Talking With God

On the eve of a new year
     we gather to pray.
As we talk with God,
     just what will we say?
Will we listen closely
     as He takes a look?
Does our life measure up
     compared to His Book? 

We ask God to search us
     and look deep within.
To see if we’ve hidden
     some dark, secret sin.
But more than just wrong deeds
     we would like to know.
Is there something missing
     that I ought to show? 

We spend time confessing
     the things that we find.
And ask God to give us
     a pure conscience and mind.
In confessing to God
     we simply agree.
That our sin is bad,
     as bad as can be. 

And while this confessing
     may sound rather bleak.
It’s actually refreshing
     when forgiveness we seek.
We eat of His body
     and drink of His blood.
To remember the price
     of removing our crud. 

We think of our debts
     and the people we owe.
And no debt is so great
     as the love He did show.
We pay off the debt
     that we do create.
But the ongoing debt
     of love is so great. 

God knows we can never
     repay all of His love.
For it always flows
     from the Father above.
The best we can do
     is to give it away.
To have love for others,
     each and every day. 

As we’re filled with Jesus,
     we can’t help but praise.
The One who has freed us
     for all of our days.
We praise Him with our life,
     we praise Him with song.
In whatever we’re doing,
     we praise all day long. 

In all of our praising,
     He does not forget.
We still have needs,
     we’re not home with Him yet.
We bring to Him daily
     our needs and requests.
And trust Him to answer
     in the way that is best. 

There is nothing too great
     and nothing too small.
When we come to God
     and bring Him our all.
We cast all our cares
     and all our success.
On the One who can guide us
     through all of the mess. 

It’s not just about us
     that we go to our knees.
But the needs of others
     is a part of our pleas.
We ask God to bless them
     and comfort their life.
To give them great courage
     in the midst of their strife. 

Part of our praying
     for people in need.
Is to listen to God’s voice
     and be ready to heed.
To obey God’s instruction
     to help one another.
To give of ourselves
     to a sister or brother. 

We want God to act
     and do something now.
But we’re all surprised
     when He says we’re the how.
The answer to prayer
     sometimes is the one.
Who is talking to God
     and following the Son! 

So, what do we do
     when God answers our prayer?
When His life touches ours
     and we know of His care?
When he carries us through
     the valley so deep.
When He says she’s not dead
     she is only asleep. 

We do what we ought to,
     we do what we must.
We return with thanksgiving
     to the One we can trust.
We thank Him in bad times,
     we thank Him in good.
We thank Him forever
     as we always should. 

The new year is arriving
     and soon will be here.
Many people will gather
     and let out a cheer.
I pray that you’ve realized
     there’s much you can say.
When you talk with God
     during each new day!

© 2014 by Tom Lemler

As I spent time going through the prayer room set-up that is part of Deer Run’s 30 Hours of Prayer leading into the new year, God kept giving me portions of this poem at each “station” along the way.  I set the prayer room up with various stops to encourage people to consider different aspects of prayer during their hour prayer time here at the church building.  The main points of emphasis were Examine, Confession, Debt, Praise, Petition, Intercession, and Thanksgiving.  This poem kind of follows that flow . . . at least in my mind. 🙂

In prayer,

Promises Kept

Christmas is over
     but I must repeat.
The day is about more
     than just what you eat.
More than a party
     and more than a song.
It’s a message of hope
     that should last all year long. 

We sing “Joy to the World”
     and “Happy Birthday”.
But where is that joy
     when we go our own way?
We gather with family
     and share a great meal.
But do we still share
     when it’s not how we feel? 

Christmas reminds us
     that God keeps His word.
No matter how long
     it has been since you heard.
God is not slow
     as some people say.
Rather He’s patient
     ‘til we see His way. 

In the beginning
     when God spoke to Eve.
And said from this garden,
     now you must leave.
You listened to lies
     and gave in to sin.
But there will be a day
     when your seed will win. 

