Redemption’s Call (An Easter Poem)

…And then it came to pass
that my heart was rent and broken,
turmoil spilled the spoken word
with nail and sword they killed my Lord. free

The veil was torn
redemption born
the Lamb was made to bleed.
For He stepped in
relieved my sin
and we are free indeed.

As the cost explodes the night
no grave can hold Eternal’s light
For we’ve been bought –
from blind to sight
The God-man, love’s true might.

And here we are – a second chance
from sin’s cold grasp to love’s first glance
the choice is ours, redemption’s call
His blood can cleanse and heal us all.
…His love WILL heal and cleanse us all.



“The Jesus Fan Club”



Perhaps you’ve seen the bible study or read some books which ask the question are you a “Fan” or are you a “Follower” of Jesus?  A fan would be one who sits on the sidelines, cheers (also complains when things aren’t going the way they expect them to go) but never really gets onto the field to do any of the real labor within the realms of faith.  

I don’t mean to rail against the Church…well maybe I do a little.  This isn’t about not loving people, actually it’s quite the opposite.   What can we do to change the perception of the Church?  What can we do to change the perception of the “Fan Club”?


1.  It begins with You & Me:

We can’t change the polarizing views of some people who use the name “Christian” but do not act like Christians.  BUT we can change the way that we conduct ourselves and how we live in community with those around us.  It has to begin with you and me!  Without this internal determination to change, the “Fan club” wins.  

2. Move with Love:

When we allow it to begin with us and allow the Holy Spirit to move us we can’t but help to love and serve.  It’s about loving and serving the Almighty as well as loving and serving other people around us.  Faith has to have feet in order for it to change lives including our own.  We aren’t merely fans of Jesus, we MUST be His followers.  Love compels us forward even into places that we would never consider going because it is no longer about “Me” but it’s about “Him”.  


We can tear down these walls that separate the Church from the “real world”…but it means that we can’t just take shelter in our buildings and presume people will find us.  Jesus didn’t hang out in temples for the entirety of His ministry here on Earth, He went to people, and if we are to be like Him, if we are to follow Him then we  ought to go to people too!  

Jesus doesn’t need anymore fans…He needs followers who are willing to do the hard work, not because hard work will get us into heaven, but rather because we have put feet with our faith.  Are you ready to move?  

-Just a thought.  

Let Go of the Baggage – “Things that hold you back.”



Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”  Hebrews 12:1 (NIV) 

When we as a family prepare to go on a vacation there are usually two types of people in our family.  Type One – the under-packer who just wants to be out the door and in the van in fifteen minutes or less and worry about what we didn’t bring with us later.           Type Two – The over-packer who wants to bring everything from our home along with us on the trip and takes twice as long to get ready to leave.  Also this type two person (who will not be named but I’m married to her) has to clean the house as if we were receiving an inspection from a military grade house inspector with white gloves and all.  

If you haven’t guessed yet, I’m the type one person who at times sits impatiently in the van honking the horn as the type-two person (again unnamed but I’m married to her) finishes cleaning the house until it shines and is sparkling clean.  

Truth be told, I am glad that my wife takes great care in our preparations and in the long run, as much as I hate to admit it, She is right.  

There’s another kind of baggage in life though

Sin can weigh us down. 

Make no mistake about it, the old life (before Christ) leads to death.  When we come to Jesus and we accept His gift of salvation we are made into new creations by His blood.  The old has gone and the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17)…but at times we still feel as if we have to keep lugging that baggage around with us.  It weighs us down, causes us difficulty and trouble and yet we still habitually burden ourselves with this unnecessary baggage.  

What is this baggage? 

