Just a Moment

If just one more moment
was all that we had.
Would it bring joy,
or would it be sad?
And while you do ponder
just which it would be.
There’s a larger picture
I want you to see.

Our life’s filled with moments,
they all do pass by.
Some we have planned,
others make us ask why.
There are moments we notice,
and some we ignore.
Some make us excited
and some are a bore.

But back to the question
of happy or sad.
You get to choose
which moment you had.
For even in darkness
and bitterest thought.
You can make the choice
to do what you ought!

The moment is changed,
not by what you receive.
But by the gift you do offer
because you believe.
When you share God’s love
in just a moment of time.
You open a window
to a moment sublime.

So, seize this here moment,
it may be all that you have.
And speak of God’s mercy
like a cool, healing salve.
Be kind to a stranger
and strengthen the weak.
Then you’ll find that your moment
is the one you did seek!

© 2017 by Tom Lemler

This poem rolled out of my mind this morning though I’m not sure what prompted it nor what God will choose to do with it.  I suppose that is how the moments of life are — we either share them with others as an act of encouragement, or we keep them to our self and miss the blessing that God wanted to give us as well as someone else.  I pray that no matter how bad things may appear, that my moments are made better by what I give to others.

In prayer,
Tom

 

Not Alone

Every day can be a journey
as we travel down life’s winding road.
Each step is somewhat different
as we walk beneath our load.
Sometimes the path seems easy,
the load feels rather light.
But other times it’s heavy,
as we journey through the night.

And in those nighttime hours,
the darkness makes us feel alone.
Like no one walks beside us
and there’s no signal on our phone.
We’d call for help, but what’s the point,
for no one is around.
Our path has led to hopelessness
where despair is all that’s found.

But if we listen quietly
within that darkest hour.
We will start to feel the presence
of the One who’s filled with power.
He is walking right beside us,
He has never left our side.
But His help was pushed away
by our selfish, stubborn pride.

And in those quiet moments
as we listen to His voice.
He promises to be our light,
if that would be our choice.
And if we choose to listen
and pick up our heavy load.
We find it’s not so heavy,
as He carries it down the road.

So, I follow in His footsteps
as darkness turns to light.
And I see the others also,
who have been there through the night.
They too are walking freely
as our loads have now been shared.
So we bear each other’s burdens,
lightened by the One who cared!

The help we give each other,
is help we have received.
And it’s not too far away,
if we only would believe.
Our load is made much lighter
by the One who reigns above.
So that we can care for others
and show them God is love!

© 2017 by Tom Lemler

I am currently in a season where my mind does unfriendly things to my body.  Something internally gets out of balance and the heightened anxiety and panic soon snowballs into a lot of restless nights, which only makes the anxiety and panic attacks worse.  I never want to make a bigger deal out of these than what they are, so I often willingly travel this road into the darkness thinking with each step that, “it’s not that bad . . . I can still see well enough to function.”  I am learning though.  I am learning that there is a point that I can’t manage it on my own and I need help.  I am learning that just because I can’t see others around me in the darkness, it doesn’t mean they aren’t there — many have walked a similar road. I’m learning that turning to, and finding the Light, in the darkness is news that I ought to be sharing and that is difficult to do without also talking about the shared darkness.  I pray that God uses this poem, which showed up this morning after my getting some help for some of the “darkness” symptoms, to encourage others to seek both God’s help and the help of people to find the light that He wants you to walk in.  For me, part of that help is having the humility to listen to my family and my doctor in taking some anxiety meds for a season while the mind heals and is restored.

In prayer,
Tom

 Matthieus State Park 027

We Said

Hang on to your hat
as time rushes by.
The days crawl along
but the years, they do fly.
A long time ago,
seems like just yesterday.
We stood in a church
and “I do”, we did say.

We had each other,
what more could we ask.
At that moment in time,
there was no greater task.
But what did we know,
could we see ahead?
To the days filled with joy,
and the ones filled with dread?