Throughout generations
     this answer was sought.
As the centuries went by,
     perhaps God forgot.
But in all generations,
     there were always a few.
Whose faith remained strong
    because God’s word they knew. 

And then at a moment
     that was just the right time.
God sent forth a son
     and said, “This one’s mine.”
And while you remember
     the time of His birth.
Don’t ever forget
     why He came to earth. 

When this baby was born
     and in the manger He slept.
The promise to Eve
     soon would be kept.
The message of Christmas
     to which we must cling.
Is that God came to earth,
     salvation to bring. 

As we share our gifts
     with the people we love.
We remember the greatest
     gift came from above.
The baby that came,
     did grow as a man.
And lived without sin
     as He fulfilled God’s plan. 

So the celebration,
     we begin Christmas day.
Should grow so much bigger,
     as we hear Him say.
“Father forgive them.”
     and “It is complete.”
As the enemy of death
     went down in defeat. 

While God come to earth,
     really is a big deal.
It was His greater purpose
     that allows us to heal.
So when it is Christmas,
     and you celebrate.
Remember God kept His promise;
     on time, never late. 

So when He does say,
     “I’ll come back for my own.”
Know He’ll keep His word
     when the right time has grown.
We must be watching
     and ready alway.
So that He finds us faithful
     when the time is today!

© 2014 by Tom Lemler

It has been a great Christmas season of celebrating, healing, and remembering the birth of Jesus!  As I was praying and thinking about how quickly people tend to forget the whole concept of “Christmas Spirit”, God gave me this poem to share.  I pray that it is an encouragement to you as it accomplishes the purposes for which He gave it.

In prayer,

A Visit From The King

‘Twas the eve before Christmas
     and all through the land.
All the people were doing
     just what they planned.
Their laundry was hung
     where everyone could see.
It all went online
     as they said, “Look at me!”. 

The children were somewhere,
     no one seemed to care.
As long as they managed
     to stay out of my hair.
The parents were busy,
     each in their own way.
As they try to make Christmas
     mean just what they say. 

Then deep in my heart
     I could hear a faint call.
Just a gentle whisper
     is what I recall.
I fell to my knees
     and opened the Book.
As I listened more closely
     and took a good look. 

And to my surprise,
     just what did I see?
God’s love came to earth
     as a tiny baby.
His love looked so small
     in this human form.
As He arrived in a barn,
    not even a dorm! 

The announcement was made
     far out on a hill.
By an angel of God
     on a night that was still.
God spoke to some shepherds
     who were out on that night.
And gave them good news
     in the midst of their fright. 

The angel was joined
    by a great heavenly host.
Who gave the message
    that they needed most.
All glory to God
     who reigns from above.
And peace to all men
     who rest in His love. 

The message was so great
     that I tagged along.
To see what was meant
     by this heavenly throng.
We went into town
     to a stable forlorn.
And found in this place,
     a child had been born. 

As we walked on in,
     I felt like a stranger.
Until I did see
     this baby in a manger.
The baby was wrapped
     from his toes to his head.
In swaddling cloths,
     like the angel had said. 

We knew at that moment
     that this was the King.
Who had come down to earth,
     salvation to bring.
As we left that stable
     and went on our way.
We told all who would listen,
     what took place that day. 

The town filled with wonder,
     the people were amazed.
At the things we did tell them
     as God’s name we praised.
That night was something
     that we never forgot.
As we went back to work
     and lived out our lot. 

I’m sure there was more,
     but I seemed to wake.
From a dream that was real,
     no way this was fake!
A King came to visit,
     I was there at the start.
Now He asks me to love Him
     with all of my heart. 

More than a baby
     did I meet that day.
It was the presence of God
     that showed up that way.
He grew as a child
     and lived as a teen.
He was pleasing to God
     and to all on the scene. 