1) It is the remnants of the old creation –

When Christ saved us, He did so completely yet we find it very difficult to let go of old habits and old sinful ways of living. The Holy Spirit prompts us to unclinch our white knuckled fists which are tightly holding onto these things that we needn’t any more to grasp. In times of trial and stress, these old remnants also rear their ugly heads to cause us strife and further temptation as well.  When we lose our focus on the forward prize of Holiness, which is the image of Christ alive in us, we face the old self again.  When this happens a flood of the old tendencies pours in and once again we find ourselves taking two or three steps backwards in our progress of Holiness. This baggage has been there all along festering and molding in a cold dark corner of our hearts and we’ve been reluctant, even rebellious in our lack of spiritual attempts to deal with it, so, instead we ignore it.    The Holy Spirit knows that this baggage does not belong in our new creation.  He is spurring us, even painfully at times, to let go of it.  Why do we still clutch it ever so tightly?  What good can ever come from its hold on us?  This baggage stands blatantly in our path of real, tangible Spiritual growth and yet we allow it to stunt us.  

Prayer – Dear Lord, allow me to see this baggage in my life today.  Show me that which still blocks my steps to full surrender.  Reveal to me the places that I have yet to let go of.  I do not want these burdens of the old creation to hinder my forward progress of reflecting You.  -Amen.

2) The Baggage can also be our guilt, shame and self-worth.

The old life also has a way of convincing us that we are not good enough to be like Christ.  It will try and convince us that we will never be good enough or smart enough to receive such a reward from God.  This has nothing to do with pride, in fact just the opposite.  When Christ redeems us, the wretched sinner, He does so completely.  When we commit our hearts to Him, He washes us clean.  This doesn’t mean that we won’t face temptation again or that we can not fall, but it does mean that His blood sacrifice can and will cover up our sinful old creations and wash them away.  Our part, within this free will, however, is that we must confront our old harmful choices that we have made.  This is the consequences of sin, we have to face it.  Sometimes in facing it we find ourselves so wrecked by it that we begin to doubt if Christ could truly love us because we have done so much wrong.  This remnant of the old baggage clings to us and tries to convince us of the lie that we are not worth His time and that, perhaps, we were never salvageable through His gift of salvation.  Don’t buy the life.  This isn’t about pride, but it’s about truth.  You matter to God!  He loves YOU!  He wants to remind you that you are His precious child and that you are a son or daughter of the Most High!  Don’t cling to this old baggage, which is a lie.  Let go of it, and embrace this truth of His saving grace – You are His and He would do it all over again if you had been the only human alive!  When you let go of this old baggage and recognize how much it has weighed you down you will begin to see how free you will feel.  

Let go, and find this burden lifted from you!  

Prayer – Dear Lord, remind me again of how much you love me.  Remind me when I struggle with my identity in You that I am worthy because of Your love.  Help to me see myself as You see me, and as I do help me to let go of my grip on this baggage of self-worth. Thank you for your love and for your hand upon my life, lift me up out of this pit of self-degradation and give me a passion to serve and love you with ever fiber of my being.  -Amen.

Get On With It!

 Letting go of the baggage that hinder us is only the first step, now we have to press on.  Jesus is our living example, and this world still needs His example lived out in Holy Christ-following people.  Shine so that others might see Him.  Live as the Holy Spirit leads you to live.  Get up and get on with this new creation…oh and leave your baggage behind!  


Got any rivers you think are uncrossable?

Got any mountains you can’t tunnel through?

God specializes in things thought impossible

And He can do what no other power can do.


For the love of God…

Definition:   re·lent·less
  1. 1.
    oppressively constant; incessant.
    “the relentless heat of the desert”
    synonyms: persistent, continuing, constantcontinualcontinuousnonstopnever-ending, unabating, interminableincessantunceasingendless,

    God’s love for us is relentless.

    Perhaps, even “relentless” isn’t a good enough description of how God loves us.  Yet, perhaps it adequately speaks to the nature of God who never quits on His creation.  Do you remember the story of the prodigal son?  In that parable of Jesus what does the Father do?  Despite the son asking for his inheritance and wishing his father to be dead, the father lets him go.  One of the hardest things to do as a parent is to let a child go and have them make their own choices even if those choices are harmful.  Tough love has the capacity to hurt your heart while you relentlessly pursuit reconciliation and renewal of that lost loved one.  