We pinched every nickel,
and squeezed every dime.
As we started our life
with a steep uphill climb.
But climb it we did,
and continue to do.
Until we reach the top,
for a heavenly view.

There are things we did wrong,
and a few we did right.
But when God looks at us,
I hope He’s pleased with the sight.
The future’s not promised,
though we plan and we dream.
And nothing can stop us
when we work as a team.

The hurdles behind us
are more than a few.
Sometimes we tripped over them,
sometimes barreled through.
I would guess they’re not over,
there are more up ahead.
But we’ll face them together,
because that’s what we said!

© 2017 by Tom Lemler

Promises don’t always mean a lot to many people in our world today, so some find it remarkable that any marriage lasts for very long — or the ones that do, must have somehow been easy and avoided all the difficulties that can make marriage hard.  As I think this week about being married and muddling my way through so many difficult circumstances, this poem showed up in my mind as a reminder that we got through those circumstances together as we both honored our commitment to God and to what we said, “I do” — no “I might” or “I’ll think about it” or “I’ll try”, just a simple but profound “I Do!”.  So, as the 36th anniversary of our wedding day approaches, Happy Anniversary to the love of my life!  

In prayer,
Tom

 

Riding Together

This journey of life
can be quite a ride.
Made better or worse
by who’s by your side.
The road’s always changing,
and detours abound.
The person beside you,
changes what can be found.

But before you look back
on the years of your life.
And blame the person beside you
for all of your strife.
There was another
along for the ride.
And sometimes the problem
is the person inside.

It is far too easy
to look in the next seat.
When our gaze ought to focus
on our very own feet.
The path that we’ve taken
was ours to decide.
Who did we choose
to go along for the ride?

There is another,
we can’t see with our eye.
But he rides along with us,
between you and I.
He makes all the difference
for good or for bad.
Depending on our choice,
on which rider we had.

The One who is peaceful,
and loving and kind.
Is the rider between us
that you ought to find.
I can tell you for certain,
what a difference it makes.
When you ride with Jesus
on every road that you take!

So, as I look back
on this up and down ride.
I am very thankful
for who’s by my side.
A wife who has loved me
through paved road and sand.
And a Savior who guides us
when things aren’t quite as planned!

© 2017 by Tom Lemler

Anniversaries can be a time of reflection and my 36th wedding anniversary is this week.  As I’ve spent time reflecting recently, this poem came out of my prayer time.  In our married life we have definitely been on roads of every kind imaginable — both literally and figuratively.  It is by keeping Jesus in the midst of our journey that we’ve been able to discover peace, joy, and beauty even on roads that have been filled with potholes, mud puddles, or were simply dirt paths through the wilderness.  So, as the 36th anniversary of our wedding day approaches, Happy Anniversary to the love of my life!  

In prayer,
Tom

 

Trading Shoes

Walk a mile in my shoes
and you won’t get too far.
But a mile’s a mile,
by foot or by car.
And if you should travel
a mile in these shoes.
There’s something you learn
by the choice that you choose.
In the shoes of another,
I think you will find.
A view of their life
and a glimpse of their mind.

A mile that’s spent walking,
with shoes or without.
Can help you to learn
what a person’s about.
Perhaps you would see
the life that’s inside.
And know the great pain
that they do try to hide.
Or you’d see some great wisdom
that their life is about.
That you never have noticed,
it’s not something they shout.

And as you keep walking
perhaps you will see.
There’s not that much difference
between you and me.
There’s usually a reason
we act as we do.
And perhaps we would find it,
if we would trade a shoe.
This walking together
so we understand.
Is not just more pleasant,
it is just what God planned.