As His time came near
     to complete God’s own plan.
He started to teach
     like no other man.
He spoke of a kingdom
     that He would reveal.
And the way to this kingdom,
     His own blood would seal. 

As I did listen,
     I thought of that day.
When I heard with the shepherds
     what the angel did say.
The babe in the manger
     was no ordinary birth.
It was God dwelling with us,
     a King come to earth!

© 2014 by Tom Lemler

I was asked to share a poem at the Christmas Eve service at our church.  The hope was that I would write a new poem for the service.  I explained that I don’t really write poems I just collect them as God gives them to me in my prayer times.  The request then changed to asking that I pray about the Christmas Eve service and listen to God as they prayed that God would give me a poem. 🙂  Out of that prayer time (mine and theirs) God has given me two poems today and there are still two more days before the Christmas Eve service — God only knows if there is anything else to come!  I pray that it encourages you to consider Jesus as your king.

In prayer,

Christmas Purpose

‘Twas the night before Christmas,
     you’ve heard the rhyme.
But it will be different
     when you hear it this time.
No “All through the house”
     nor on the rooftop.
But in a long-ago time
     we’ll make our first stop.

Perhaps even further
     than what you might think.
When mankind did sin
     and God did not wink.
The result was not good,
     the outlook was grim.
For Adam and Eve,
     who disobeyed Him.

They tried to hide
     but it got much worse.
When sin brought to man
     a life-ending curse.
But God had a plan,
     so long ago.
To come down to earth,
     His love He would show.

The months went on by,
     the years flew right past.
Then centuries later
     it was the right time at last.
God sent us His Son
     to show us His love.
The King came to earth,
     leaving heaven above.

It’s so very easy
     to celebrate a birth.
To be filled with joy
     that God came to earth.
“Away in a Manger”
     and “Oh Holy Night.”
We sing for a season,
     then they’re out of sight.

The week after Christmas,
     our mind shifts a gear.
Then this talk about Jesus,
     no longer we hear.
Our life gets so busy
     and soon we forget.
That a Savior was born
     in this baby we met.

So, the eve before Christmas
     we gather to sing.
Songs filled with worship
     for the One who is King.
But it’s not just tonight
     that we sing Him this song.
We should give Him our worship
     all the year long!

© 2014 by Tom Lemler

I’m not sure if this poem is finished, but it is all God has given me so far. I pray that Christmas has purpose in your life all year as you remember the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus who came to earth as an expression of God’s love.In prayer,


The Eyes of a Child (Oh, To Be Six!)

Oh, to be six
     and filled with such joy!
To experience wonder
     through the eyes of a boy!
Perhaps if you go back –
     way back in your mind.
Some traces of wonder
     perhaps you’ll still find.

To remember some days,
     perhaps long ago.
When you were excited
     by things such as snow!
Some days that were carefree,
     no worries around.
Just great adventures
     everywhere did abound!

When boxes themselves
     would bring so much joy.
So very often,
     even more than the toy!
When worries were unknown
     and you had no fear.
Your imagination
     gave victories to cheer!

You applaud the effort
     of things simply done.
A room full of balloons
     looks like so much fun!
Your joy wasn’t based
     on how much was paid.
It’s really about
     the way that you played!

So, whatever happened
     to childhood joy?
The kind that I had
     when I was a boy.
How do I get it
     back into my life?
In the midst of living
     that seems filled with strife.

The secret may be
     some wonder to find.
To let imagination
     still fill my mind.
To see life as different
     than the world does.
To remember with wonder,
     what is and what was.

To let little things
     grow big in my mind.
To imagine a treasure
     that I seek and I find.
To look at a box
     and see a race car.
To imagine balloons
     that will carry me far.

To see the unseen
     and believe it is real.
Brings joy overwhelming,
     that you actually feel!
That is what faith is
     for those who believe.
The world is a mess,
     but peace you receive.