    The father waited for his son to come to his senses.  The story is more than just about this lost or prodigal son.  This story is about the relentless kind of love that is embodied in the father.  He waits, and even while his son is still a long way off, the father goes and runs to him.  (Luke 15:20) It was unbecoming of an adult in the culture of Jesus to run anywhere, and this father runs to his undeserving and wayward son.  

    Isn’t that what God the Father has done for us through His Son Jesus Christ?  He relentless love took Jesus to the cross for us. His relentless love brought about a way for us, the undeserving and wayward sinner, to experience right relationship with Him once again.   

    For the love of God – Our Response

    What is our response to this relentless love?  Can we recognize how undeserving we are and how amazing it is to have a God who pursues us like this?  Secondly, if we accept this relentless love through Jesus Christ alone, the next step in the reciprocation of that love is our desire to become like Christ.  By this I mean we ought to recognize that Jesus embodied for us in His living and dying what Holiness in human form looks like.  Thus we are to place our feeble feet in the very footprints of Christ for the salvation of humanity!  Our response to His love will take us to places we would never have wanted to go. (John 21:18)  Perhaps it won’t take us to suffering and death like the Apostle Peter, but His love will propel us to do outrageous things for the cause of Christ!  

    Christ’s relentless love will prompt us to take up our crosses too and follow him!  (Matthew 16:24)  If we truly accept His salvation and grace in our lives, we will not be able to just keep it hidden inside of us, we will want to share that ceaseless love to those who are still lost in the darkness of lovelessness.  

    For the love of God…be bold in your relentless pursuit of others!

    For the love of God…be genuine in your passion to serve Him humbly!

    For the love of God…wrap your arms around the unlovable and show them love like they have never seen before!

    For the love of God…be Holy as He (Jesus Christ) is Holy! 


    “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases
    His mercies never come to an end,
    They are new every morning
    New every morning
    Great is Your faithfulness, O Lord
    Great is Your faithfulness”
    -May all the Glory be to God and that of His Relentless love of You and Me!  

RSVP: Reserve Space for Victory in Paradise!

Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David… Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near…You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.” (Isaiah 55:1-3,6,12) 



What do you do when you are invited to a party?  You send the RSVP or call in your RSVP and you confirm (if schedule allows) that you will attend.  Your response is required so that the party host will know who will attend and how many to plan for.  It’s not only polite to return your RSVP, it is an important response and action on your part…in essence you are saying “I will be there!”

In the above passage of Isaiah, the invitations for forgiveness have been sent out by God.  He wants to make what was broken whole again.  The prophecy of Messiah (Jesus) is evident in two key verses two chapters back:

 Isaiah 52:13 “See, my servant will act wisely; he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.” &

Isaiah 53:12 “Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Forgiveness is at hand, the RSVP has been hand delivered to all of us, and the Host of this Redemptive party is awaiting our response.  The most telling portion of chapter 55 in Isaiah is verse 6…it says “Seek the Lord while he may be found...” It is a frightening proposition here because He seems to be saying to us, ‘make up your minds while you can.’  The implication is that our RSVP has an expiration date and we ought not postpone our response.

Forgiveness and redemption is ours, the Host of Heaven stands at the front door inviting us in…what will your response be?  Either we enter and accept His love and forgiveness or we don’t because soon that door will be closed…soon we will all be standing before Him, and in contrast, probably the most frightening passage in all of scripture is Matthew 25:31-46 when Jesus himself states clearly that the day is coming  when the King will separate the sheep from goats and He will say to the goats (those who have not accepted His invitation to forgiveness and redemption)  “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.'” (Matthew 25:41)  

We have this contrast of those who will accept the invitation and those who will not.  Yet there is hope…there is time, but if you haven’t accepted the invitation, don’t let this time slip away.  Redemption draws near, your RSVP is requested…what will your answer be?


White as snow



Like snow falling 

white, resplendent

bright enough to blind

and as I place

a muddied footprint

within its folds

I am washing away my filth

something beyond me

something I can not compose

has brought me

thus far

here today…


washed clean

so that I reflect

not the crimson

but the fallen white

refrains of purity.

I am whole again. 

