My Redeemer Is Alive

I was commissioned to write lyrics for a song based on some passages of the book of Job. Though he liked what I wrote, ultimately, the person who commissioned me decided to use snippets of the KJV version of the verses to compose his quintet piece. So I thought I’d share what I wrote here. If anyone feels inclined to set this to music, let me know.

My Redeemer Is Alive

Verse 1 (Job 6:10)
Comfort and consolation
In this least truth I find
Despite the pain I’ve suffered
His words I’ve ne’er denied
His words I’ll not deny

Verse 2 (Job 7:11)
Bitterness and anguish
Overwhelm my bitter soul
I cry out in dire complaint
My words I can’t control
These words I’ll not let go

Chorus (Job 19:25–27)
My Redeemer is alive at last
He stands upon the earth He cast
Yea, my body will decay and yet
My eyes will see God, O the thought
My Redeemer, my Redeemer is alive

Verse 3 (Job 19:28–29)
How dare you persecute me
Saying I am to blame
You should fear the wrath of God
Know judgment there will be
Yes, His judgment you will see

Bridge (Job 9:11)
He comes near
I cannot see Him though
When He moves
I do not see Him go

Chorus (Job 19:25–27)
My Redeemer is alive at last
He stands upon the earth He cast
Yea, my body will decay and yet
My eyes will see God, O the thought
My Redeemer, my Redeemer is alive

Verse 4 (Job 16:19-22)
Even now my advocate in heaven
Sees scoffers cause my eyes to weep
Oh that I might plead with God on high
The road of no return lies before me
The road I must go down lies ahead

Chorus (Job 19:25–27)
My Redeemer is alive I know
He stands upon the earth to show
Though my body will decay, I’ll live
My eyes will see God, O the thought
My Redeemer, my Redeemer is alive

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Once Upon a Time

Once upon a starry night
A single star shown ever bright
Outshone angels hovering a field
Telling shepherds who rightly kneeled
Of the birth of the Chosen One
Born of Mary, God’s own Son

Wise men followed that singular star
Traveling for days from afar
With the shepherds they came to see
The King of kings who sets us free
Lying in a lowly manger stall
To save the lost, one and all

Each December I search the sky
But perhaps I should look in mid-July
Since we don’t know when He was born
Was snow on the ground or fields full of corn
But the fact of His birth is true and sure
Faith in His grace will salvation secure

As we gaze upon a starry night
Let us not feud, bicker, and fight
May we prove hate is defeated by love
As we ponder the heavens above
Knowing we are never alone
And mercy sits upon His throne

____________________________________
For the Poetics prompt at dVerse Poets Pub today, Lillian is calling for poems that begin with a twist on an old cliché. Each poem is to begin with Once upon a but the fourth word cannot be time. (She didn’t say the title couldn’t be Once Upon a Time). Although it is not yet the Christmas season, this is what I came up with. I may parlay this into a longer poem before the season is fully upon us, but this will do for now.

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My Mother Dear

I buried my mother
in my journal in red ink
with large angry letters
that accused her of dying
on purpose just to spite me

I buried my mother
in the Firehole River at Yellowstone
among the towering green trees
with eagles soaring above
leaving me wondering if she watched

I buried my mother
when I was only 23
and she was 61
and then again in my heart
as I forgave a loss
that was never her fault
and red ink faded to green

_______________________________

I drafted this poem during a poetry workshop at a writers conference I attended last weekend. I’ve made a few tweaks to the original. The instructor had shared a poem titled Little Father by Li-Young Lee and asked us to write a poem in the same style.

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Grandpa’s Wisdom (or Folly)

Better an hour early than a minute late,
. . . . Grandpa oft repeated.

Which is fine, until . . .
You arrive at the party and
. . . . the host is in the shower
. . . . the chicken’s still running around the yard
. . . . you’re put to work chopping onions
. . . . the shindig’s tomorrow night

_______________________

It’s Quadrille Monday at dVerse Poets Pub and Kim is calling for our 44-word poems to include the word early. I went a different direction than my usual. Head on over and see what other early birds are bringing to the Quadrille table.

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Tadpoles and Broken Hearts

I believe there are three sides to every story
I believe puppies with puppy kisses and wagging tails
I believe the sun, except when it lies
I believe 1986 and 1995, but not 1978
I believe suffering reveals grace and beauty
I believe suffering causes heartache beyond yesterday
I believe irises and lilacs and ruby throated hummingbirds
I believe, though I don’t know why
I believe my dad smiled and my mom frowned
I believe in rain drops on hot dirt roads
I believe canyons should be viewed from above
I believe fear is a liar, except when it tells the truth
I believe no one wants to read this poem
I believe in words
I believe the brokenhearted are blessed
I believe my heart has been broken and healed and broken again
I believe someone understands
I believe tadpoles can’t survive in coffee cans
I believe slugs don’t deserve a festival
I believe love covers more sins than tolerance
I believe I might be wrong, but I don’t believe I am
I believe in mercy

____________________________

10/25/18: Shared for Meeting the Bar at dVerse Poets Pub where the topic is repetition. I think this fits, since it uses anaphora.

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Keep Walking

Sometimes in life we find ourselves in a deep, dark valley. Often it feels more like a narrow slot canyon where no sunshine can reach.

The Narrows slot canyon at Zion National Park is 18 miles long and if you want to walk up it you’re in water—often very deep water, with a strong current and rocky bottom—all the way. It’s not for the weak or faint of heart.

My husband and I hiked part of the way up the Narrows this summer. There was no way I could make it the full 18 miles. Even the mile we did trek was almost too much for me. My wristband that says “I can and I will” reminded me of the hope I needed to make it back down river.

Life itself isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s impossible without hope. Thankfully, hope never dies. And God never leaves us alone.

David reminds us in Psalm 23 that no matter how dark the slot canyon of life becomes, we are not alone. We must always remember these words, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for thou art with me.” We are only walking through the dark valley and on our darkest days, hope is there.

So if you find yourself today walking in darkness, unable to see the light, keep walking. Even if you can barely muster a crawl, keep moving forward through the dark valley. You can and you will reach the other side. And when you do, you’ll find hope was there all along.

My valley of the shadow of death lasted more than seven years. At the time, I felt all hope was lost. But looking back I can see that my Savior never left me. Hope never died, dim though it was.

I pray you may one day look back and see that hope has never left you either.

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Happy Anniversary to Me!

Today is the ninth anniversary of the start of this blog. I began on a whim and it’s grown into so much more.

I had grand plans of writing a post, waxing poetic about the joys and heartaches of blogging, but there simply wasn’t time. Too many other responsibilities competed for my attention.

I’ll have to settle for a little sharing of the stats. Here’s a snapshot of this blog by the numbers, not counting this post:

  • 1,475 = Total posts to date
  • 541,763 = Total words written for posts (my writing coach commented, “That’s enough for 11 books!”)
  • 229,567 = Total page views
  • 11,057 = Total likes
  • 1,580 = Total followers
  • Innumerable = The blessings I’ve enjoyed in the journey

God willing, I plan to keep it up. I hope you’ll join me.

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