My Mom

The cleaning is done
and I’m ready for the day.
So, as I sit down
I have something to say.
To a godly mother,
no one can compare.
She cares for her family,
their burdens to bear.
She does what she can
with the hands of her own.
And prays oft to God
for the seeds which are sown.
Some days she acts tough,
and some days are sweet.
As the needs of her children
she struggles to meet.
But meet them she does,
with God’s help and might.
As she calls out to Him,
by day and by night.
He strengthens her hands
for the work to be done.
And fills her with joy
from daughter and from son.
You may read these lines
and think, “What does he know?”.
Well, these are the truths
that my mother did show!
Her life of strength,
and tenderness too.
Helps me see Jesus
as God shines right through.
And so as you ponder
just what you should do.
I have a message
that might be for you.
Honor your mother,
whether gone or still here.
By being a person
that would bring her great cheer.

© 2018 by Tom Lemler

After cleaning the church building to get ready for the Sunday service, I sat down and the opening lines of this poem fell out of my mind. I wasn’t sure where it was headed as I typed the words out, but I offer them in honor of my mom on this Mother’s Day! I’m sure my mom didn’t always understand me (I don’t even always understand myself 🙂 ) but she continues to be a great encourager and example to me.
In prayer,


Words can hurt
and words can heal.
Words can give
and words can steal.
Words divide
and words unite.
Words bring peace
and words can fight.

Words are good
and words are bad.
Words make you happy
and make you sad.
Words are quiet
and words are loud.
Words sound humble
and they sound proud.

And if you still
are not too sure.
Words are dirty
and words are pure.
Words are smooth
and sharp as a knife.
Words restore
and cause much strife.

Words are love
and words are hate.
Words are early
and words are late.
Words are empty
and words are full.
Words will push
and words will pull.

And if you think,
“How can this be?”
Just open your heart
and you will see.
The words themselves
are not to blame.
It’s how they’re used
that causes shame.

I pray this poem
will help you know.
As from your mouth
the words will flow.
Where words are many,
sin will abound.
But it’s through listening,
peace can be found.

And so I pray
the words you use.
Would be words
that Christ would choose.
And as you listen
to the One above.
I pray you speak
His words of love.

© 2018 by Tom Lemler

It has been a tough day and it seems like they have been that way more than not lately.  There is not much that gets me down quicker than hearing words which make me feel like I don’t measure up.  It seems like throughout my life those are the words that stick with me no matter how hard I try to shake free from them.  I began the workday at 6 AM and will likely not be finished until 10 PM or later, so I took a 2 hour lunch break in the middle of the afternoon and sat by the river with God.  As I sat, this poem showed up in my mind and stuck with me until I got back to my office.  I pray that I would be able to focus on the positive words that God would have me to hear and that I would be one who uses the positive words God would have me to share.

In prayer,

Raise Your Hand

I wonder what would happen,
In a country such as ours.
If the rhetoric was silenced,
And locked away in jars.

If thoughts and words did matter,
And came from our own heart.
If listening to others,
Was where we always start.

If my response was guided,
By what you really said.
Instead of words that others,
Have planted in my head.

To see the hurt and lonely,
And hear their cries of grief.
To embrace an actual person,
Might change our own belief.

So instead of sharing,
That latest made up “fact”.
I pray I stop and question,
Just how would Jesus act.

I think I know the answer,
For I’ve read it in His Word.
He sits with the downtrodden,
To make sure that they’re heard.

He gives them what is needed,
Beyond what they might know.
For He gives Himself quite freely,
His love for them to show.

And so when you are tempted,
To attack “the other side”.
I pray you throw the rhetoric out,
And turn this awful tide!

And if you have no answer,
Know that is still okay.
Often an act of listening,
Means more than what you say!

But if you know the Savior,
Who can heal this broken land.
He is the only answer,
So it’s time to raise your hand!
© 2018 by Tom Lemler

I was praying and thinking this morning about how quick people are to share memes and unsubstantiated “facts” as truth if they fit our personal objectives. As Christians, we know the only lasting answer to the problems we both face and create is Jesus. When I was in school, many years ago, there was an eagerness among students to be the first to “raise your hand” when they knew the answer. Perhaps it is time for Christians to reject the rhetoric of the day and “raise your hand” as you lovingly share the answer of Jesus with those around you.

