I’m Looking for God

The pastor said God was everywhere
And so I’m looking for him.
They say he’s in the world today
But I’m not seein much of him
In how we treat each other
In how wars are fought
In how innocent blood is spilt
You see I’m looking for God
But I’m having doubt’s he’s here…

I went looking in a church too
To find out where he’d been
Talked to couple of folks there
Full of wind in their sails
But their anchors weren’t pulled
Going round in circles, it seems.
Is God here in this church
With crimson window panes
And creaking pews with people
In them who are equally creaking?
I’m not so sure…

I am looking for God
But the question is has he been looking for me?
Or am I just blind as a bat?
Am I reciting all the wrong jargon?
Am I wearing the wrong clothes…
No, God doesn’t care about that stuff,
Does he care for me?

Look, all I want to be is genuine
All I want to do is help and hope and love
And leap in places that faith will carry me…
I’m looking for God, have you seen him?
What’s he like? 
Will you please tell me? 

“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” – 1 Peter 3:15-16

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The church piano is playing “turn eyes upon Jesus”
when their eyes are on their phones
checking status’ and messages
but the Spirit’s call gets sent right to voicemail.
The complaints of old parishioners
why are there less and less?
Perhaps if smiles instead of frowns
warmth instead of winter cold
were expressed.

The prayers of the selfish, the haves, and greedy
out weigh the care or concern for the needy
wrong motives, hatred and pride
breaking down families all trapped inside…the church.

turn your eyes upon…money?
turn your eyes upon…sunday (even)?
turn your eyes upon…women and men?
No, start again.
Flames of His Spirit descend again!
Consume all our folly and sickness again!
Tear down our selfishness, tear down our pride
A Bride of resplendence,  a bride of love

Broken and selfless, the goal of above.

Turn our eyes upon Jesus

Looking full, ever full into His face

Father, return a new to this (now) holy place.

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Summer dreams (A poem)

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In the bliss of winter’s frozen kiss
as Ice is formed, abrasive and painful
an Angel with wings unfurled
left her mark in the mounds of silky snow.

I do not know what transpired there
as some walk by and some don’t care
But I’m almost sure I glimpsed heaven’s door
looking out from my frosted window.

With rooftops coated white and wisps of smoke
dancing or escaping elegantly into the crisp atmosphere
I remain here, tightly bundled, blanketed train behind me
perfectly content to let the days of winter kiss another
but not my cheek, nor these feeble hands
I am a child of summer weighted down by this
absence of her soft warming embrace.

And for now…I bide my time.

Fragile Gift (a poem)

Life is candy glass
In the hands of children
Imperfecta to a dreamer.
Why is it bestowed upon
we,  the undeserved,
The frivolous, the vain?
It is un-recycled,  unrepentant
Far more than we can preserve.

These tears are not my own
I am but a poor reflection
A shadow of the genuine
Only less refined, impure.
Why waste His time on this
If not for pure love?
A creature as I am – dirt and mud…
Yes, granted the greatest gift,
This inhalation,  this pulse,
This and every other new beginning…
I am candy glass
Yet built to endure eternity.

Santa is on Fire

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I would be lying if I said

that Christmas isn’t busy.

There are meetings to attend

people to direct

and nights

far too vacant of slumber.

Yet when I do sleep,

I am reluctant to admit

that I have  dreamt

that Santa is on fire.

I stand there

with arms crossed

satisfaction on my face

as Santa, jolly and red

is smoldering, and ablaze.

Tiny bits of plastic bubble and gurgle

the colors on his crimson suit bleed

and drip…and I with arms crossed

and smile on my face

step back and almost trip…

upon my can of gasoline.

Don’t think me strange

or even a Scrooge for it’s just

a dream that

I have dreamt

I haven’t actually torched Santa,

children there’s no need to cry…

but there are days

when I have considered,

with malicious intent,

what the jolly fat man would

look like all consumed

and a-glowing in a red ball of flame.