Your box may look bare,
     your possessions quite small.
But in child-like faith
     you know you have it all!
You take the world’s treasures
     and value them not.
For you have everything,
     when Christ you have got!

So, this Christmas season,
     and all of your days.
Stop for a moment,
     consider your ways.
What comes between you
     and joy that is wild?
Then take a good look
     through the eyes of a child!

© 2014 by Tom Lemler

This poem came to my mind from a simple comment, “Oh, to be six!” based on a six-year old’s excited reaction to some decorations at the building for a Parents Night Out event. That phrase stuck in my mind and this poem quickly came together from that. I pray that it encourages you to look at things differently.

In prayer,

Gray Skies

Outside of my window
     it’s cloudy and gray.
But one thing I know –
     it won’t stay that way.
I’ve lived long enough
     to know this is true.
The gray skies will leave,
     replaced by the blue.
Yet sometimes they linger,
     seeming never to leave.
Then I must decide,
     do I really believe?

Sometimes it is hard,
     as darkness descends.
To think there is hope
     that this ever ends.
Will sunny days come
     and replace this gloom?
Or is the gray normal
     as I view from this room?
That’s often the problem –
     my point of view.
I need to refocus
     and see things anew.

I know there is purpose
     in skies filled with cloud.
And storms that do come,
     with thunder so loud.
The rain and the snow
     that gray clouds do bring.
Are part of the cycle
     that cause birds to sing.
With only blue skies
     and warm sunny days.
It’s the earth itself
     that soon turns to grays.

Gray skies are one thing,
     but what about me?
Do I get the point
     when darkness I see?
Do I trust my Maker,
     who shines up above,
To use times of darkness
     to show me His love?
When my mind seems filled
     with all of the grays.
Will His refreshing
     still fill me with praise?

As I walk this journey,
     there’s something I’ve learned.
The blue skies are given,
     not something I’ve earned.
But even the darkness,
     God works for my good.
To help me to grow
     and live like I should.
I’m learning to trust Him
     when I can’t see my way.
So that is the rain
     in my cloud of gray!

© 2014 by Tom Lemler

As I was working on some sermon prep and watching some cardinals playing in the brush outside my window under some very gray skies, God put this poem in my mind. While I’m not fond of gray skies outside nor in my brain, I know God uses them for His purposes and will not waste the opportunity to bring growth in my life as I learn to trust Him fully. I pray that this poem is an encouragement to you and accomplishes His purposes for it.

In prayer,

A Real Thanksgiving Blessing

It seems we’ve forgotten
     to pray like we should.
Our prayer life is shallow,
     like knocking on wood.
“Lord, bless me and keep me,
     and give me all things.”
Is our prayer for the season
     and all that it brings.

A life of thanksgiving
     is not up to me.
It depends what I have,
     or can get for free.
The more that I gather,
     the less thankful am I.
For I realize there’s still stuff
     that I want to buy!

I turn on the TV
     and find I am right.
I deserve all things
     that are in my sight!
If only I had this,
     or some more of that.
I could be quite happy
     and content as a cat.

This isn’t helpful
     so I turn the tube off.
I open my Bible,
     the dust makes me cough.
I read about blessings
     to those who do give.
To help out the needy
     is the right way to live.

To practice contentment
     in all circumstance.
Helps me to give thanks
     that’s more than just chance.
On mountains quite high,
     or valleys so low.
I’m thankful for God
     as with Him I go.

He never leaves me,
     nor forsakes His own.
In all situations
     His love has been shown.
As I learn to trust Him
     with all I go through.
He makes me a blessing
     to people like you!

© 2014 by Tom Lemler

I’ve had several glimpses of poems running through the fog of my mind the past few weeks and this is one that seemed to gel together and come out. I’m not real sure if it is all one poem or if it is pieces of several of the thoughts that are trapped in my mind. 🙂 Anyhow, I pray that it is a blessing to someone and that God uses it to accomplish the purpose He designed it for.

In prayer,