a little fear, I must admit,

The whole fatherhood thing, will I be good at it?

I’ve always been told that I’m a big kid,

But Dad was the same, and I hope to be like him.

Should I imagine playing with footballs and spaceships?

or maybe Barbies, dancing, and painting lips?

I’ll introduce you to family, cousins, and dogs.

Our fridge will be home to the things that you draw.

I’ll raise you in church and pray His Word be Your sword.

Will the way that we live introduce you to the Lord?

I’ll take you to the zoo, and the mountains, and the beach.

What’s your favorite toy? and for what dreams will you reach?

Can I watch on as mom leads you in prayer?

What will it be like to brush your hair?

Will you run to our bed when you have a nightmare?

Will you be tall? Do you like cheese? What will you like to wear?

Can I slay the monster under your bed?

What other things will run around in your head?

How will I explain the birds and the bees?

Oh, I must have a million of these,

Answers to questions, questions to ponder,

Things to see, places to wander.

Together, we’ll be the ultimate team,

Limited only by what we can dream.

So as the weeks are counted down, I anxiously await,

That Oh – so – wonderful date.

When the waiting’s over and we will all smile,

as I hold you in my arms, My beautiful child.

Manly Man

06-02-01Here’s a really cool poem that I found about what is to be a “Manly Man!” It’s from a poetry book called “All the Hits so Far, but Don’t expect too much.”

(I wonder if one of our girls could write a poem like this about what it means to be a woman of God?)



Here is the poem:

Manly Man

I don t want my long hair, pretty green eyes, with ( no! I do not have on mascara. ) eyelashes, skinny figure, undersized t-shirt, hip shake too much when I walk confuse anybody. I am a manly man.

Within this sissy frame, obviously rib laden chest lies a heart that beats to the drum of a native American ritual dancing wildness. It pumps an ever cascading supply of untamedness that a herd of wild mustangs have yet to grasp. If danger lurks about, I will seek it out. If adventure abounds, there I will be found. If a damsel be in distress, I will show her who is best. I am a manly man.

Because I don t flush, and I leave the lid up.

I drive a 1988 Ford Pick-up truck. Girls don t break up with me, I break up with them first. ( Except the last time, it didn t really work out like that ) I don t shave the hair on my face ( Because I still can t grow facial hair yet ) But when I can, I won t, because beards are tough.

I fart, burp, and spit when I want, not caring who s nearby. Disrespect my momma, and I will punch you in the eye. I am a manly man.

Or am I? I tell my guy friends that I love em. And sometimes, sometimes I even hug em. Not because I m gay, but because I love em. And when I watched Bambi, I cried. And when my Mema gets mad, I still run and hide.

Like David, I wanna be a man after God s own heart. And I m not there yet, but I m past the start. And when people talk, I try to listen. A spirit of compassion, that s my vision. Surely I am a manly man. I want to be loved and have love and give love.

And not just that romantic kind either. Although I am looking for that beauty. Not helpless, but wants to be rescued. The damsel in distress, man, woman, myth, true. I will fight for her, climb the highest tower for her, love her, share with her, delight in her, be her warrior, her protector. She will be my crown and I will be hers. My masculinity will be passed down and affirmed to my sons. And each of my daughters will know they are lovely, and deserving of authentic romance.

Society tells me all day long that I ve defined manhood completely wrong. But you ask any honest man, and he will agree. You ask any honest woman, and she too will see, that I am a manly man.