© 2017 by Tom Lemler

Often times we are quick to point out the faults of another while overlooking our own.  Jesus talks about our tendency to point out the speck in the eye of another while ignoring the plank in our own.  I think one of the reasons for that is we become accustomed to our own faults and because of our understanding of them, we easily make excuses as to why we don’t deal with them.  It is a lot easier to judge others than to “walk a mile in their shoes” in an attempt to understand them.  Perhaps if we would “trade shoes” for a day, or at least spend deliberate time watching the unseen life of another, we just might gain a greater understanding that is filled with much less judgment.  So, let’s keep walking together and “perhaps you will see; There’s not that much difference, between you and me.”

In prayer,
Tom

 

DSCN7676

Lemonade (A Heart of Compassion)

When life gives you lemons
and you make lemonade.
Will anyone join you
as you sit in the shade?
Will they share in the sorrow
from which this drink came?
Or turn a blind eye
with feelings of shame?

A heart of compassion
will pull up a chair.
And drink from your offering
of the pain you do share.
As you drink it together,
I pray you will know.
God’s compassion is with you
wherever you go.

So, what will you do
when the drink has been made?
Will you sit with the one
who feels alone in the shade?
Will you share in the suffering
and walk hand in hand?
For that’s the compassion
that God Himself planned!

Your walking together
will lighten the load.
As the suffering is lifted
from a single abode.
And soon you will find
that the drink can be good.
When compassion does sweeten
the way that it should.

© 2017 by Tom Lemler

As I spent time praying this past weekend, a number of partial poems filled my mind but none of them seemed suitable for sharing until today. People are suffering and each of us need to ask ourselves if we are showing true compassion (suffering with them) or are we showing a form of contempt as we don’t want to see the many forms of suffering taking place.  I share this poem and pray that it would be used by God to accomplish His purposes.

In prayer,
Tom

 

The Preacher’s View

I have a secret,
between me and you.
Sometimes the preacher
has the very best view.
The day was a beauty
but so was the bride.
As she stood in the doorway
with the groom by my side.
The planning was finished,
the work would now start.
As she walked down the aisle
to give her whole heart.

With each step moving closer,
I could see in her eye.
Some seeds of the tears
that she didn’t want to cry.
On this happy occasion,
as she walked toward her groom.
There was a good presence
that entered the room.
The bride and her father
were walking toward me.
And with them the presence
of her sister, Bre.

I stood for a moment
with a lump in my throat.
As I retrieved my glasses
from out of my coat.
I must continue,
so I drew a deep breath.
And heard a sweet voice,
not silenced by death.
“I can do all things
as He strengthens me.”
Was the opening whisper
that I heard from Bre.

And so I continued,
with a witness unseen.
And a beautiful couple
in this wedding scene.
There was another
who looked on from above.
For God is the author
of this thing we call love.
His presence was with me,
and I pray it’s with you.
As you glance for a moment
at this preacher’s view.

© 2017 by Tom Lemler

As I was resting Sunday afternoon following the Saturday evening wedding and Sunday morning preaching that I was privileged to do, this poem began filling my mind.  It was a great honor for me to officiate the wedding for my niece, but I knew the day would have its hard times as each family member would miss the physical presence of Bre — my niece, and the bride’s sister, who died in an auto accident almost a year ago.  As an uncle, I know that my loss doesn’t compare to that of Bre’s parents and siblings, but I wasn’t sure how acute that feeling of loss would be as I stood there watching the bride come down the aisle with my brother — her dad.  The lump in my throat was real as I looked into her eyes and wondered if I could finish what I hadn’t even started.  It was at that point the presence of God, and I believe the presence of Bre as one of the “great cloud of witnesses, reminded me of one of her favorite verse; “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  Anyhow, as this poem about the experience came out of my mind, I shared it with my niece late Sunday as I felt she needed to see this first.  I share it more publicly now with the hope and prayer that God uses it as a means of comfort and encouragement to others who not only grieve, but who need the assurance of God’s presence and of the presence of the great cloud of witnesses that have gone on before us.

In prayer,

Tom