There would be no more

“Ho-ho-ho-ing” for that

Jolly man,

If simply just poured

out the contents

of my gasoline can…

then, I would  throw my stocking

which is filled with

coal

happily upon the

Santa pyre.

O Bethlehem (A Poem)

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In Bethlehem, O Bethlehem

what sights you must have seen

with manger bed where sheep had fed

and yonder pastures green.

A Savior came, O Bethlehem

the One whom prophets foretold

yet most were blind, they could not find

The God-man soft, yet bold.

Yet Shepherds came, Oh Bethlehem

the unclean keepers of the sheep.

A song they heard, they spread the word

while Jesus was fast asleep.

O Bethlehem, O Bethlehem

His name is ever true!

To all who hear, He drives out fear

Salvation comes to you!

S.E. Strissel ’13’

Dear Boot Girl (A frivolous poem)

Dear boot girl
I see that you’ve joined another group I’m in
Are you stalking me with your peddling ware?
Do you actually sell this crap you post?
Your pictures are phony
A front for the stuff
Are you some helpless girl in Thailand…
Or are some big burly Russian dude

all decked out in your wife beaters,

swigging vodka from a dirty bottle
And hoping to con another naive Facebook member?
Oh dear Boot girl, you’ve done it again
You were added as a friend and then
Your “awesome deals” appear for all to
Bemoan and groan over…
So, sorry but you’ve been blocked and banned…
Once more,
But I’m sure I’ll be seeing you around
On some other page or group or post.

Sincerely,

Everyone.

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Creative Arts Competition – Last Reminder

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Here’s just another reminder about a fun competition that I would like to begin here on my blog. This is our first annual (with more to come I hope) creative arts competition.

Criteria is listed below:

Hey fellow writers and avid readers! I would like to announce a writing competition that I would like to conduct right here on this blog site: http://www.scottstrissel.wordpress.com
I am looking for your entry submissions for the following categories:

Photographs:
Submissions to this category MUST be your own work and not cut and pasted from someone else! These photographs should represent elements of “Thanksgiving” not just the holiday but the emotion, family, Christ, Salvation, our spiritual journey. Please limit your photo entries to five photos.

Poetry
Submissions to this category MUST be your own work and not cut and pasted from someone else!
Again the topic is Thanksgiving and as mentioned above should include some of these thematic elements. Please utilize a total of 750 words, less is fine , but no more that 750 words.

Prose (Story form or article format):
Submissions to this category MUST be your own work and not cut and pasted from someone else!
Again the topic is Thanksgiving and as mentioned above should include some of these thematic elements. Please utilize a total of 800 words, less is fine but more will be rejected.

Winners:
Of each category will be announced on November 29th (the day after U.S. Thanksgiving, AKA Black Friday)
The winners will be post here on this blog site and will receive a bag of Starbucks Coffee (hey I wish I had cash prizes to give you but I’m a broke Pastor with four kids to feed).
I will accept international submissions and if chosen I will post your submission here, but I WILL NOT be able to mail you coffee (sorry).

DUE DATE OF SUBMISSIONS:
November 23rd, 2013 by NOON CST (US central standard time)

HOW TO SUBMIT YOUR ENTRY:
Please submit your entry to: scottstrissel@yahoo.com
Please, also label it on your e-mail “Thanksgiving Writing Competition”

Me, the Prodigal (Poem)

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There are days, dear Lord, when I fear

and I let go of your mighty hand

when all around me danger looms here

I am weak and deaf to your commands.

Yet your loving hand never strays from me

How could I have ever taken my eyes away

from your strength and presence free

while I begin to sink beneath this deadly fray?

It is at my worst that I turn again to You

how could I have let go of your strength and might?

Your love shines and pierces all the way through

my heart and within this sinking darkest of night.

Though I, the fool, am ashamed of my misgivings

You clothe me in riches beyond my deserving

Such love I cannot express to you in serving

all my days, all my efforts will I devote into your keeping.

-Amen.

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