In prayer,

True Love

If I could have one wish for you,
I wish that this is what you knew.
That Jesus Christ from up above,
Has shown us what it means to love.

He chose to leave His heavenly throne,
And walk with those who feel alone.
The sick, the poor, the hurting ones,
Were not forgotten by God’s Son.

His life was lived for you and I,
He came to earth so He could die.
His death brought life and hope to all,
Who on His name would choose to call.

For though His body was in the grave,
He came to life with power to save.
His life and death and life again,
Has overcome the curse of sin.

So, back to heaven He did go,
And this is what I hope you know.
He’s coming back again someday,
For those who’ve claimed Him as the Way.

So as you live your life on earth,
I pray you know how much you’re worth.
That you would know the greatest love,
Expressed to you from God above.

And as you live your life today,
May it be words of love you say.
To those around who hurt and grieve,
May your love help them believe.

And when that day arrives at last,
When Christ’s return comes very fast.
I pray that many are with you,
When at last we’re made brand new!
© 2018 by Tom Lemler

I guess I shook my head a little too hard this morning and a new poem fell out.  I’ve been working on a prayer guide for next week while thinking about sermon direction for Easter Sunday, and I guess this is the result for the moment.

In prayer,

OPEN Eyes (A Poem Read by the Author)

This is the audio of my reading a poem God gave me to share at the conclusion of the Sunday morning worship gathering of the Deer Run Church of Christ on New Year’s Eve 2017.


On this final day
of twenty-seventeen.
Many will wonder,
“what did it all mean?”
There will be some things
that made no sense at all.
The appearance would say,
we did stumble and fall.

Then there were others
that weren’t quite as planned.
Yet we made it through them,
by God’s unseen hand.
After we look back
and have asked ourselves why.
It’s time to look forward
with a wide-open eye.

An eye that’s Observant
is a good place to start.
To pay close attention
to what’s in my heart.
To look with great Purpose;
to help, not condemn.
When my eye gazes outward
to focus on them.

And as I look forward,
I Expect God to act.
For the good of His people,
and that is a fact.
But perhaps most important,
is to see the great Need.
My eyes long for Jesus
and His healing indeed.

Some of the answers
that we still do seek.
Might lie in the future,
if we could take a peek.
Or perhaps we have missed it,
and just didn’t see.
That the answer God’s giving,
is to create a new me.

© 2017 by Tom Lemler


2017: Page 359

2017: Page 359

Page 359 was Christmas Day and with family gatherings the day before Christmas and the day after Christmas, it was a quiet day of reflection.  I began the day by writing yesterday’s page then headed outside to run the snowblower and clear the drive.  When I came in a poem showed up in my mind, so it will become part of today’s page.  In fact, I think the poem will take the place of the “thoughts and lessons” bullet points that I usually conclude a page with.

After lunch we drove up to Lake Michigan to see what we could find to photograph.  The wind was cold and fierce which made it difficult to stay outside very long but also made for some lighthouse-tall waves to photograph.  As evening arrived, we made our way home and I spent time going through the photos I took throughout the afternoon.  One of my favorite photos made today’s page as I captured the outer St Joseph lighthouse engulfed by a wave while its light is on.

As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:

Christmas day is here at last,
it’s time to have some fun!
So I fired up the snowblower,
to see if it would run.
I pulled it once, I pulled it twice;
it started with a roar!
And now that it was running,
I pushed it out the door.

Down the drive it slowly crawled,
snow flying in the air.
The wind would blow it back at me,
the snow was everywhere!
But with each pass the drive was cleared,
and pavement began to show.
When I was done, it looked so nice,
until the next big snow!

But that’s a lesson we should learn,
not just about the snow.
When “stuff” begins to pile up,
it really ought to go!
But just because we clear it once,
we’re never really done.
Until our life’s been fully cleaned,
by the blood of God’s own Son!
© 2017 by Tom Lemler