Les Miserables: A story of intervention, redemption and hope.

Their hands and feet are in chains.   The scenery begins with the misery of deplorable labor camp conditions; and if a prisoner dies, another takes their place.  Life is expendable and short lived in this hell on earth.    Their words echo and resound in our hearts: “Look down, look down don’t look ’em in the eye.  Look down, look down, you’re here until you die…The sun is strong It’s hot as hell below, Look down, look down, there’s twenty years to go. I’ve done no wrong! Sweet Jesus, hear my prayer! Look down look down, Sweet Jesus doesn’t care.”

Spoiler Alert

This is the opening scene of Les Miserables, a book by Victor Hugo, transformed into a world renown musical and now a soon to be academy award winning movie.  The content of this story pulls at our heart strings, makes us weep at the human condition and lament the loss of love, life and hope.  But within the narration of this classical tale dwells a redemptive element that is personified in the character of Jean Valjean.  At the beginning of this tale,  Valjean is a prisoner because he broke into a bakery and stole a loaf of bread for his sister’s children who are starving.  He is convicted and sent to work in this labor camp prison and now identified by the law as prisoner 24601, his life is a perpetual hell…until he is paroled.  The story picks up following his release and his trouble only continues because of his identity as a convicted felon with his yellow identification card – indicating his post prison status.  He is taken in by a Bishop only to give into temptation and steals some valuable silverware, but Valjean is caught and brought back to the bishop.  At this point a first time reader might assume Valjean is doomed by his guilt, but the Bishop does something remarkable, he tells the police that he gave Jean Valjean the valuable silverware.  Following the departure of the police, the Bishop tells Valjean to take the valuable treasure of silverware and use it for good.  Jean Valjean is amazed, conflicted and broken by this gift of generosity and forgiveness.  He vows to use this gift for good and within this amazing story He keeps his promise by redeeming and saving others.

This is more than just a story of hope and salvation in humanity; this is our own redemptive story of grace and reconciliation given to us by God through His Son Jesus Christ.  We can identify with the character of Jean Valjean in many ways.  We too have been a prisoner, our prison is sin, condemned to live a life of hell without the hope of true salvation.  Living in our fallen world, we have all seen the evidence of the hopeless condition in humanity by just watching the news and witnessing horrific acts of violence, selfishness, greed, envy and so much more.  Conditions in parts of our world are deplorable and it even infects the very communities in which we live…there is no place on earth that we can escape these effects of sin.  Many, even those who have resources and are affluent, feel the weight and burden of such hopelessness.   Henry David Thoreau once said; “rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.”  The truth is this: we are hopelessly shackled to this life of depravity and sin without an external intervention breaking through and saving us.  The character of Jean Valjean is you and me.  What would have happened if that Bishop had not intervened?  He was the very hand of God in Valjean’s life.  We too need an external intervention.  Jesus was that intervention for you and for me.  When He came to this world He took upon Himself our sin and our shame…He took our place…that execution on the cross – should have been ours.  Can you feel the shackles breaking yet?  We have been given hope, a release from our death sentence; we’ve been taken in, cleaned up and restored in right relationship with God himself…because of Jesus’ intervention.  So what do we do with this grace, this forgiveness?  I think Victor Hugo had it right in Les Miserables!  His character Valjean doesn’t disappear never to be heard of again, instead he extends that hand of God, grace, hope and love in his intervention to others.  That is the essence of Redemption!  First it comes to us from an external intervention, and then we in turn extend that intervention to other…we become the very hands and feet of God.  Mark 16:15 says; “He (Jesus) said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.”   We become God’s intervention to the world…we don’t become God, but rather we are used by God to spread this good news!

So how about it, is it time of an intervention in our world?  Do you want to be a part of God’s redemptive plan in your life as well as the lives of others?  It begins with accepting this gift of redemption and grace that Christ gives to us all, then from there be a part of spreading that good news of His redemptive love to those around you!  This tale of Valjean is you and me…and we have been redeemed for a purpose…so do something about it! Image

Blog at

Up ↑